Well-intentioned trickery

Barred from installing additional cameras to photograph motorists running red lights, the city is moving to put up 200 fake ones instead. The first of the dummy cameras will start flashing at law-breaking drivers soon, city officials said. When the ruse works, motorists assume they will receive a summons in the mail, prompting many to drive more carefully.

The city lobbied the state Legislature last year to install more functioning red-light cameras beyond the current 50. But the Assembly blocked the bill, citing privacy concerns and the surging use of surveillance cameras statewide. New York was the first city to install red-light cameras, in 1993.

The fake cameras, unlike real ones, need no state approval and are supposedly cheaper.

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