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Bill To Fix NJ’s Red Light Camera Program Is Unveiled

A bill to completely scrap New Jersey’s controversial red light camera program is languishing in the legislature leading its sponsors to try to tackle the issue from another angle. Today, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon unveiled bipartisan legislation that would reform the state’s red-light camera pilot program. In late June Governor Chris Christie suspended all but 22 of the 85 cameras in New Jersey after it was determined that the yellow lights at those intersections might not have given motorists enough time to get through.

Red lights.
Flickr user: Horia Varlan

The proposed bill increases the yellow light timing by one second at all intersections that are equipped with the red light camera systems, eliminating any ambiguity in the timing that has become so controversial.

It also lowers the current fine by these electronic devices for making a right turn on red to from $85 (which was the same as running the red completely) to $20.

Lastly, it mandates a half-second grace period once the light is red – well before the opposing light has turned green – before a motorist can be ticketed, to ensure they have had ample time to move through the intersections.

“If you’re getting a ticket once this legislation is enacted you’ve actually gone through a genuine red light and caused a hazard,” explains O’Scanlon. “I don’t care whether you hate these cameras or believe in them, you should be on board with this legislation, it can only improve safety and guarantee that we are treating motorists fairly.

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