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Christie: Red light cameras ‘a money grab’ for municipalities

Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he is leaning against any extension or expansion of New Jersey’s unpopular red light camera pilot program when it ends in December.

Gov. Christie in studio for Ask the Governor
Gov. Christie in studio for Ask the Governor (Townsquare Media NJ)

Most “disturbing,” Christie said, were indications that the program appeared to have become “an opportunity for municipalities to grab money.”

Responding to questions on Townsquare New Jersey’s “Ask the Governor” program, said he wasn’t so much changing his mind about the program as reacting to the results of the test.

Having let the pilot program run it’s course, Christie said, he has developed “more and more” concerns about it. Among them, he said, was the appearance that the program was not “fairly and uniformly administered.”

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Red Bank), the program’s most vocal and relentless critic. expects it to die a “merciful death.”

Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), sponsored the bill that created the state’s red light camera program. He has expressed uncertainty about it’s future. 

“It’s hard to say,” Wisniewski said. “Clearly there is going to be a discussion about whether or not there is legislative support. If we can find a way to make the roads safer we ought to have an intelligent conversation about making the roads safer.”

Speed cameras near school zones and work zones are also being mulled by legislators. “If we have a way of enforcing our laws that saves us money by not requiring a ‘beat officer,’ so to speak, to be at every roadside measuring speed, it’s something we ought to consider,” Wisniewski said.

Kevin McArdle contributed to this report

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