Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
David Gantt

David Gantt, Longtime Foe of Red-Light Cams, Changes Tune

Gantt2_782058.jpgOne of Albany's chief foes of automated traffic enforcement appears to have softened his opposition to red-light cameras, but allegations of patronage may taint his turnaround.

For years, State Assembly Member David Gantt, a Rochester Democrat, has used his position as chair of the transportation committee to block the expansion of red-light cameras in New York and other cities. When pressed by advocates, Gantt could be relied upon to dismiss automated traffic enforcement by saying that privacy concerns trumped safety benefits. Not any longer.

In a recent about-face, Gantt has introduced legislation that would allow counties outside New York City to install red-light cameras at up to 25 percent of their intersections. New York, currently the only city in the state permitted to use the life-saving devices, first installed them in 1994 but is not allowed to set up more than 100. While the Gantt bill would not raise that limit, it may signal greater willingness on the part of Albany to approve automated enforcement measures down the road.

"From the perspective of New York City, it's neither a good bill nor a bad bill," said Chad Marlow of the Public Advocacy Group, a public relations firm whose clients include Transportation Alternatives. "But it shows that Gantt is more open to red-light cameras than he was earlier."

Gantt's motives, however, have attracted scrutiny. The bill would steer contracts to a specific vendor, who is lobbying for the legislation with the help of a former Gantt aide. The Buffalo News has the story:

...the bill appears crafted to benefit CMA Consulting Services, anAlbany County firm that distributes for Sensys Traffic, a Swedish firm...

Lobbying, with an $80,000contract, on the issue for CMA is Robert Scott Gaddy, a former counselof Gantt’s Transportation Committee.

Gaddy said the Sensyssystem distributed by CMA is not proprietary and that any other companycould use it. He said it is a higher-priced system because it includesa number of advances over other systems.

Gantt's bill is not expected to receive serious consideration until the next legislative session. Whether it survives the whiff of patronage or not, there will be an earlier test to see if the Assembly Member has truly changed his views on automated enforcement. The bus camera legislation transit advocates are now pressing for cannot receive a full vote in the Assembly without his say-so.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

‘Temporary’ Insanity: DOT Traffic Cams Locked Out of Key Enforcement Database

Temp tag drivers get off scot free because of a little-known loophole.

July 23, 2024

Disabled NYer’s are Victims of Gov. Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause

So many New Yorkers can’t use the closest subway station to their homes because they don't have an elevator. And Gov. Hochul just halted funding for 23 new lifts.

July 23, 2024

DOT Will Fast-Track Private Sidewalk E-Bike Charging Stations

The mayor announced a new sidewalk e-bike charging station initiative, along with progress on the e-bike battery swap program and more money to FDNY for educational outreach.

July 23, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines: LEGO Finally Gets It Edition

Streetsblog has had our issues with LEGO over the years, but we're willing to forgive. Plus other news.

July 23, 2024

Speeding Fuels Pedestrian Death Crisis As Council Stalls ‘Sammy’s Law’ Changes

Pedestrian fatalities were up 27 percent in the first six months of the year compared to 2023.

July 23, 2024
See all posts