Red light cameras in NJ shut off as of December 16, 2014 after a five-year pilot program. Now, many are debating whether or not removing the cameras is truly a good thing. The following takes a look at both sides of the debate, as well as what the future of red light cameras in the state may be.
How do red light cameras work?
Many communities use red light cameras. The cameras watch for drivers who run through red lights. If they catch one, they snap a photo of the license plate and the driver receives a ticket. Each ticket in New Jersey costs at least $85, making the cameras a big profit-maker.
Proponents of Red Light Cameras Say the Technology Saves Lives
There are many who believe the red light cameras are critical to safety. According to media reports, community officials within New Jersey have stated that the cameras do in fact influence driver actions.
In fact, Union Township even stated that since installing the cameras, 27,000 fewer drivers ran red lights over 30 months. The New Jersey Department of Transportation provides further evidence that camera proponents point to, stating that crashes overall are down from previous years.
Not So Fast, Say Others
Those in favor of removing the red light cameras are more skeptical about the statistics mentioned above, and are telling proponents to put the brakes on the facts that they’re presenting. Instead, opponents of red light cameras say the data supporting the cameras has been misconstrued as a ploy by municipalities to make more money.
Rick Short, an engineer who compared claims about red light camera safety to Department of Transportation data, told NJ.com, “We have proved that the crash reduction percentages spread by the camera industry and town leaders are fictitious.” Some argue that including right turn on red violations – which some consider less serious than other infractions – in the statistics inflates the numbers.
What’s next for red light cameras in New Jersey?
While the pilot program ended on December 16, 2014, it may not be done for good. The state will continue to evaluate crash data and make a decision about whether or not the program should continue, or even expand. The Department of Transportation can’t re-implement the program without legislation agreed to by houses and signed into law by the governor.
At this point, there are two separate pieces of legislation to continue the red light program. While it’s possible the bills will pass through the state house and senate with the required votes, it’s clear whether or not Governor Chris Christie will sign the bill.
Red Light Cameras and Traffic Wreck Evidence
While it’s unclear at this point whether or not red light cameras contribute to public safety, one thing is for sure: they do capture footage of traffic offenders. While the footage is typically just use to issue a ticket, in the event an accident occurs, the images of drivers running red lights could be critical to prove negligence.
But that’s far from the only evidence available after car accidents caused by reckless red light runners. Your attorney can help you collect other types of evidence. This might include surveillance video, eyewitness testimony, and more.
If you’re in a car accident in New Jersey that occurred in an intersection when someone ran a red light, call Cordisco & Saile LLC. Our attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for all of your damages. If you have questions, call us now at 215-642-2335. You may also contact us online by filling out our contact form.