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Published On: Wed, Dec 17th, 2014

New Jersey to end right light cameras

The red light cameras are set to go out this week in New Jersey as some lawmakers fight to keep them on. The five year program issued $85 tickets for violations and proved to be cash cow in revenue.

“My first point is this,” said Linden 3rd Ward Councilman Peter Brown. “If you don’t run a red light, you’re not issued a ticket.”

Brown has been fighting to keep the cameras in town.

public domain photo

public domain photo

“I’m afraid of accidents increasing,” he said, despite the data indicating that the cameras increase the number accidents, mostly due to people slamming on their brakes as the signal changes, causing a rear-end collision.

Local governments do not have the authority to keep the cameras running. Since it is a state program, only New Jersey lawmakers can decide whether to extend it.

Some said that policy should change.

“Oh, we definitely need them. We definitely need them here,” said Linden Traffic Bureau Cmdr. Lt. Michael Babulski.

Babulski said the cameras resulted in fewer fatalities.

“Before, we usually averaged two to three a year, with a high of six in one year — for the past at least 20 years, we’ve had fatalities” he said. “We haven’t had one since the red light cameras came online.”

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Red Bank) has been especially critical of the five-year pilot program, which spread to more than 20 cities and towns in New Jersey.

Like many motorists, O’Scanlon said the cameras did not make intersections demonstrably safer, but instead were a way for towns to raise revenue.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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