New Jersey bill would change ticket camera rules

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, November 16, 2012

A bill in the New Jersey statehouse that addresses red-light camera use is described as a “more fair system” for motorists.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, has introduced a bill to increase yellow times at intersections outfitted with the devices by one full second. Another change would reduce the fine amount for turning right on red from $85 to $20.

Currently, running a red light and turning right on red without coming to a full stop can result in $85 fines.

Concern about the so-called “automatic ticketing machines” has spurred lawmakers to call for changes.

The push has intensified following a decision over the summer by the New Jersey Department of Transportation to suspend the doling out of tickets in about 80 percent of towns around the state that employ the money-making devices.

At the time, concerns were raised about whether the cameras at 63 of the 85 intersections statewide had adequate yellow light timing.

Despite assurances shortly thereafter from the state DOT that all yellow times are set in accordance with state law, O’Scanlon and more than a dozen other state lawmakers are pursuing changes to lessen some of the criticisms heaped on the program.

Included in the bill is a provision to give an additional one-half second leeway from automated tickets for vehicles entering an intersection once lights turn red.

O’Scanlon said the changes sought in the bill would help ensure that the ticket cameras are not viewed solely as revenue enhancers.

“If you do all of those things, you will minimize red-light running dramatically,” O’Scanlon previously told “Land Line Now.”

The bill – A3285 – is awaiting consideration in the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.

The state is in the first year of a two-year regular session so lawmakers could address the issue sometime early next year.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

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