If you've commuted in New Jersey you know traffic. Today was no different than most days...same stuff, different roads.

Today's traffic nightmare included a ten mile back up on Route 287 South. We can talk all day about infrastructure, the need for better mass transit, etc. But what really was bothersome beyond the outrageous back up was the fact that the Department of Transportation turned off the roadway cameras.

For the past several months according to our Traffic guru, Bob Williams, anytime there's an accident on the road causing delays the cameras installed to monitor traffic go dark.  Why?

I'd understand if you want to respect victims in a crash, especially if there's a fatality.  But the cameras are able to move and adjust the framing of the area. So why turn them off when it's so critical for drivers caught in back ups miles before the event to understand why they're in the mess they're in? Drivers who are informed can make better decisions.  Don;t finish the large coffee you just picked up for example. Bail off at the next exit and make your way through the back roads. Or just a simple call to the boss or the day care to explain the situation. You already know you're in traffic.

The cameras provide a visual context for traffic reporters to inform listeners if what is going on and estimated times for recovery on the road. Turning the off helps no one. What's worse is the commuters are paying for the camera through their tax dollars. Richard T. Hammer is head of the DOT in New Jersey.

We called Hammer out this morning during the broadcast with no response. The camera did go back on shortly after we got off the air. Too little too late. It's time for government to work harder at helping people and providing those that report information to the public to be armed with the right information so the public can be aware and informed.


Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.

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