DOT issues red light camera report; O’Scanlon rips findings

TRENTON – The state Transportation Department reported that the red-light camera program has shown a decrease in the number of citations over two years despite a spike in the number of crashes.

One lawmaker, a frequent program critic, dismissed the DOT study methodology.

The report, which looked at  83 intersections in 25 towns, some of which have had such intersection cameras for two years, indicated that in general the program is working as intended. The report recommended the pilot program continue despite rear-end crashes spiking at intersections with red light cameras by 20 percent, according to the findings.

“While there is no expectation that citations will drop to zero, there is an expectation that driver behavior will change with RLR, and these locations appear to be fulfilling these expectations,” the report said of the Red Light Running program.

But Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-12, Little Silver, blasted the report.

“Don’t be fooled by the thinly veiled positive spin in this report’s narrative,” he said in a release.

“The data tells the story – and the story is that this program has been a dismal failure from the start, and the data now proves that not only are red light cameras not reducing crashes, but the presence of the equipment might actually be leading to increases in crashes – and the severity and costs of those crashes.” O’Scanlon has said the yellow lights at such intersections don’t stay on long enough, causing drivers to brake quickly and risk collisions.

However, DOT said that data is still too limited to draw definitive conclusions about the pilot program.

“The Department therefore recommends continued data collection and monitoring of RLR program intersections,” DOT stated.

But O’Scanlon said, “The data just doesn’t add up to the Department’s final conclusion to extend the program and continue collecting data. Any rational person reading this document would conclude that the program has failed and it’s time to pack it in.”

The report on the DOT website:

http://observer-media.go-vip.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/11/2012rlrfinalreport1.pdf

DOT issues red light camera report; O’Scanlon rips findings