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Pohatcong Twp. mayor ready to pull the plug on red light cameras

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 01 2014 05:00:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 01 2014 06:25:23 PM CDT

They may be money-makers, but are red light cameras really making streets safer?

POHATCONG TWP., Pa. -

They may be money-makers, but are red light cameras really making streets safer?

One mayor in Warren County, New Jersey says no.

Pohatcong Township Mayor James Kern says he doesn't feel the cameras are making a difference.

Some people are not fans of red light cameras in New Jersey.

"They call them the scamras you know," said Gail Garabo, as she finished grocery shopping.

Garabo has been ticketed twice by the same red light camera at Routes 519 and 22 in Pohatcong Township, Warren county.

"They're more of a danger than anything else," added Garabo. "Because people have slammed on their brakes in front of me to stop because they are so worried about getting a ticket."

"There are some people that genuinely relive they work," said Kern. "And there are some people that don't genuinely believe they work and they're are some people who avoid Pohatcong all together because of the cameras."

Kern says he will not be extending the municipality's contract with the company that runs the program, American Traffic Solutions.

New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty, and New Jersey State Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon also want to put the brakes on the program.

"A lot of the parties that are talking about how great this program is, they're actually making a lot of money off of this," said Doherty.

They say changing intersection markings would be as effective.

A report by the New Jersey Department of Transportation says the cameras are working, but more data needs to be collected before making a final recommendation.

American Traffic Solutions released a statement that says, in part: "Red-light safety cameras were deployed to change driver behavior and that's exactly what they've done. We look forward to continuing to work with the township through August of 2018 when the current contract expires."

Some are hoping the contract expires sooner than that.

"Who would like them?" said Garabo. "They're just one more thing to think about when you are trying focus on the road."

The pilot program study ends on December 16, 2014, unless New Jersey lawmakers decide to extend the study.