Poll shows New Jerseyans split on red light cameras
"Forty-four percent approve of the red light cameras. Thirty-eight percent disapprove and another 18 percent have no opinion," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
New Jerseyans also remain split on whether the program, which is set to expire on Dec. 16, should be renewed.
"Thirty-nine percent say that the program should just be shutdown entirely when it expires this year, but another 32 percent say that it should be expanded to all towns in the state and 26 percent say it should be continued as a limited pilot program," Murray said.
However, New Jerseyans do agree that the red light cameras have more to do with revenue than with safety.
"One area where New Jerseyans are agreed is about why towns are using the cameras. Sixty-percent say it's to help fill the town coffers versus just 27 percent who say it's primarily about improving road safety," Murray said.
When the red light camera program was first implemented supporters said it was to make the state's dangerous intersections safer and to improve driving habits. The poll found behavior behind the wheel hasn't always gotten better.
"Even among those who have gotten a ticket because of a red light infraction caught on tape, a majority of 57 percent say they still drive the same way that they used to versus 42 percent who say it has made them at least somewhat safer," Murray said.
The vast majority of residents have seen a red light camera, and about one in seven said they have gotten a ticket. While most were driving their own vehicle, that's not the case for all. The poll found that 59 percent of New Jerseyans say that it is unfair that the car owner is ticketed regardless of whether they were driving or not.