Poll finds N.J. residents support red-light cameras

TRENTON – A new survey by the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) found that 43 percent of New Jersey’s registered voters strongly support red light cameras and 77 percent support the use of such devices at busy intersections.

Among 600 likely voters, more than half -56 percent- report they drive more carefully when they know that red light safety cameras – which take pictures of individuals running red-lights and are then sent tickets in the mail – are present. More than seven in 10 (71 percent) believe other drivers are more careful when safety cameras are present.

“Drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers have made it clear they want these cameras in their communities,” said David Kelly, president and executive director of NCSR, and former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Although there is a vocal minority who opposes these life-saving devices, the public overwhelmingly supports red light safety cameras because they change dangerous driver behavior, reduce accidents and save lives.”

There are 17 municipalities currently using red-light cameras at their intersections. They include Brick, East Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge in Middlesex County; Linden and Roselle Park in Union County; Deptford, Monroe and Glassboro in Gloucester County; Stratford, Gloucester Township and Cherry Hill in Camden County; Wayne in Passaic County; Jersey City in Hudson County; Palisades Park in Bergen County and Newark in Essex County.

Poll respondents strongly supported — by a 71 percent to 24 percent margin — broader access to this technology in New Jersey, according to the survey. But police also give their stamp of approval to the technology.

“Communities across New Jersey should have the opportunity to put these at every dangerous intersection in our state,” said Alex Fanfarillo, police chief in the South Jersey community of Glassboro. “New Jersey lawmakers should strongly consider expanding the pilot red light camera program to allow the use of these life-saving cameras across the state.”

Other highlights of the New Jersey poll:

·         When it comes to specific places where cameras might be used, support was highest in school zones (74% support), followed by construction zones (59%).

·         By a 77 percent-to-22 percent margin, voters support red-light safety cameras at New Jersey’s busiest intersections, to monitor drivers who run red lights.

·         When supporters were asked in an open-ended question about why they supported the cameras, 69 percent cited the safety of other drivers and pedestrians, and 59 percent said law enforcement and prevention of violating the law. (Numbers sum to more than 100% as multiple responses were accepted).

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) of Sayreville, who wrote legislation about the red-light camera pilot program, praised the survey results.

“What is evident in this research is that drivers in this state are cognizant that red light safety cameras are indeed keeping our roads safer and saving lives by modifying driving behavior,” Wisniewski said in a statement. “When I authored this bill, it was with one goal only in mind – saving lives.  These cameras are making a difference and doing just that in towns throughout New Jersey.”

The survey was conducted from June 6 to 8 among 600 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent in 95 out of 100 cases. Men comprise 48 percent of the sample, and women 52 percent. The statewide poll was conducted by National Research Inc.

Poll finds N.J. residents support red-light cameras