Rochester, N.Y. — Earlier this week, the city of Rochester announced that there was a glitch in the software that runs three traffic lights on Mt. Read Blvd. This glitch may have caused yellow lights to end a second too soon.
The Rochester Police Department and city officials are reviewing traffic violations from Mt. Read and Emerson St. and Mt. Read and Driving Park Ave.
The New York State Department of Transportation contacted the city after discovering the glitch in the traffic signal times that resulted in a three second yellow light instead of the typical four seconds. The city says a three second yellow light is not illegal but it is not recommended for traffic speeds in that area.
Since the announcement on Monday, about 140 cases have been signed up for a hearing, but the city expects this number to grow over the next few days and weeks. There is a possibility some red light camera tickets issued at these intersections will be could be overturned.
On Thursday, people lined up at the Rochester Parking Violations Bureau to see if their tickets could be overturned.
Greece resident Danny Veilleux got a red light ticket camera at one of the Mt. Read intersections this summer. He has already paid his ticket but he stopped by the Parking Violations Bureau to check and see if the he could get his ticket appealed.
“[Red light cameras] are a good thing if it slows people down when they are supposed to stop and so forth,” Veilleux says. “But if it's not accurate, that's not right either.”
City officials explain that the glitch was with the county and state run traffic lights, not with their red light camera system. They say that a large majority of the time, red light tickets come with photos and video to back up the violation and people recognize this as valid. They maintain that mistakes like this are rare.
Lex Parris came to the parking office on Thursday and found out that three of her four tickets she got on Mt. Read Blvd. are deemed suspicious and could be eligible for reversal. She’s already paid off two of the tickets and now she hopes to get her money back. Parris believes the glitch is the reason behind the tickets.
“I would have had a whole bunch of accidents by now if I ran red lights like this within a couple of months,” Parris said. “It's ridiculous and aggravating.”
Parris says a second makes a huge difference.
“Absolutely. I think 30 seconds makes a difference. You can have a phone conversation in five seconds and get a whole lot said. Every second counts.”
The city is also reviewing officer-issued tickets for running a red light at Mt. Read and Lexington. Even though there is no red light camera at this intersection, the traffic light was also found to be faulty.
The glitch was fixed as of February 19 at 11:00 a.m.
The timing problems were present at the southbound lanes of Mount Read Blvd. and Driving Park Avenue and Mt. Read Blvd. and Emerson Street.
If you received a ticket from one of these intersections and think the yellow light timing played a role, you can request to have your case reopened by calling the city's Parking Violations Bureau at (585)428-7484.