Feifer & Greenberg, LLP

Class-Action Suit Attacking NYC Red Light Cameras

Class-Action Suit Attacking NYC Red Light Cameras

Who likes red light cameras?

Good news if you don’t.  A class action lawsuit has been filed against NYC and it accuses the city of rigging the timing of the light cycles to encourage more violations and thus more fines.

Robert Sinclair, AAA motor club New York spokesperson, says they are in favor of cameras that are in place to monitor and prevent red light violations.  AAA is in favor of the concept but only when it the cameras are “done to certain engineering criteria.”

Federal law requires providing drivers with enough time to get through a yellow light — three seconds at the typical 30-mile-per-hour intersection.

In October, engineers at AAA New York discovered a problem. At some city intersections with the cameras, the yellow lights were almost a half-second too fast.  Red light camera ticket recipients now are arguing that they may have been set up to violate the red light, expecting a longer yellow only to be photographed entering the intersection right when it turned red.

If these lights were intentionally shortened, there doesn’t seem to be an explanation beyond a blatant attempt to use the cameras as primarily a revenue generator.

Brian Hughes is part of the lawsuit.  He paid a $50 fine after a camera caught him running a light in Manhattan in 2010. The suit is alleging fraud against the city.

There are approximately 150 red light cameras in NYC and they helped generate more than $235 million in fine revenue during the last five years.  Last year alone was $47 million.

The New York City Department of Transportation denies any improper timing of light cycles at the camera intersections in question.

Note that these camera tickets are not part of your driving record.  They are treated as parking violations and written against a license plate and registered owner, not a driver or driver license.

Scott Feifer


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Your office is in NYC. How do you handle cases statewide?

We have organized a statewide network of attorneys. In our network are both attorneys who work for Feifer & Greenberg and attorneys who work for other firms that regularly provide of-counsel representation to our clients. This statewide network allows us to match clients in a particular county or court with local attorneys who regularly appear on similar matters in the same county or court. It enables us to help clients anywhere in New York State and in our opinion provide particularly effective and affordable representation for our clients. Local attorneys can draw on their particular local experiences and, with travel time and expense removed from the equation, help us keep our legal fees low.

Do you guarantee results?
We can only guarantee that we will provide the best possible client service and legal representation. We can’t guarantee results. These are legal proceedings and we can’t promise you that every case will end in our favor. We will always honestly assess your case (both good and bad) and set realistic expectations during your consultation. We’ll discuss our goals and objectives but no attorney can ever guarantee how a case will conclude.
Should I just pay my ticket or should I fight?

We recommend fighting almost all tickets. Even if the current NY traffic tickets aren’t particularly harmful, you have an incentive to keep your record clean for the future. Convictions quickly lead to surcharges, insurance increases and other complications. You should strongly consider any decision to pay a ticket without fighting.

How can our traffic ticket lawyers help you?

Our lawyers are experienced, prepared attorneys who understand the nuances of fighting traffic tickets. Experience, preparation and good decision making help us to help our clients avoid points, surcharges, insurance increases and the other negatives that can easily result from a traffic ticket.


Common Charges