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Some New Jersey Towns Want To Keep Red Light Cameras

Red lights, green money

November 25, 2014

New Jersey is ending its five-year red light camera program on Dec. 16, but some towns don’t want to see the revenue (and safety) brought by the cameras to dry up.

Officials in Linden, Union, and Springfield, New Jersey have called for the Department of Transportation to take two more years to study the cameras and to allow towns to continue to have these red light cameras.

NJ.com says that Linden Third Ward Councilman Peter Brown Jr. “initially opposed red light cameras, until he became chairman of the council finance and budget review committee. He said he saw the $1.2 million to $1.5 million generated in camera fines annually as a way to upgrade aging traffic lights and hire crossing guards.” Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka told NJ.com that “Four of our five cameras are on Route 1 & 9. There has not been a fatal accident on Route 1 & 9 since 2011, when the cameras were put in.”

Springfield officials, in speaking to NJ.com, said “When our program first launched we were issuing 2,000 red light citations a month — and now two years later the number hovers around 600” and that the drop in numbers shows that having red light cameras increases driver safety and positively affects driver behavior.

Some officials, however, are passionately against any extension of the red light camera program. Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon told MyCentralJersey.com that “You not only have not less accidents, you have more severe accidents. The Linden example is a disaster for the red-light camera program.” He debated both Brown and Gerbounka on Monday afternoon; video of the debate is available through MyCentralJersey.com

MyCentralJersey.com wrote in regards to the Linden cameras that “Just one camera intersection — Route 1 at Park Avenue — showed a reduction of right-angle crashes from seven before the installation to two in the most recent year. Three others showed an increase, including Route 1 at Morses Mill Road, which had an increase of one right-angle crash before the camera to six crashes in the most recent year.”

Click here for Watchdog Wire’s previous reporting on red light cameras in New Jersey

Featured image from Shutterstock

Brad Matthews

Brad Matthews is the Digital Content Coordinator intern for Watchdog Wire. Twitter is @bradmatthewsDC

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