POLL: Would Traffic Cameras Make You Feel Safer on Route 22?
Green Brook is eyeing two intersections for the cameras—do you think it's a good idea?
Since the announcement that Green Brook Township was discussing the potential of adding red-light cameras on two Route 22 intersections, the concept has been getting lots of attention.
Under the program, a contractor would install the cameras, collecting a percentage of the money the township would receive from drivers caught running red lights by the cameras.
But in June, the New Jersey Department of Transportation put the program helping communities interested in installing the cameras on hiatus while concerns over the timing of the lights were investigated. The issue came to light when a video taken in Brick Township seemed to show mistimed amber lights, and when studies in other states found irregularities in the lights' timing, which is set by federal law.
The DOT announced last week its study determined lights in the state were all properly functioning.
American Traffic Solutions, the company conducting the study to determine which intersections in Green Brook might warrant installation of the cameras—and which will install any cameras approved by the township—said the study found what the company expected.
"Overall, New Jersey’s red-light safety camera programs have been an overwhelming success," a company press release noted. "Violations, side impact collisions, injuries and fatalities as a result of red-light running continue to fall. The decision to recertify the cameras will ensure that these important safety programs will continue.
"It’s our hope that the Commissioner will now take steps to give approval to the dozens of cities and towns currently seeking authority to launch red-light safety camera programs of their own," the statement concluded.
Although the statement noted fatalities from collisions from running red lights has falling, the National Coalition for Safer Roads noted such fatalities has been increasing in New Jersey during the last few years.
The coalition noted in a press release that "New Jersey has seen a rise of 87.5 percent in fatal traffic accidents involving a red-light runner from 2008 to 2010. In the (May) alone, three fatalities resulted from a reckless driver running a red light in Freehold Township, East Brunswick and Pohatcong.
“There is a major problem on New Jersey’s roadways and it needs to be addressed,” said David Kelly, President and Executive Director of the National Coalition for Safer Roads. “The solution starts with tackling the root of the problem–driver behavior. Safety cameras do just that by making drivers more aware on the roadway as they approach intersections where many fatal crashes occur.”
But AAA notes many people are becoming skeptical that the lights are intended to increase safety and not aimed at increasing revenue from fines—Stephen Rajczyk, Governement Services manager for AAA North Jersey, recently noted the program has the lowest public support in surveys.
"However, while support has steadily diminished, a majority of those surveyed, 61 percent, believed that the cameras can help ensure that New Jersey roads are safer, with 35 percent believing that the main purpose of the program is to generate revenue for municipalities rather than traffic safety," he said.
So what do you think? Are the cameras aimed at safety or money for the municipality? Should Green Brook move forward with the cameras if the company's study recommends it?
Take our poll, then add your thoughts in the comments box below.