Caught By A Red Light Camera In NJ? You’re Off Hook For Now [AUDIO]
New Jersey drivers who have received red-light camera tickets and either paid the fine or have been to court, can breathe a sigh of relief, for now.
Cases will be put on hold until towns where the cameras were suspended, at 63 intersections in 19 towns across the state, re-certify the timing of amber lights as the law requires, according to a memo from the Administrative Office of the Courts.
"If a ticket was previously contested and the case has already been scheduled for court, the matter should be rescheduled and placed in the held status pending the municipality's submission and confirmation by the DOT that the certification is acceptable" according to Judge Glenn Grant, acting administrative director of the courts.
DOCUMENT: Read Judge Grant's Memo
Drivers who already went to court and paid a fine also get a second chance.
"The held status should also be done for disposed cases where the defendant has contacted the court to ask that the matter be reopened on the basis of the DOT's action."
Opponents, including the National Motorists Association say the ruling is overreaching.
"If any unpaid ticket is contested they have to be dismissed because there was no certification of minimum yellow timing on record at the time the ticket was issued" said Steve Carellas, spokesman for the National Motorists Association, New Jersey Chapter.
Carellas says by the time the re-certification of the amber lights is complete, its too late to retroactively issue a fine.
"Any ticket prior to the re-certification date is technically an illegal ticket and should be thrown out."
The National Coalition For Safer Roads says the red-light cameras safe lives and reduce traffic accidents.
"Red light cameras do not invade anyone's privacy, they simply record violations and its proven that they cut down on accidents at dangerous intersections" said David Kelly, executive director, in an earlier interview.
According to the Safer Roads Report 2012: Trends In Red Light Running, New Jersey had an average of 2,253 violations per camera, 227 per day. New Jersey had the most violations on Memorial Day and 4th of July last year, at 1,185 and 1,020.
Towns where the cameras were suspended have until August 1st to re-certify the timing.