New Jersey red-light cameras going dark

 A truck passes a photo enforcement sign that is placed below a red-light camera at the intersection of Route 1 and Franklin Corner Road Tuesday in Lawrence. By midnight, Tuesday, cameras that have recorded hundreds of thousands of red-light violations in two dozen towns are scheduled to go dark as the much-scrutinized pilot program comes to an end after five years filled with controversy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

A truck passes a photo enforcement sign that is placed below a red-light camera at the intersection of Route 1 and Franklin Corner Road Tuesday in Lawrence. By midnight, Tuesday, cameras that have recorded hundreds of thousands of red-light violations in two dozen towns are scheduled to go dark as the much-scrutinized pilot program comes to an end after five years filled with controversy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

The five-year pilot program that launched red-light cameras at busy intersections in 24 New Jersey towns ends at midnight Tuesday.

 A spokesman for American Traffic Solutions, which installed most of the cameras, said the company hopes proposed legislation to renew the program will be approved.

“We’re very hopeful, as are our customers, that the public safety effort that has gone over the last three years of the program will be continued in the very near future,” said Charles Territo.

But opponents contend the red-light cameras amounted to nothing more than a money-making scheme for the towns where they are located rather than a safety enhancement.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, who has often and vigorously spoken out against the program, is not counting on it continuing.

“We have a good core group of Republicans and Democrats who realize this equipment is a scam,” he said Tuesday. “So I don’t think the prospects of new legislation are very high, but you never know.”

The inactive camera equipment will stay up for now in towns that don’t order it removed.

Ending the pilot program is an early Christmas present for New Jersey motorists, said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth.

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