Red Light Camera Suspension Explained
Governor Christie has temporarily suspended the red light traffic program, while awaiting independent certification, for 63 of the 85 cameras that are part of the pilot program. Jim Gearhart spoke with the head of the NJ chapter coordinator for the National Motorists Association, Steve Carellas. You can hear that interview here. Steve Carellas followed up with an email to fully explain the suspension process:
I've been listening since our conversation and want to reiterate what I said about getting RLC tickets being dismissed. And, I want to clarify what is supposed to happen starting today.
To the latter point, the cameras at the impacted intersections will continue to run and register violations but those violations won't be sent to motorists immediately. If the yellow light timing is found to be below the minimum requirement, those registered violations will not be mailed to motorists. If the minimum requirement is met, they will. Since NJDOT gave an August 1 date to get this done, that is within the 90 days allowed for a ticket to be delivered after the violation is determined.
For any motorist that has an RLC ticket from an impacted intersection prior to today that has not been adjudicated (i.e., it hasn't been paid yet), they can plead not guilty by calling the court (per the instructions on the RLC ticket) and when they get their court date can talk to the prosecutor and request a dismissal. The basis for the dismissal is that the state doesn't have the proof that the yellow light was timed according to the RLC pilot program statute. The fact that NJDOT suspended operation means there isn't proof that this element of the law is being met. It doesn't matter that the yellow timing may prove to be correct in coming weeks. There is no proof of it meeting the law as of the date the person received the ticket. That's how this works.
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) introduced legislation to ban red light cameras. He called Jim Gearhart to weigh-in on the discussion. Listen to the interview below: