Brick Cameras For Safety Or A Money Grab? [POLL]
A third intersection in Brick Township is now under the watchful eye of red light cameras. The police department continues to defend the state pilot program that some have called a money-making scheme.
According to Brick Police Captain John Rein, the cameras that are located at two other intersections in town have generated more than $2 million dollars since they were launched in 2010. Rein says part of the money goes to the township, a piece heads to the state and the rest goes to American Traffic Solutions Inc., the organization that installed the cameras at no cost to township residents or officials.
The new cameras sit high atop the intersection of Route 70 and Brick Boulevard. They began operation at 12 a.m. on Monday, May 7th. Photo enforcement cameras capture still and video images of red-light running violations. During a 30 day warning period, notices will be sent to violators. After the grace period, summonses will be sent in the amount of $85.
Rein says “The ultimate goal of the Red Light Camera system is to prevent and eliminate crashes, particularly right angle crashes which are typically the most severe, caused by red light violators at intersections with a high volume of crashes and violations.”
Many people have complained that the cameras are nothing more than a money grab and accused police of entrapment. Rein calls that ridiculous. He says “our first priority is the public safety. The money from the fines is totally secondary. There’s nothing different here than a police patrol car sitting at the intersection – the only thing is, these cameras help keep the officers safe who can’t sit parked in the middle of the busy highway.”
Rein continues by saying “the type of violation issued is similar to one for running a red light observed by a police officer on the street, with the exception that no points will be assessed against the driver or the owner of the vehicle. The penalty for failing to observe a traffic control device is set forth in Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes. The current fine for this violation is $85. “
The program is financed by a percentage of the paid violations being collected by the State and disbursed among the State and Municipality.
Mayor Steve Acropolis has been a firm supporter of the cameras. He says “our first intersections with red light camera technology have shown that the program is having a positive impact on drivers behaviors by reducing serious crashes and we hope that this continues by placing them at this intersection, which is one of the most heavily traveled intersections within the township.”
Rein adds “how many times have you seen someone run a red light and you say “gee, where are the police when you need them or why can’t they nab that guy” – now we can!”