Lawmaker calls coalition’s safety warning ‘bogus’
A group called the National Coalition for Safer Roads has a warning for New Jersey drivers: as more people hit the road this summer, the risk of traffic collisions from drivers running red light will increase.
The coalition claims it's helping to save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light "safety" cameras can "improve driver behavior."
New Jersey's anti red-light camera crusader, Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth) calls the group and the warning bogus.
"The National Coalition for Safer Roads is wholly owned and controlled by the red light camera companies," he said. "They create these front organizations with official sounding names to make it appear as if there is an organic group of residents who is for red light cameras and speed cameras -- nothing could be further from the truth."
O'Scanlon is convinced after New Jersey's red light camera pilot program was discontinued at the end of last year, the red light camera companies have been looking for ways to re-gain a foothold in the Garden State.
"The messages being put forth by these companies are bogus because they are suggesting that we are all homicidal and suicidal maniacs without them to look after us, and as soon as the cameras are gone, we're all blatantly running red lights," O'Scanlon said. "it's absolute garbage."
He said it's been repeatedly proven in many towns that, where red light cameras have been removed, unless you fraudulently misrepresent the data there is no increase in accidents.
"It's just as we predicted, there will be more of this nonsense it to come, because they want to figure out a way to get their hands back in our pockets, they were stealing close to $40 million to $50 million a year when the program was up," O'Scanlon said.
According to the coalition's Twitter page, "3.7 million drivers in the United States ran a red light in 2014." A large percentage of these violations "occurred during the peak summer travel weekends of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day," the organization's website states.
O'Scanlon said red light camera companies would like to expand their coverage to virtually every intersection in New Jersey, which would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in additional profits every year.
"If we permit them back in here, you'll be ripped off. It's absolutely bogus, it's just sleazy, the whole thing, and it is completely fraudulent," the assemblyman said. "Any hint that these companies represent a real organic grassroots group of individuals here in New Jersey or anywhere is absolute garbage."