Do red light cameras have a future in NJ?
New Jersey's controversial red light camera pilot program is scheduled to expire in December, and while some legislators are eagerly anticipating the end of the program, other lawmakers are unsure about the future of red light cameras in the Garden State.
Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Red Bank) has been the program's most vocal and relentless critic. He said he expects it to die a "merciful death." Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), sponsored the bill that created the state's red light camera program. He isn't sure about it's future.
""It's hard to say. Clearly there is going to be a discussion about whether or not there is legislative support," Wisniewski said. "If we can find a way to make the roads safer we ought to have an intelligent conversation about making the roads safer."
In August, Townsquare Media reported that certain red-light cameras had technical problems from May 28 through June 30 of this year. Violations were recorded and vehicle owners were identified, but apparently never told they could be charged.
"This is another nail in the coffin of these companies and the people operating them. The cameras do not improve safety and now there is evidence that the technology is not reliable either," O'Scanlon said.
New York has already begun placing speed limit cameras near schools. Wisniewski was asked about the possibility of allowing speed cameras in New Jersey.
"If we have a way of enforcing our laws that saves us money by not requiring a 'beat officer' so to speak to be at every roadside measuring speed, it's something we ought to consider. There are those that are advocating that we look at speed cameras in school zones and work zone safety areas," Wisniewski said.
On Monday, the New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill to would prohibit New Jersey license plate information to be shared with national photo ticketing systems. This would make it more difficult for other states to collect fines from Garden State drivers who get a ticket for an alleged violation that was caught on a speed camera or red light camera in those states.