When it comes to
traffic violations in New Jersey and throughout the country, red light cameras tend to ignite heavy debate
among the public. Proponents of red light cameras passionately argue that
the devices create more careful drivers and, therefore, safer roads.
But despite the seemingly good intentions of the cameras that are used
to catch drivers allegedly running a red light, critics of the tools suspect
that they are primarily tools for making money for their city. Also, there
are debates regarding the accuracy and fairness of red light cameras.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was an earlier supporter of the controversial
law enforcement cameras. Uproar among his constituents, however, has changed
his tune somewhat. There is no apparent plan to rid the state of red light
cameras, but there is reportedly proposed legislation that would alter
important details of the program:
- Tickets would cost less, $20.
- Drivers would be given more of a chance to avoid a ticket due to the duration
of yellow lights being lengthened.
- Drivers would be granted a grace period of half of a second once a light
has turned red during which they wouldn't be ticketed for running
Timing of yellow lights has prompted complaints among the New Jersey public
in the past. There is a certain statutory equation involving light time
and speed of traffic that must be met in order for related traffic tickets
to be legal. As a result of this legal debate, the red light program was
temporarily suspended this past summer and class action lawsuits were filed.
Even if the proposed changes are put into law, it is likely that red light
cameras will continue to be challenged in this state and others. At the
heart of many people's argument is that they should be able to face
their accuser when they are essentially charged with a crime. A camera
doesn't have the judgment that a human does and, some argue, puts
people at risk of false accusations.
Source: thenewspaper.com, "New Jersey Governor Reverses Course on Red Light Cameras," Oct. 2, 2012