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NJ: Senate Transportation Committee Won’t Consider Renewing Red-Light Cameras

New Jersey’s Senate Transportation Committee won’t take up a bill to renew the state’s red-light camera program.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Nicholas J. Sacco (D), spoke to Watchdog Wire yesterday.

“The bill won’t be heard in my committee,” Sen. Sacco said. But the Senator made clear this doesn’t mean red-light cameras are dead, because another committee could take up the issue.

shutterstock_101050888The Senator, who also serves as Mayor of North Bergen, has strong feelings against them.

“My feelings are strong about them, I don’t like the cameras in the state,” he said. “I believe they are extremely unpopular.”

As a mayor, Sen. Sacco understands that some municipalities want the extra revenue, but that’s not a good reason for the cameras.

“My belief is that they are just money-makers, and they are not serving the purpose that they were intended to serve,” he said.

Gov. Christie has said he’s carefully considering the issue, but leaning against renewing the camera program which expires in December.

“I have concerns about it, and my inclination is not to continue it, but I haven’t made any final decisions,” Christie said last month at a news conference.

Watchdog Wire asked the office of Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee,  for comment. They did not respond to our request prior to publication.

shutterstock_130775687However, he did speak to the Star-Ledger last month about his quest to find cosponsors. He seemed to hedge about the possibility of introducing a bill in the Assembly.

“We’ll have to wait and see. I know that there are members who believe that this program is worthwhile because it does promote traffic safety,” he said. “That being said, I’m not aware of anyone who’s yet come forward and said let me sponsor the bill.”

The Assemblyman is reportedly considering introducing a bill to renew the program.

The state has 73 intersections equipped with the traffic cameras in 24 towns. If the legislature and Governor don’t act, they’ll go dark in mid-December.

Watchdog Wire has reported extensively on Piscataway’s red-light camera program, which in March issued more tickets than the total population of the town.

If you are concerned about traffic cameras in your town, in New Jersey or anywhere across the country, let us know by emailing info@watchdogwire.com.

All images are courtesy Shutterstock.com.

Josh Kaib

Josh Kaib is the Assistant Editor of Watchdog Wire. Twitter: @joshkaib

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