Red-light cameras cleared in New Jersey

July 25, 2012 3:32:08 PM PDT
All 63 intersections in New Jersey where red-light cameras came under scrutiny last month for alleged timing problems have been cleared, the state's transportation department said Wednesday.

The ruling means towns can resume handing out summonses to motorists, including those who committed violations during the retesting period. The pilot program had been suspended in 21 towns on June 19 after New Jersey's Department of Transportation said yellow lights at those intersections may have been calibrated in a way that didn't allow drivers enough time to brake safely.

The department announced that all the towns had submitted recertification documentation that the lights were timed in accordance with the state legislation that established the program in 2008.

"Each affected municipality has conducted the requested traffic analysis and provided their re-certifications to NJDOT via a professionally licensed municipal engineer," the DOT said in a statement. "In each case, the results have confirmed that the duration of a yellow light at the authorized intersection meets the minimum duration as required by the legislation."

The Transportation Department said it has informed towns affected by the suspension that they can resume issuing summonses, including for violations committed since the program was suspended.

That has drawn criticism from opponents of the program.

"Any ticket before the certification that the light, at that time, met the requirements of the law, how does that hold up?" Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon said Wednesday. "I don't know. That's an issue that's going to have to be dealt with."

The red-light cameras have been responsible for the towns' issuing millions of dollars in tickets, from smaller ones such as Monroe Township in southern New Jersey that have cameras at one intersection, to Newark, the state's largest city, which has cameras at 19 intersections.

Local officials have said the cameras have been effective at reducing accidents; Newark's traffic director said last month that accidents had fallen 74 percent at a busy downtown intersection where the first red-light camera in the state was installed in 2009.

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