Golden: Yay to spy cameras, Nay to speed cameras

State Sen. Marty Golden is all for putting up NYPD cameras to catch drug dealers, but has come under fire in recent weeks for opposing another kind of crime-fighting recorder — speed cameras.

Ridge residents rallied outside the Senator’s Fifth Avenue office on April 5 to protest the pol’s opposition to a pilot program that would bring as many as 40 speed cameras — which snap photos of the license plates of over-the-limit scofflaws and automatically mail them tickets — to New York City intersections. Demonstrators argued that the devices could save lives.

“We are not only tired of dodging reckless drivers — we are angry that our quality of life is impacted by the bad behavior of others,” said Barbara Cassidy, one of the speakers at the rally.

But Golden’s aides said there was no contradiction in the official’s support for one kind of camera and opposition to the other, arguing that the issue isn’t privacy but precision. Spokesman Ray Riley argued that speed cameras can’t be trusted, pointing to a recent incident in Baltimore, Md. where one of the devices fined a stationary vehicle, and a case in Ohio where a judge banned them from a small town after cameras issued thousands of spurious tickets. Police security cameras, according to Riley, have no such problems.

“Surveillance cameras are a proven, effective measure that have been used for decades,” Riley said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.