A recent news article indicates that a New Jersey township has ended its use of red-light cameras. As many know, red-light cameras have sprung up in many cities and towns throughout the state. Proponents of the cameras says that the cameras help limit accidents and make roads safer by snapping photos of drivers who run red lights at dangerous intersections. Critics of the red-light cameras argue that the cameras are only a way for local governments to generate revenue to close gaps in their municipal budgets.
Brick Township was one of the first municipalities to install red-light cameras as part of the program. The first red-light cameras went active in 2010 at the intersections of Brick Boulevard and Chambers Bridge Road and Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road. In 2012, cameras were installed and activated at the intersection of Route 70 and Brick Boulevard. Brick was one of 25 municipalities authorized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation to participate in a five-year pilot red-light camera pilot program run by the DOT. A total of 83,000 tickets were issued since 2010.
However, a review of traffic data by the Asbury Park Press found that since the first cameras were installed three years ago in the township, two of the three intersections had a marked increase in dangerous right-angle accidents. Right-angle collisions are commonly referred to as “T-bone” impacts.
For example, at the intersection of Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road, there was a four-fold increase in right angle accidents since the cameras were installed in 2010. The year before the cameras were installed, the intersection had one right-angle crash. Last year, after the cameras were installed, there were five such accidents.
Additionally, at the intersection of Brick Boulevard and Chambers Bridge Road, rear-end accidents have more than doubled, along with a 60% increase in right-angle accidents. The year before the cameras were installed, the intersection had five right-angle accidents; last year that number increased to eight.
The increase in accidents was one of the key factors township officials cited as why they would not renew the town’s contract after it ends on February 18 with American Traffic Solutions, the company that runs the red-light camera program.
A spokesman for American Traffic Solutions said that townships are continuing to express interest in the cameras despite Brick Township’s decision not to review its contract with the company. State officials have said that Brick’s decision not to renew its contract will not impact the pilot program.
What are your thoughts on the red-light camera program in New Jersey? Are they making the roads safer or more dangerous? Have you been hurt in a car accident caused by another driver? Did the other driver run a red light? If so, call Stark & Stark right away so we can help you.