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Red Light Cameras Attract More Opposition [AUDIO]

Just weeks after Brick pulled the plug on its red light cameras, the mayor of Pohatcong announced his town would stop participating in the pilot program if the state decides to extend it later this year. According to the state legislature’s most vocal critic of the controversial program, this could be a sign of more opposition in the future.

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Asm. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Red Bank) cited discussions with other mayors interested in denouncing the cameras.

Asm. Declan O'Scanlon
Asm. Declan O’Scanlon speaks in Pohatcong, where Mayor James Kern announced he will not continue to participate in the red light camera pilot program once the town’s contract expires. (Townsquare Media)

“We hope that they’ll move forward, just like the first two mayors did,” O’Scanlon said Tuesday.

Pohatcong Mayor James Kern suggested “the numbers don’t lie,” and the cameras at the intersection of Routes 22 and 519 have not improved driving safety.

Statistics shared by O’Scanlon found that the number of right-angle crashes, which the cameras were specifically designed to reduce, jumped from two before installment of the cameras, to six in 2013.

At a Feb. 6 press conference, the mayor of Brick indicated a review of the camera program showed no solid evidence of increased motorist safety.

The state’s pilot program originally included participation by 25 municipalities, and the five-year trial period is set to expire on Dec. 16. A study from state transportation officials reported fewer crashes at camera-equipped intersections, but O’Scanlon was quick to point out a flaw in the reporting — overall accidents actually fell by a greater amount at intersections without cameras.

“It is hard to begin to address the many flaws in the methodology and conclusions in this program and in this report,” O’Scanlon said in a press release. “It contains more pseudo-science garbage than I have seen in a long time.”

American Traffic Solutions, vendor of Pohatcong’s recording equipment, said the cameras were deployed to change driving behavior and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

Pohatcong residents voted in November 2012 to keep the cameras rolling once the contract ended.

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