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Red Light Cameras Are Not For Safety

Traffic Light
Flickr user: foto footprints

If you think red light cameras are about public safety, consider the latest numbers coming out of Jersey City. At just one intersection, Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue, red light cameras generated $1,700,000.00 in one year. Jersey City got to keep $658,765.00 of that money. The county got $354,553.00. Presumably, the rest went to the pockets of the private company contracted to run the system. This money was generated from 20,000 tickets issued at that one intersection.

If an intersection clearly marked as being red light photo enforced can generate 20,000 violations, is that not an indication the program doesn’t stop people from going through red lights? Officials there are touting what an amazing success this is. So, officials in Jersey City are proud that 20,000 people are blowing through the red lights at Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue? They call that successful? The only logical criterion to determine this project a success would be it generating very little money, because that would equate very few red light violations. That’s not what’s happening here.

Check out what Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy has to say:

“The primary purpose of the cameras is to slow up traffic and to ensure that drivers abide by traffic signals enhancing the safety of the driving public.”

Clearly the primary purpose of the cameras then has been a miserable failure.

Healy goes on:

“A secondary and incidental benefit of the red-light cameras is certainly the funds they generate for the municipalities in which they are placed, many of which have seen drastic budget cuts and reduced revenues.”

Let’s reverse the primary and secondary and there you have something closer to the truth.

On the show recently, we had State Senator Michael Doherty, Republican from the 23rd district, come on and talk about his legislation to ban these cameras once and for all.

On our airwaves, Doherty said,

“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 revenue generated by the cameras through tickets and fines.”

Hallelujah. Someone finally speaking the truth. His legislation would ban any more town from implementing these cameras under the current ‘pilot program’ period. And the towns that already have them would be banned from renewing agreements with any of the red light camera contractors once those contracts run out.

If you’d like to support his legislation and get rid of red light cameras, you can sign his online petition by clicking here.

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