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Traffic cameras have proven to be controversial in New York City, with supporters touting their effect in slowing drivers down -- as well as raising large amounts of money from traffic fines -- while detractors criticize them as being little more than stealthy, automated speed traps.

The argument often takes place in general terms, based on cumulative statistical data that comes from several cameras issuing more than 180,000 tickets over the span of several months, racking up more than $9 million in fines. The large numbers tend to make the debate seem almost academic.

However, a recent news story brings into sharp focus just how prolific these traffic cameras can be. On a single day in July, one camera placed at the end of a freeway exit ramp issued more than 1,500 $50 speeding tickets.

Despite the criticisms raised by their opponents, traffic cameras appear to not only be in New York to stay, but are going to become much more prevalent, especially in the vicinity of school zones. The city government expects to increase its current quantity of 20 cameras to 140 by the end of next year.

Traffic cameras are not infallible, and drivers have on various grounds successfully challenged tickets issued by these devices in the past. But if you find yourself personally involved in a legal confrontation with a traffic camera and its ticket, you may not want to take it on by yourself.

A traffic ticket attorney may be able to raise legal arguments on your behalf that you may not be aware of, and that may make the difference between paying the full amount of the fine and having it either reduced or thrown out.

Source: New York Post, “Speed camera generates $77,550 in just one day,” Gary Buiso, Sept. 28, 2014

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