Traffic Light CamerasTuesday, May 1, 2012
We support the use of traffic light cameras for the purpose of reducing automobile accidents and the injuries they inflict.
In 2008, New Jersey signed into law a red-light safety camera pilot program, which allows 25 towns across our state to operate cameras. The first cameras were activated in December of 2009, and we can already see a significant improvement in safety.
2010, the first full year that the cameras were in operation, saw a 45% decrease in the total number of crashes at intersections with cameras installed. Crashes at all intersections across the state fell by only 2% that same year. You could argue that the cameras help to condition people to drive safer as they become more aware of the dangers of running red lights, and that would probably be correct; but it is undeniable that the cameras are an incredibly effective deterrent to dangerous driving at the intersections where they are installed.
We should keep the red-light safety camera program in place because it is clearly working. In fact, New Jersey would do well to expand the program and make it permanently available at dangerous locations.
The American Automobile Association estimates that each auto accident involving an injury costs the local community $126,000 per crash. At that cost, the 8,622 injury crashes at signalized intersections in 2010 in New Jersey will cost the state almost $1.1 billion. Thankfully, our state let communities begin using red-light safety cameras at the end of 2009. Already, we can see the cameras have cut down the number of accidents and their costs.
The number of crashes went down at intersections with red-light cameras by 45% in 2010, the first full year that they were operational under the program signed into law in 2008.
Red-light cameras are making our roads safer, cutting back on accidents and saving our communities money. This pilot program is making a positive difference, and – given the opportunity -- it’s one that will continue to benefit New Jersey. For now, the law allows 25 communities to install red-light cameras for the duration of the pilot program. But given the progress we’ve seen so far, serious consideration needs to be given to turning
the pilot program into a permanent option for our townships and to making it available to more communities.
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