“A Victory for NJ Motorists”
Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) issued a statement in.advance of the Statewide Red Light Camera pilot program coming to an end on December 16.
“Merry Christmas, New Jersey motorists! It is a great day for the motorists of New Jersey, now that this failed program has come to an end. Problems are rampant not just with the New Jersey program, but with the concept of automated enforcement at its core. Every single competent, credible, unbiased study done to date indicates that automated enforcement doesn’t improve safety. Even in the studies that try to suggest a safety benefit; the cost benefit analysis is a disaster for the programs,” O’Scanlon said.
“The flaws and issues with the program are myriad. To highlight just a few: the program had to be shut down two years ago for failing to provide the proper yellow light timing methodology, camera companies didn’t notify 17,000 motorists of their infractions, and in some cases drivers have been ticketed for going through a red light when a police officer was directing traffic through the intersection – so much for the supposedly infallible review process!”
O’Scanlon continued, “Here in New Jersey for instance – even if we accept the dubious claims of some tortured, marginal safety benefit the ratio of saved cost versus fines issued is on the order of 30 to 1. That’s $30 in cost for every $1 of supposed savings. That is an outrageously bad deal for New Jersey motorists. The reason why this equipment doesn’t improve safety is that the folks causing accidents at intersections aren’t homicidal maniacs choosing to barrel through an intersection – they are you and me on a bad day with a sick kid in the back or worried about work. They just don’t realize the light has changed. If the prospect of death isn’t enough to eliminate those momentary brain lapses, hundred dollar tickets aren’t going to either. The ‘driver behavior’ that the camera companies’ trumpet isn’t contributing to accidents, it is drivers avoiding the intersections entirely because of this ticketing scam or simply refusing to ever make even perfectly safe right turns on red.”
The Red Light Camera pilot program will end at 11:59PM on December 16, 2014. In the five years the cameras have been operation, there has been no demonstrable record of reducing accidents or saving lives. As of the last Department of Transportation report, the “control” intersections in pilot program without cameras, fared better in terms of safety improvements and reduced accidents than the camera intersections. This is an indication that what we are seeing at these intersections is nothing more than random natural fluctuation in accident rates – or due to forces other than cameras.
“Towns have been blinded by the huge profits taken in at these intersections – upwards of $1 million per intersection. Of course, municipalities will try to contort the data so they are allowed to keep the revenue coming in.
“Towns often point to reduced citations as proof the equipment is working, deftly avoiding any discussion of accident rates” said O’Scanlon. “Why? Because we have intersection after intersection with citation reductions – where right angle accidents are increasing. That would be impossible if what the camera proponents are telling us was true. The bottom line is that there is no consistent safety benefit.
“Reducing the number of accidents is the only metric which proves whether these systems work or not. It proves what I have said all along: this program has been about the money, not safety – and today the motorists of New Jersey have won.” O’Scanlon concluded.