Red Light Cameras
Motor vehicle accidents arising from a collision at an intersection often revolve around the issue of who had the right of way and frequently become an
issue of “he said, she said” regarding the color of the traffic lights. Many people (including attorneys) wonder why the video footage used to catch people running red lights is not used in motor vehicle cases. Without addressing whether red light cameras are a good thing or not, it seems reasonable to presume that the video footage would eliminate a lot of the “he said, she said” by clearly showing which vehicle had a green light and which vehicle had a red light. In a case of first impression in the New York State Supreme court in Nassau County, an insurance carrier sued the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency for refusing to release video footage that the insurance carrier had requested under the Freedom of Information Law. The Court held that the insurance carrier was not entitled to the video footage because the legislature had specifically exempted this type of evidence from the Freedom of Information Law. It seems that for now, until the legislature changes the law, the “he said, she said” will continue.