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Red Light Cams Criticized by Pohatcong Mayor

The mayor of Pohatcong Township, Warren County, announced Tuesday that his town will not be renewing its contract for red light cameras, and he urged the state to do away with the controversial program altogether.

Pohatcong Mayor James Kern
Pohatcong Mayor James Kern (Townsquare Media)

Mayor James Kern indicated a review of the “total data” showed no drastic change in driver behavior at the camera-equipped intersection of Routes 22 and 519.

“After last year’s numbers, I would say even that it’s become essentially a wash,” said Kern at a press event inside the township’s municipal building. “The problem with these intersections from day one has not been the drivers, but rather has been the intersections themselves.”

Before the installation of Pohatcong’s cameras, according to data shared by Asm. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), there were two right-ange collisions at the 22/519 crossing. In 2013, the number of right-angle crashes jumped to six.

“This is another crack in the armor of an industry that has proven itself to be one of double-speak and misdirection,” said O’Scanlon, who joined Kern for the announcement.

A five-year pilot program with dozens of municipalities is set to expire on Dec. 16, unless the legislature acts. Either way, Kern said he will not renew his contract with vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) when it expires in 2016.

Charles Territo of ATS responded, “Respectfully, the data, NJ DOT, the police chief and the people of Pohatcong who voted overwhelmingly to keep the cameras just 18 months ago all disagree.”

Pohatcong residents voted in November 2012 to keep the cameras rolling once the contract ended.

Six weeks ago, Brick Township in Ocean County became New Jersey’s first town to pull the plug on the cameras.

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