Despite YouTube Campaign, Controversy Surrounding Red Light Cameras Grows

A recent post on YouTube highlights what can happen when drivers try to run red lights; the post shows footage of crashes and near misses in New Jersey intersections. But do the red light cameras being installed at various locations throughout the State help or add to the dangers? If, after reading the following, you have issues with traffic violations in Hunterdon County, consider contacting the municipal court attorneys at Ragland Law Firm in Lebanon, NJ.

The YouTube video shows ten actual accidents that occurred on our roadways as drivers try to beat the light, including:

• A Hudson County driver being t-boned after running a red light;
• A Middlesex County driver slamming on brakes to narrowly miss a pedestrian in the roadway; and

• A Gloucester County driver getting hit at night after running a light. (1)

The accidents shown occurred in Deptford, Linden, Union Township, Monroe Township, Jersey City, East Brunswick and Pohatcong. All occurred during 2011. (1)

The video was put together by American Traffic Solutions, a major provider of red light camera systems in the nation. According to the video, over 100,000 people are injured every year, including hundreds fatally in accidents caused by running red lights.(1)

New Jersey began a five-year pilot program in 2008 to install red light cameras at various locations throughout the State. Since then, twenty-five municipalities have signed on to participate. (1)

Some drivers, however, suspect the program is more of a money-generator than a safety matter. They cite the possibility of even more accidents as drivers stop short at yellow lights to avoid getting caught on camera. (2)

There is no question that the cameras do generate ticket income for participating municipalities. In Pohatcong Township, for example, where cameras were installed in August, 2,500 tickets have been issued as of earlier this month at a fine of $85 each. (2)

One of the biggest areas of debate seems to be the right-on-red rule. Drivers who claim to have come to a full-stop before making a legal right-hand turn are still getting tickets as a result of the red light cameras. Drivers have become accustomed to stopping beyond the white stop line when preparing to turn right on red in order to get a better view of oncoming traffic. The cameras, however, are designed to snap photos of all cars that pass that white stop line when the light turns red. As a result, it is not definitely clear whether a driver did indeed come to a full-stop or rolled through the light. (3)

Public debate aside, New Jersey’s red light camera program is scheduled to expand next year. Nearby Phillipsburg is one of the areas on the list of possible candidates for cameras. (3)

If you or anyone you know has an issue with traffic violations in Hunterdon Count,y consider contacting the municipal court attorneys at Ragland Law Firm, located in Lebanon, NJ.

(1) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/nj_intersection_crashes_are_po.html

(2) http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2011/12/lopatcong_township_councilman.html

(3) http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2011/11/route_22_red-light_cameras_cau.html