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Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents Says Police Chief

Rear-end collisions have increased since red light cameras were installed last year says the chief of police in Lawrence whose comments have won praise from at least one legislator.

FULL COVERAGE: Red Light Cameras

Red liight camera at Route 1 and Bakers Basin in Lawrence
Red liight camera at Route 1 and Bakers Basin in Lawrence (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

Daniel Posluszny told the town’s council at a budget hearing that “the numbers have gone up on rear-end accidents and it’s a concern,”according to the Times of Trenton. “It’s there to improve safety and in the first year the accidents have increased. There is no way around it.”

Posluszny also cited the issue of right turn-on-red violations in the Mercer County community.“I’ve had discussions with several residents,” he said. “My 84-year-old aunt got a ticket, she called me up and I had to listen to her.”

Revenue Generator Vs. Safety Concerns

Red liight camera at Route 1 and Bakers Basin in Lawrence
Red liight camera at Route 1 and Bakers Basin in Lawrence (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

The camera is expected to make $360,000 from violations this year according to the Times of Trenton. In its first year ending in November, 2012 there were 8,848 tickets  issued for a total of $659,227 in fines.

Last summer concerns were raised about rear-end collisions at the camera on Route 1 at Bakers Basin Road. The number of accidents on the rest of the busy road between Trenton and Interstate 295/95 has actually decreased.

“Are we causing more of a public safety issue?” Posluszny asked. “We have to discuss that with the state.”

The town has a five-year contract with American Traffic Solutions. There is, however, a clause allowing either side to discontinue the program upon mutual agreement according to the Times of Trenton.

Support From The Senate

Senator Michael Doherty
Senator Michael Doherty. (Tim Larsen, Governor’s Office)

State Senator Micharl Doherty (R-23) in a statement praised Posluszny’s for admitting what most officials in communities with red light cameras won’t admit:accidents increase after the cameras have been installed.

“Most municipal officials refuse to acknowledge the evidence that the cameras they installed usually result in more accidents and injuries,” said Doherty. “While it’s easy for mayors and council members to be blinded by the flow of easy money into town budgets, red light camera money truly is blood money.”

Doherty says that the chief’s statements “are backed by data from NJDOT which shows that red light cameras lead to more accidents, more injuries and greater cost.”

 

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