Following comments by Lawrence Police Chief Daniel Posluszny that there are more accidents at a township intersection following the installation of a red light camera ticketing system, New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that evidence continues to grow that red light cameras do not achieve their stated goal of making dangerous intersections safer.
“I commend Chief Posluszny for publicly acknowledging that Lawrence Township has not experienced the safety benefits that his town was promised by red light camera vendors,” said Doherty. “His statements are backed by data from NJDOT which shows that red light cameras lead to more accidents, more injuries and greater cost.”
According to The Times of Trenton, Chief Posluszny told a council meeting, “The numbers have gone up on rear-end accidents and it’s a concern. It’s [the red light camera system] there to improve safety and in the first year the accidents have increased.”
Posluszny further asked, “Are we causing more of a public safety issue?”
The chief’s statements echoed data included in a report issued in November 2012 by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The report, completed as an annual requirement of the state’s five-year red light camera pilot program, contains data showing that the total number of accidents, the total number of accidents resulting in injuries, and the total cost of accidents all increased at intersections after red light cameras were 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.”
The Times article noted that in its first year of operation, starting in November 2011, the red light camera at the intersection of Brunswick Pike and Franklin Corner/Bakers Basin Rd. in Lawrence generated $659,227 from 8,848 tickets issued for violations.
“It’s become increasingly clear that local officials are more interested in ticket revenues than in the unintended consequences associated with red light cameras,” said Doherty. “That’s why I am introducing legislation that will take away the municipal share of red light camera ticket revenues, eliminating the financial incentive for towns to install cameras that make our roads more dangerous.”
Doherty maintains an online petition to ban the use of red light cameras in New Jersey on his website at http://senatenj.com/cameras. To date, the petition has been signed more than 6,500 times.