In many municipalities in New Jersey, gone are the days when getting a ticket for sailing through a red light involved actual interaction with real-life police officers. This change was ushered in by the installation of red light cameras in cities and towns across the state, which was accompanied by promises of a major increase in revenue for municipalities and an improved capacity to identify drivers involved in accidents. As cameras were mounted above many intersections, law enforcement officials anticipated a new era of efficiency and safety.
Do red light cameras work?
Much to the chagrin of municipalities that spent millions of dollars installing the technology and who continue to spend on near-constant monitoring and maintenance, the cameras have not always paid off. While certain cities, such as Brick, have enjoyed big paydays from their red light cameras, the costs of cameras in other places are so great that removal is actually being considered as a cost-trimming measure.
What other problems have accompanied red light cameras?
Recently, red light cameras have been increasingly linked to lawsuits and scandals, such as the $4.2 million settlement reached to compensate New Jersey drivers who were wrongfully ticketed. Municipalities and the camera operator were compelled to settle, apparently because of evidence that they failed to comply with the pilot program’s requirements or to regularly inspect cameras, which led to timing problems that caused drivers to be erroneously ticketed. According to State Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, some cameras are illegally ticketing people 30 percent of the time, which he says amounts to nothing less than theft from innocent people.
Can I fight a red light camera ticket?
Red light camera tickets can be fought on a number of fronts:
Contesting the accuracy or proper functioning of the camera and system or a photo’s clarity to establish the identity of the driver
Objecting to the admission of the photos into evidence without an employee of the camera operator present to authenticate the evidence
Arguing that necessity forced a driver to run the red light based on circumstances such as avoiding an accident
One of the biggest advantages any driver in New Jersey can have in fighting traffic violations is the assistance of the seasoned legal team.