NJ Assemblyman Questioning Use Of Red Light Cameras After Footage Of Crashes Posted On YouTube
ENGLEWOOD, NJ (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey state assemblyman is raising questions about the effectiveness of red light cameras after one of the nation's largest distributors of those cameras released video showing drivers running red lights throughout the Garden State in 2011.
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American Traffic Solutions posted the video on YouTube. In several cases, drivers can be seen going through red lights and then slamming on their brakes to avoid a collision with another car. In other cases, cars do collide and wreck in the intersection.
Watch the YouTube video below:
The company says the videos shows the dangers of running red lights, but Monmouth County assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon calls them reverse ATM's that simply take money from drivers.
He says the drivers were not aware they are going through a red light and says fines won't stop that.
Many drivers seem to agree. Bill, a driver in Englewood, says red light cameras are useless.
"It's just a way to steal from residents of northern New Jersey," he said. "I don't think a lot of people go through red lights, they stop at red lights. Accidents happen every day, but I don't think they're really attributed to people running red lights."
But John from Teaneck says he thinks the cameras should stay in place because drivers don't pay attention.
"You can't have a cop on every corner, so it makes sense to have them there," he said. "No one is regarding the speed limit or red lights a lot of the time, so as long as they check them, I think they work."
American Traffic Solutions says the intersections involved were designated as dangerous by Department of Transportation officials, adding that the goal is to reinforce the need for drivers to slow down and stop.
A survey conducted earlier this year in the Garden State by The National Coalition for Safer Roads found that 77 percent of registered voters favor red light cameras.
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said the cameras change their driving behavior.
The intersections profiled in the video were in East Brunswick, Linden, Union Township, Jersey City, Pohatcong, Monroe Township, Deptford Township and Rahway.
There are currently red light cameras installed in 25 New Jersey cities.
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