O’Scanlon: Red Light Cameras Sacrifice Safety For Revenue
In a scathing indictment of Red Light Camera (RLC) operators and the New Jersey municipalities that deploy the devices, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today revealed what he described as “irrefutable evidence” that yellow light times at many New Jersey intersections do not meet the standards required by law, causing thousands of motorist to be hit with millions of dollars in unlawful fines.
Backed up by Barnet Fagel, a traffic expert with the National Motorists Association and Attorney Joseph Santoli who discovered in a New York case that RCL companies were shaving yellow light times in order to entrap drivers into being caught on camera running a red, O’Scanlon said that shortened yellow lights cause more accidents and that “safety is being sacrificed” for municipal and RCL company’s revenue.
Yellow lights are required to have either 3 or 4 second intervals, depending on the level of traffic and speed at the intersections. Fagel conducted a study this weekend of 12 of the approximately 80 New Jersey RCL intersections. All but “one or two” were found to have yellow lights that were between 1/10 and almost 3/10 of a second too short. Fagel presented the video evidence of his finding.
The most egregious of Fagel’s findings was in Jersey City at the intersection of Rt.1-9 and Sip Ave, a 4 second yellow light location. Fagel’s video showed that the yellow light lasted only 3.753 seconds.
O’Scanlon said that 80% of all RCL infractions occur during the first second of the red light. By shaving 1/10-3/10 of a second off the yellow lights, roughly 30% of the RCL generated tickets are unlawful.