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Hate Red Light Cams? Speak Up On Line

If red-light cameras leave you feeling like an ATM for municipal governments in the pilot program…second-guessing your driving skills…or paranoid about who’s looking over your shoulder, New Jersey State Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) wants to hear from you.

Flickr User ASurroca

The Warren County lawmaker has launched an online petition in support of his measure to ban them in New Jersey. You can see it at http://www.senatenj.com/cameras.

The five-year pilot project was touted as a means of increasing road safety at notorious intersections, but reports of significant revenue spikes – and cost-effectiveness stipulations by a supplier – have led Doherty to the conclusion that the real purpose is money.

Brick Township data shows vast reduction in crash and pedestrian-accident levels at two Route 70 intersections in the heart of the town’s business area, along with an infusion of more than $1,000,000 from traffic tickets. A third is about to begin daily operation.

They’ve proliferated in cash-strapped Jersey City, where nine are now functioning.

“People really dislike the cameras, but aren’t sure what to do about it,” said Doherty in a statement.
“That’s why I launched our online petition to ensure that people can have their voices heard and be counted in their support of this legislation to prohibit red light cameras and automated ticketing systems.”

Doherty’s bill, S-1952, would bar the introduction of the cameras in any town that doesn’t already have them, and would stop municipal leaders from renewing purchase and maintenance contracts with vendors once they expire.

It also omits the 90-day window now used by police agencies to cite drivers for violations involving red-light cams and other remote traffic-control apparatus. Drivers who don’t live near the municipalities in which they’re cited have the choice of setting aside time to fight the ticket in municipal court, or paying the $85 fine. The violation does not add points to driving records.

The senator also views the devices as an incursion into civil liberties. “We shouldn’t accept a ‘Big Brother’ government that takes photos and videos of us and records our movements as we travel,” he said.

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