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Letter to the Editor: Red Light Camera Should be Banned

Joseph John Lakatos, South Brunswick

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regard to your article, There has been controversy over the placement of several red-light cameras in South Brunswick, and some have been removed by the Department of Transportation Pilot Program. There is a lot of debate on whether or not the cameras enhance traffic safety, or cause more problems. After doing research on red-light cameras and from my own experience, I have come to the conclusion that red-light cameras should be banned from all states.

The companies putting up these cameras are clearly in it for the money. To them, it is an easy way to hand out many tickets and collect large sums of money with little effort. I believe that New Jersey should follow in the footsteps of California and Texas and force the state to remove cameras from all traffic lights.

One incident that raises a large amount of frustration towards the cameras is the issue at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Due to the vast amount of traffic after a sporting event, police officers were waving vehicles through red lights to keep the traffic moving. The camera is not capable of deciphering between vehicles who illegally run the light versus drivers who are obeying an officer’s directives. 

As a result, over 200 tickets were mailed to those who were only following the police officers instructions. The citizens that received the tickets were outraged.  The fact that many were unable to pay the steep fine only added insult to injury.

My own personal experience shows another reason why the cameras should be illegal. When heading down Finnegans Lane in North Brunswick, NJ, around 9pm, I came to a traffic light and was stuck in the middle of the intersection waiting for on-coming cars to pass. By the time the cars had passed, the light had turned yellow and I proceeded to make a left-hand turn onto RT. 1 north.

As I began my turn, an intensely bright light flashed my eyes and left me almost blinded for several moments. Being an 18 year old male, I could barely keep my eyes on the road which gives me an uneasy feeling thinking about older people or those with conditions such as epilepsy witnessing this bright flash.

In response to your article, I strongly disagree with the implementation of red-light cameras and think you should support the removal of them in New Jersey. There are enough facts that are published for all to see to realize that the cameras are potentially dangerous in many ways. It is clear that the cameras are there for those to profit off of instead of them being there to ensure better safety precautions. I do not believe that an easy way to give someone a ticket just to make a profit is worth people’s lives.

Sincerely,

Joseph John Lakatos, South Brunswick 

madre November 02, 2011 at 11:13 AM
You have clearly done some research and raise very worthy points. I urge you to keep up your efforts - voice your concerns at township meetings and make decision makers listen to you. Challenge them to do more due-diligence into the issues you have raised. They will not want to ignore a publicly-asserted issue that could wind up having them sued. Thank you for posting this letter.
rich martinez November 04, 2011 at 03:29 AM
This is clearly the wrong way of looking at issues. Youth and inexperienced drivers in our township are driving Very recklessly. Being a resident of this township for over 2 decades, i notice that drivers quality has depreciated considerably in the last 4 or 5 years. I strongly Urge the township administration to Triple or Quadruple these devices annually. Most importantly, i strongly urge the administration to abolish the green signals that allow Left-turning traffic after oncoming cars end. These left-turn signals that converge into all-green signals stimulate several accidental scenarios. These would have been ok 10 years ago, when people followed defensive driving rulrs and etiquette. But, in the present day scenario, the oncoming straight-goer rapidly accelerates as though to invite a head-on collision with the left-turn maker. Lots of times, when the left-turning pauses appropriately when he predicts imminent red signal, the folks behind this cautious driver honk most indecently. Therefore, please keep left turn signals exclusive. If the time for left-turn expires, the driver should be made to wait until next turn, instead of facing the dilemmatic situation. Particularly, please remove these systems at promenade blvd and route 1 intersection. Thanks.
Truthteller November 04, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Red light cameras need to go for a variety of reasons but mostly because research has shown they do not reduce accidents in fact there is a slight increase. Some examples would be in slippery weather. Sometimes it is safer not to slam on your brakes but rather continue through the intersection knowing the light will turn red while you are in the middle or nearing the end of the intersection. Slamming on the brakes you either get rear ended or you slide into the intersection and collide with entering traffic. A police officer can use judgement and determine that the offense is not worthy of a ticket. We are not at a point where we can replace human judgement with technology and until we are these systems should not be used.
Joe R November 04, 2011 at 04:11 PM
It's also lots of fun at some traffic light controlled intersections where right hand turns are allowed. You've got a red light, you're stopped in the right hand lane looking for an opening so you can get on the adjoining road. Then, oh, oh, a truck or large vehicle pulls up beside you on your left flank and totally blocks your view to the left, you cannot see the oncoming traffic which is going at the speed limit. That's when the yahoos behind you start honking. I ignore them or start tooting back at them. Sorry, I will not budge until I have a clear view and a safe opening to merge onto the oncoming traffic. I do not have a death wish. As for the red light traffic cameras, if actual data and research shows that they are of dubious effectiveness, then dump them.
madre November 05, 2011 at 01:09 PM
Inexperienced drivers are not only the youth. I contend that the increase in the numbers of horrendous drivers are not due to a boom in the number of 17 year olds on the road but because of middle aged new drivers. New drivers who did not grow up riding in cars, gaining road sense from their parents do extremely illogical and unexpected things behind the wheel and are therefore terrifying. I drive alot, and it's not the 17-year olds who have scared the beejeezus out of me, its the middle aged ones. My point? Inexperienced drivers are indeed more likely to have/cause accidents but we need to stop thinking about this as a 17-year-old driver problem. I would like to see all new drivers have to go thru the behind the wheel training that the young drivers have to.

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