If NJ red light camera program ended, then why was this one still up?
Red-light cameras have recently become a topic in New Jersey once again. Not over the red-light pilot program that ended in 2014, but over how other states issue tickets for their red-light program.
This part of the story is good news as it protects New Jersey drivers. So before we dive into this camera that didn't seem to want to leave our borders, let's first talk about what's happening with red-light cameras outside our borders.
Earlier in June, New Jersey's elected officials introduced a bill that's designed to protect drivers that are ticketed by a red-light camera outside our state. Essentially, this bill would prevent New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission from sharing driver information when it comes to these types of summonses (You can read more about this courtesy of nj.com).
So that's the good news. New Jersey wants to protect us from being ticketed by red-light cameras currently operating in other states. Nowhere is it mentioned that New Jersey is looking to bring back its former red-light camera program.
As a matter of fact, a bill such as this one makes it appear that Garden State wants nothing to do with this type of enforcement on our roadways. But if that's the case, then how come one of New Jersey's red-light cameras remained for so long?
Located at the intersection of Route 1 and Plainfield Avenue in Edison, NJ, this red light camera didn't appear to be going anywhere. You might've noticed it before when passing by this area.
This is a route I regularly travel once a week, and thus, regularly go through this intersection. I never really paid much attention to this in the past, but with talks now happening geared toward protecting us from red-light cameras outside our state, it got me taking notice of this one.
I'm sure other drivers have thought the same thing and wondered why those still remained. And I highly doubt New Jersey drivers were very happy to see them.
Now to be clear, I wasn't personally sure if the cameras were still active. Since I typically travel through this spot very early in the morning, I usually pass by this intersection when traffic is on the light side. And I haven't gone through a yellow light at a point that would trigger the cameras to go off.
However, it doesn't matter if they're active or not. Just the sight of them probably brought anxiety to many drivers who might've feared receiving a ticket in the mail.
And since Route 1 is a regular trucking route, let's not forget about vehicles with heavier loads. That very situation could force them to go through the intersection on the backside of the yellow light, which could also increase the odds of a ticket if the cameras were active. Again, just the very presence of them is enough to get drivers nervous.
With all that said, we needed to get some answers on this. And I'm very happy to report that not only did we get clarification on this, but action has already been taken to correct the problem.
According to Edison Deputy Police Chief Bob Dudash, "The red light camera project in NJ was disbanded several years ago. The camera at Rte 1S and Plainfield Ave was inadvertently never removed after the program ended. NJDOT has already been contacted to work on removal."
Not long after that, we received a response from the NJDOT stating, "The equipment on Route 1 at Prince Avenue and Route 1 and Plainfield Avenue in Edison was not operational, and NJDOT removed the equipment on June 27."
So there you go. Although the pilot program ended back in 2014, this particular camera for some reason was overlooked. And thanks to this being brought to the attention of the NJDOT and the Edison police, these cameras are no longer present to give drivers any more anxiety.
So if you were one of those drivers who always wondered about this at the intersection of Route 1 and Plainfield Ave, rest assured there's no risk of you receiving a ticket.
That does also bring up another point. Should we be concerned if we notice other cameras set up on New Jersey's roadways?
The short answer to this is no. As stated above, the red light program ended in 2014 and hasn't been renewed to continue operating. Also, any camera you might see might be nothing more than a sensor at intersections, or a camera monitoring traffic.
We may never know the true reason this particular red light camera was left up, but it doesn't change the fact that we shouldn't be careless on the roads. As long as we drive safely, we shouldn't have any issues.
And speaking of the removal of these cameras, here's what it looked like as of July 2 where one of them once stood. This is just before Plainfield Ave on the southbound side of Route 1.
That orange cone is where this particular camera once stood. In fact, that's what it looks like where all those cameras once stood around the intersection.
So no more worries if the thought of driving through this area got you anxious. Those cameras are officially gone.