Are Changes Coming to NJ’s Red Light Camera Program? [AUDIO]
As soon as it began, New Jersey's red light camera pilot program was controversial. Those who supported it claimed it helped to improve safety, while critics said it was nothing more than a way for cash-strapped municipalities to generate income.
One Garden State lawmaker believes he has a plan to end the controversy.
"Essentially we're calling their bluff - if they are really all about safety, then these mayors should have no problem that the revenue that's collected goes into a safety fund," said State Senator Michael Doherty.
His legislation would direct local officials to deposit all money collected from red light camera tickets in a State Highway Safety fund.
Doherty pointed out there are an increasing number of reports that instead of improving safety at intersections, red light cameras are causing more accidents - especially rear end collisions - because drivers are nervous about going through intersections where the cameras are mounted.
He said if municipal leaders were really concerned about safety, they could do several things including improving overall lighting in intersections, improve traffic lines and make the traffic signals bigger.
"I think these are just cash cows. "These mayors have fallen in love with a new source of revenue, it's got nothing to do with safety," said Doherty.
Doherty added he would like to see the red light camera pilot program come to a quick end because it's an example of big government that people are sick and tired of.