2012-08-01 / Front Page

NJDOT lifts suspension at red-light camera intersections

Cameras along Route 1 in Edison are reactivated

Responding to a June 19 directive from the state Department of Transportation, 21 municipalities have certified that the yellow-light timing at 63 intersections statewide where red-light cameras operate is in accordance with the formula specified in the legislation.

These include three traffic lights along Route 1 in Edison — at Plainfield Avenue, Prince Street and Wooding Avenue. When drivers cross those intersections against the red light, the car owners are subject to a fine of $85 at the Prince Street location, or $140 at the other two intersections, since they are located in the Safe Corridor Zone.

Last month, NJDOT directed 21 of the 25 municipalities participating in the redlight camera pilot program to suspend issuing summonses to motorists on the basis of video evidence provided by cameras placed at intersections. The suspension order affected 63 of the 85 authorized red-light camera intersections statewide, according to a press release.

NJDOT ordered the suspension because it had come to the attention of the department that the pilot program legislation specified a formula to determine the proper duration of the yellow light in a traffic signal that differs from the legally required, nationally accepted formula that NJDOT, counties and municipalities use when installing traffic signals.

NJDOT notified the 21 affected municipalities of the variance in the formulas and directed each to perform an analysis that conforms to the formula in the legislation, the release said. The affected cameras were not required to be turned off, but rather continued to record traffic activity.

Each affected municipality has conducted the requested traffic analysis and provided their re-certifications to NJDOT via a professionally licensed municipal engineer, the release states. 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 municipalities that were affected by the suspension have been informed that they are now permitted to continue issuing violation summonses, as well as issue violation summonses for violations that occurred during the suspension period.

If the analysis had shown that a signal did not display a yellow light long enough to meet the formula in the legislation, that intersection would have been removed from the pilot program.

The red-light camera pilot program, authorized by an act of the Legislature in 2008 and implemented beginning in 2009, aims to determine if red-light cameras promote safety by reducing the frequency and severity of crashes at intersections that have a history of motorists running red lights. NJDOT administers the pilot program but has no direct role in the issuance of violations.

A list of all intersections is available at www.state.nj.us.

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