As red-light camera experiment nears end in N.J., no decision on extension

As the controversial pilot program allowing 24 New Jersey towns to use red-light cameras nears expiration in December, there is a large difference of opinion on whether it should continue.

 

The state League of Municipalities is urging the governor and the Legislature to renew it.

Bill Dressel, executive director of the league, asked lawmakers to heed evidence that the red-light cameras enhance public safety as “a supplemental policing tool for municipalities.”

“I think it’s an effective deterrent in reducing crashes and an effective safety program that changes driver behavior,” he said Tuesday.

But Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, an outspoken critic of the program, said the red-light camera setups are just a way for towns get more money.

“Balance your budget with legitimate revenues not with ill-gotten gains that you’re stealing from motorists who are behaving reasonably,” said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth.

No lawmaker has introduced legislation to extend the program, and that’s heartened O’Scanlon.

“Even though the camera companies are spending massive amounts of money lobbying, people are seeing through it. Nobody is buying it, and I think the little guy might win this one and the program will end Dec. 16,” he said. “Merry Christmas to all.”

Gov. Chris Christie has said he’s not inclined to continue the program.

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