You may have been disheartened, as I was, in hearing that while doing the “Ask the Governor” show with Eric Scott, DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson texted the Governor while on the air to break the news
that all of the red light cameras in Jersey municipalities that are part of the Department of Transportation’s Pilot program have been re-certified.

The Commissioner confirms that effective tomorrow, towns will be officially notified the cameras have been found to meet both the federal and pilot program standards for the yellow light timing – which means the municipalities will start sending out red light tickets that had been recorded by the cameras but put on hold during the re-certification process.

Here we thought we would see the end to the program that had been described by many as a money grab…and nothing more!

And when asked about the program, the Governor emphatically stated not to go through red lights!

He also didn’t deny the revenue aspect of having the cameras in place…but insisted that if you wanted to avoid the ticket…don’t run the light!

In my mind, and I know I may get some blowback on this, but “running the light” is not as easy to define.

For instance, if you’re in an intersection while the light is yellow, and it happens to change to red while your bumper is still in the area captured by the light; technically you’ve “run the light!”

However, if a police officer were stationed there, it would probably be at the discretion of the officer whether to stop you and give you either a ticket, a warning, or perhaps not to stop you at all!

No such luck with a red light camera.

And as Senator Michael Doherty had proposed back in May…
regarding banning the camera program altogether

“Although red light cameras were sold to the public as a way to make dangerous intersections safer, it’s become clear that municipalities are primarily interested in the revenues generated by the cameras through tickets and fines,” said Doherty.

“There is little if any evidence that the use of red light cameras in New Jersey has reduced the number or severity of accidents at the intersections where they are used. When combined with serious questions regarding personal privacy and the process and constitutionality of being ticketed by a machine, I believe it’s time that we put this ill-conceived red light camera experiment to rest.”

“It’s nearly impossible to challenge a ticket generated by a red light camera when it arrives in the mail weeks or even months after an alleged violation,” said Doherty.

“When a police officer pulls you over, you have the opportunity to talk to the officer to explain why a ticket should not be issued or to make notes to challenge a ticket while the situation is still fresh in your mind.

You don’t have those options with a camera.

Who really remembers the exact details of one specific instance of passing through an intersection when an automatically generated ticket arrives in the mail 90 days later?”

Additionally, the Senator posted an online petition to end the program entirely.

Do you agree with the Governor’s position on red light cameras?