Mayor Says Red Light Camera Program Should Continue

December 15, 2014

Northern New Jersey officials are calling for the continuation of cameras that snap photos and result in tickets for drivers who run red lights.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and state Sen. Richard Codey lent support to the expiring red light camera program during a news conference on Dec. 5, reported.

The officials want to keep the program because they say it reduces accidents. Baraka said the program frees up police resources so they can focus on other more serious crimes.

But detractors say the program is a scam aimed at boosting the government’s bottom line. “This is a money-grab opportunity for some towns that count on this revenue,” said Assemblywoman Alison McHose.

The Red Light Running Automated Enforcement Program saw about two dozen towns in the state install cameras, including Newark. The program is set to expire later this month after a five-year test period.

The state Legislature and Gov. Chris Christie would have to intervene with legislation to save the program.

Statistics on the program don’t lead to black-and-white conclusions. A 2013 New Jersey Department of Transportation report found right-angle crashes were down, but rear-end crashes were up. Lawmakers have said it’s unlikely the program will be renewed.