Red-light camera program ending despite fewer accidents

Some municipal leaders want state lawmakers to extend program

New Jersey's controversial red-light camera program will come to an end Dec. 16, according to CBS Philadelphia. While critics have accused the program of being little more than a cash grab for municipalities, advocates cite evidence showing substantial decreases in car accidents at intersections where the cameras were installed. Some municipal leaders who support the program say they will fight to keep the cameras at intersections in their communities.

Program ends

The red-light cameras were installed at 73 intersections in 24 municipalities throughout the state as part of a pilot program. That program comes to an end on Dec. 16 when the cameras will be shut off and will no longer be used to issue citations to people who run red lights.

Leaders of Union, Linden and Springfield have lobbied for the cameras to remain operating, which would require legislation to be passed by state lawmakers, according to NJ Advance Media. While they concede that the program has brought in extra revenue for the municipalities, they say the real value of the cameras are safer intersections.

Fewer accidents

Those leaders have plenty of statistics to back up their claims that the cameras have helped reduce accidents. Gloucester Township, for example, saw a 46 percent reduction in collisions at intersections where the cameras had been installed. Linden officials also noted that Routes 1 and 9, where most of the cameras in Linden were installed, have not seen a fatal accident since the program started.

The argument that the program has become little more than a cash cow is also partially undermined by the fact that citations have actually decreased once drivers adapted to the cameras. Springfield officials, for example, note that when the program first began they were issuing about 2,000 citations for driving through a red light every month. Today, the number of citations has fallen to approximately 600 per month. The reduction, they say, is because the cameras are encouraging motorists to drive safer.

Car accident claims

With the red-light camera program coming to an end, it is possible that some drivers will go back to engaging in some bad behaviors, like disregarding traffic signals. Any sort of negligent behavior while behind the wheel, such as drunk driving, running a red light, or talking on a cellphone, puts all other motorists at risk.

Those who have been injured by an allegedly negligent driver should get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney today. Negligent drivers should be held accountable for endangering public safety and a qualified attorney can make sure victims of those drivers get the help they need when deciding what to do following an accident.