NJ renews look at blocking traffic camera tickets from other states
TRENTON — State lawmakers are making another run at preventing New Jersey drivers from being issued tickets from red-light and speed cameras in other states.
A bill, S486, advanced Friday by the Senate Transportation Committee would prohibit the Motor Vehicle Commission and other state entities from disclosing personal information about New Jersey drivers to states seeking to impose fines through automated traffic enforcement.
New Jersey is one of 18 states and 36 cities that bans the use of photo traffic enforcement, said Steve Carrellas, director of government and public affairs for the New Jersey chapter of the National Motorists Association.
“As such, it makes sense to advance this bill to protect our state’s motorists from both the problems and abuses from out-of-state camera citations,” Carrellas said.
South Dakota has had a similar law since 2014, Carrellas said.
“While nationwide there continues to be a steady decline of photo enforcement installations, they still exist across the country and in adjacent states,” he said. “New York City and Philadelphia operations are the closest, and they’ve recently expanded. New Jersey motorists deserve the protections afforded by this bill.”
New Jersey used to allow red-light cameras at 73 intersections in 24 municipalities. The experiment began in 2008 but ended in 2014.
Sen. Nick Sacco, D-Hudson, said “people in New Jersey rejected the cameras.”
“Why should then we leave the state of New Jersey preyed upon? How do we know if the local driver in another state gets a pass and New Jersey drivers because they’re out-of-state gets a ticket?” Sacco said. “There’s so many things that are wrong with this.”
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said New Jerseyans “are victimized by this industry” when they drive in Pennsylvania or cross-country and return to tickets in their mailbox for infractions they don’t remember committing.
“We’re calling this bill the Automated Enforcement Inoculation Act, so we defend our residents against the corrupt automated enforcement camera, red-light camera and speed camera industry that has been rife with corruption everywhere it’s used,” O’Scanlon said.
A similar bill was passed by the Senate in 2016 but didn’t get through the Assembly. The bill wasn’t taken up last legislative session.
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Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.