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Controversial Red-Light Cameras Come to Bergen County

A traffic cop who never sleeps, never takes a break, never goes home and never takes his unblinking eye off of the vehicles stopping and going. That's who's coming to Bergen County.

You might know this traffic cop better as a red-light camera, the controversial traffic control device designed to help cities issue traffic tickets. One is about to be set up at an intersection on Palisades Park's Broad Avenue.

Northjersey.com reports that another red-light camera will go up early next year at the intersection of Bergen Boulevard and E. Edsall Boulevard.

According to research cited by northjersey.com, approximately 850 people are killed and another 17,000 are injured annually at red-light camera intersections across the country.

Critics of the devices claim they encourage drivers to accelerate if they anticipate a light turning yellow so they can hurry through an intersection without triggering the digital camera.

The device's cameras capture images of license plates of vehicles entering or in intersections after a red light has been signaled. The owners of the vehicles then receive a traffic ticket in the mail, with instructions on how to pay the fine.

A Palisades patrolman interviewed for the northjersey.com article estimates he'll spend half of his day reviewing images from the Broad Avenue light. The police department estimates that 90 drivers violate the red light law every four hours at that spot.

Palisades Park will only issue tickets to those who have all four wheels across the stop lines painted on the streets when the light is red.

The city expects to reap $100,000 to $150,000 from its newest member of its police force.

New Jersey has approved a total of 54 red-light cameras in 25 cities.

Source: northjersey.com: "Road Warrior: Red light cameras coming to Bergen": November 12, 2010

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