Red-light camera computer glitch good news for N.J. drivers

Officials in New Jersey towns with red-light cameras are hoping they won’t be losing revenue because of a technical glitch that’s resulted in local courts dismissing more than 17,000 violations.

American Traffic Solutions, which operates the camera systems, failed to send out violation notices within the required 90-day limit due to a computer problem.

One of the red light cameras is in Lawrence Township at the intersection of Route 1 and Bakers Basin Road. Township Manager Richard Krawczun said he isn’t expecting problem will cost the town.

“We were told by a representative of ATS that we will be made whole for any lost revenue due to the dismissal of some citations,” Krawczun said.

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An ATS spokesman says the company will work with its municipal customers to remedy any negative financial impacts.

At least for Krawczun, that’s not a major concern.

“I do find it frustrating that this has detracted from what could be a very good program,” he said. “The safety of the program is equally important, if not more important, than the revenue.”

Opponents, including state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, have criticized the camera program as nothing more than a money-making scheme.

The technical glitch is the latest example why the program should not be renewed when it expires in December.

“It’s good news to the folks that would have been receiving these tickets. It’s bad news though for the integrity of the program,” said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. “If they can make a mistake like this, who’s to say that any of these systems are accurate or treat people fairly.”

When the pilot program ends, there’s no indication whether it will be renewed.

The ATS computer problems occurred between May 28 and June 30. If a ticket hasn’t been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed, according to New Jersey law.

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