Red light camera ban in many NJ towns

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Red light camera

Red light cameras are supposed to be about safety. Some say they are more about revenue. Image: Sterlic/Flickr/CC BY

Red light cameras have been suspended in 21 out of 25 municipalities in Jew Jersey, following issues with their calibration. But don’t get cocky, Jersey drivers. Big Brother is still watching and taking names on the red light camera ban.

Two-thirds of cameras affected

The New Jersey Transportation Department reported that it will be suspending the cameras in 63 out of 85 intersections patrolled by them. Red light cameras are designed to catch violators that run red lights by generating a photo that is subsequently mailed to the motorist with a ticket.

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Yellow lights too short

The red light camera ban program, piloted in the state in 2008, is being suspended because the yellow light may be staying on for a shorter
duration than is allowable for state safety standards.

Cameras still rolling

But the cameras will still be on while the state looks into the matter. Joe Dee of Transportation Commissioner James
Simpson’s office, said:

“Those cameras will still be operating. If our study shows the yellow lights were long enough, then those violations will still go out. This isn’t an indictment of the whole program. We’re taking this one step at a time.”

Some call for red light camera ban

But some think a red light camera ban indictment is in order. The program’s stated original intention was to reduce the frequency of intersection crashes. Others believe the cameras are actually more about revenuegeneration than safety. The allegedly too-short yellow lights could generate more violations, and therefore benefit some budgeted-strapped municipalities.

New Jersey Senator Michael Doherty (R) believes the cameras should be eliminated all together. He said in a recent statement:

“If safety is truly the goal, there are simple steps that towns could take to fix dangerous intersections, such as increasing the length of yellow lights. The fact that simple fixes continue to be ignored while ticket revenues continue to flow into town coffers makes you wonder if safety is really the goal.”

Affected municipalities

Some or all of the red light cameras are suspended in the towns of Brick, Cherry Hill, East Windsor, Edison, Englewood Cliffs, Glassboro, Jersey City, Lawrence, Linden, Monroe, Newark, Palisades Park, Piscataway, Pohatcong, Rahway, Roselle Park, Springfield, Stratford, Union Township, Wayne and Woodbrige.

Increased rear end crashes

In the past, red light camera ban studies have shown that red light cameras do decrease the number of collisions at intersections. However, they have also found that rear end collisions increased by 8 percent. Most likely, according to AOL Autos, due to motorists slamming on their brakes as they approach the intersection. That situation could be exacerbated by a shorter duration of yellow light before it turns red at some intersections.


AOL Autos
New York
Business Week


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