New Jersey's experiment with so-called “red light cameras” remains an extremely controversial topic. Many local officials argue that they're a valuable public safety tool. Angry motorists believe they're designed to generate municipal revenue and little else. Some take it a step further, contending that the red light cameras themselves are a traffic hazard. According to state Senator Mike Doherty (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren), red light cameras have actually increased at New Jersey intersections monitored by red light cameras over the past year: An analysis of the twenty-four locations that have had red light camera systems operational for at least one full year found that number of right-angle crashes at those intersections decreased by 15% (60 to 51) from the year before the cameras were installed relative to their first year of operation, but the severity of crashes increased. Same direction crashes (rear-end collisions) increased during that time period by 20% (286 to 343). The total number of crashes increased from 577 to 582 (0.9% increase) and the total cost of all collisions at those twenty-four red light camera intersections increased by $1,172,800.” The analysis cited by Senator Doherty in his press release, titled “Report on Red-Light Traffic Control Signal Monitoring Systems – Second Annual Report,” was prepared by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Click here (pdf) to read the full report. We'll keep you apprised of any developments. Legislation has been introduced to ban New Jersey's red light cameras altogether. Interested parties can sign Senator Doherty's petition to terminate the red light camera program; it already has well-over 5,000 signatures. In the interim, if you or someone you know is facing traffic-related charges in a New Jersey Municipal Court, contact the attorneys at DeMichele & DeMichele today. Email us now for your confidential and free initial consultation. You can also reach us by telephone (856) 546-1350.