Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Drivers caught on camera running red lights at Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City over the past year were issued 20,000 traffic tickets and shelled out $1.7 million in fines, county records show.
After paying fees to the state and to the private company that monitors the cameras at the profitable intersection, the City of Jersey City pocketed $658,765 while the county collected $354,553, the records show.
The records reveal fines issued May 2011 to April 2012.
“The primary purpose of the cameras is to slow up traffic and to ensure that drivers abide by traffic signals enhancing the safety of the driving public,” Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said in a statement.
“A secondary and incidental benefit of the red-light cameras is certainly the funds they generate for the municipalities in which they are placed, many of which have seen drastic budget cuts and reduced revenues.”
Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said that based on $979,348 collected so far this year from cameras installed at eight intersections in Jersey City under a state Department of Transportation pilot program, the city expects to collect $3 million in fines this year, of which the city will net roughly $1 million.
A small share of every ticket goes to the state and to pay American Traffic Solutions for monitoring the cameras, Morrill said, noting the city plans to install red-light cameras at six more intersections.
Gary Biller, president of National Motorists Association, an advocacy group for motorists, believes the decision by municipalities to install red-light cameras is driven by the devices’ lucrative payoff.
“The fact that one camera made $1.7 million over one year and the city is adding more cameras shows that it is clearly about increasing revenue,” Biller said. “If the aim is to improve traffic safety there is no need for the cameras.”
Biller argues that other measures, such as increasing the amount of time a light remains yellow and improving the visibility of the lights have proven “time and time again” to reduce traffic-ticket violations and make instersections safer.
Hudson County and the City of Jersey City share the income generated by red-light cameras installed at four intersections along Kennedy Boulevard, which is a county road.
“The ones (red-light cameras that) I know that have been installed enhance safety in area as well as generate revenue,” said Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea.CAM LOCATIONS

Jersey City has 24 red-light cameras at these eight intersections. Another 14 cameras are slated to be installed at six more intersections in Jersey City soon, but officials have not said where.
Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue
Kennedy Boulevard and Route 139/Hoboken Avenue
Jersey Avenue and 18th Street
Montgomery and Merseles streets
Newark and Tonnelle avenues
Sip Avenue and Routes 1 & 9/440
Duncan Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard
Montgomery Street and Kennedy Boulevard.

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