NJ Officials: Red Light Camera Pilot Program Won’t Add Any Additional Locations

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Transportation today announced that no new locations will be added to the list of authorized red light camera intersections because there would not be sufficient time to gather useful data under the pilot program that is scheduled to end as early as December 2014.

The Department will continue to gather and analyze data from the roster of 76 authorized and operational red-light camera intersections throughout the state.

In order for information gathered from cameras to be statistically significant, a minimum of two years of data is necessary. Since the study could end as early as 20 months from now, adding new cameras at this point will not be useful in assisting in the determination of their overall worth.

NJDOT safety engineers have determined that the current level of participation will provide the Department with sufficient data to make an informed and responsible recommendation on the effectiveness of red light cameras in New Jersey.

While many municipalities have expressed interest in participating in the program and have submitted applications concerning specific intersections, none of these applications will be considered for inclusion in the program.

“I’ll take Governor Christie’s decision as further evidence that New Jersey’s red light camera pilot program is a failure,” said state Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset), a foe of the camera program. “Studies have indicated, and local officials have acknowledged, that the use of red light cameras does not improve safety.

The red light camera pilot program, authorized by an act of the Legislature in 2008 with implementation beginning in 2009, aims to determine whether red light cameras promote safety by reducing the frequency and severity of crashes at intersections that have a history of motorists running red lights. The first cameras were activated in December 2009.

The law requires NJDOT to annually provide to the Legislature a report containing crash statistics and trends for all intersections in the state where a red light camera has been operating for at least one full year. The second-year report was issued in November 2012, and it contains data showing that the total number of accidents, the total number of accidents resulting in injuries, and the total cost of accidents all increased at intersections after red light cameras were installed, according to Doherty.

NJDOT administers the pilot program but has no role in the selection of camera equipment vendors, the contracts among vendors and municipalities or the issuance of violation notices.

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