Halt Red Light Cam Rush, Lawmakers Urge
Any local official who wants to climb on the red-light camera bandwagon can forget it – that train is long gone from the station, say two state lawmakers who are among the pilot project’s loudest critics.
Shore-based Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) and state Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) respond to inquiries to enter the pilot program that the 25-town limit has been full practically since its inception in 2009 – and it’s fairly common knowledge.
But they go a step further, demanding that the New Jersey Department of Transportation stop issuing new permits to towns already in it.
“We have proven that there are major flaws with this program and that these cameras are about money, not safety” said O’Scanlon. “At this point any elected official continuing to seek admittance to this program is uninformed at best, and brazenly seeking to steal money from motorists at worst.”
Questionable timing of amber lights that potentially entrapped even law-abiding drivers forced Governor Christie to suspend 63 of the 85 in operation. Transportation officials have sinced recertified them, but O’Scanlon and Doherty remain unconvinced that it’s anything but a money grab.
“These cameras have become ATM’s – Automatic Taxing Machines, O’Scanlon fumed. While some local officials really believed in the crash-reduction potential, he continued, “we now know that the entire program is flawed and designed more to enhance revenue than anything else.”
Warren Township officials, in the heart of Doherty’s district, approved a resolution supporting his bill to ban them in New Jersey. The measure is languishing in the Senate.
Jersey City has them in operation at eight intersections and has plans to expand it to about three dozen.
Doherty has launched an online petition is support of his legislation to ban red light cameras in New Jersey that has been signed 5,000 times. The petition is located at http://senatenj.com/cameras.
“These cameras have been a debacle from the start,” said Doherty (R- Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset). “Until we have legislatively fixed the yellow light timing issue, the DOT should not be issuing new permits for cameras to towns within the pilot program.”