Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today enthusiastically applauded Pohatcong Township’s stance on speed cameras. Pohatcong Township Mayor James Kern believes that speed cameras would be a mistake given the problems the red-light cameras are already causing. Tonight, he is pushing for an ordinance that would prohibit the cameras for speed-enforcement use within the township.
Recently Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, suggested he would not only consider renewing the red-light camera program but expanding it to include automated speed ticketing cameras.
“Mayor Kern is sending exactly the right message,” said O’Scanlon. “We have been through the red light camera nightmare – which Pohatcong initially embraced. The Pohatcong officials found out what honest host communities invariably find – the cameras provide no safety benefit. They do enrich the companies that operate them. The red light camera program looks like it will die a merciful death in December. Extending it, or even worse expanding it and adding speed cameras, would be a huge mistake. Our taxpayers would be the losers.”
“The comments from Assemblyman Wisniewski about not only continuing the red light pilot program but expanding it to include speeding citations show a major disconnect from reality,” said Mayor James Kern. “The pilot program has showed that aside from all the errors and glitches, driver behavior is not changing. I can only imagine the problems with an automated speed ticketing program.”
In Maryland more than 10 percent of photo-enforcement tickets were issued in error, and 26 percent were deemed “questionable,” according to a Baltimore City audit. While in Philadelphia problems with the camera’s timing caused the refunding or dismissal of over 4,000 tickets. The District of Columbia found issues with inclement weather caused false positives by the camera resulting in more than 400 refunds to drivers. Most comically, in Maryland, a car was issued a speeding ticket for exceeding the limit by 13 mph. The problem? The car was parked at the time it was ticketed.
“Pohatcong, a town that initially embraced red light cameras, sending the ‘no speed camera message’ is particularly significant,” said O’Scanlon. “These folks have had first hand knowledge of the deceptive tactics employed by automated enforcement companies. If the Pohatcong folks say we shouldn’t believe them, that they blatantly misrepresent what their products do, and that other towns shouldn’t get into bed with them, then we all should listen to that message born from experience.”
“In the event this program is extended, I will make sure that Pohatcong will not have cameras issuing speeding tickets,” Mayor Kern stated. “I will be introducing an ordinance tonight to have speed cameras prohibited which should take effect by the end of September. Ultimately, our Township Council will have to approve this proposal but I am optimistic they will.”