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Brick To Eliminate Red Light Cameras This Month

Citing a rise in accidents and resident complaint, Brick mayor cancels camera program

Photo: Daniel Nee
Photo: Daniel Nee
Making good on a campaign promise, Brick Mayor John Ducey announced Thursday that the township's red light enforcement cameras will be turned off Feb. 18 and dismantled in the days to follow, making the township the first municipality in New Jersey to eliminate its camera program.

The township's five-year contract with American Traffic Solutions ends Feb. 17 and Ducey said he chose not to renew the contract after speaking with residents during his campaign for mayor.

"It didn't matter whether or not they got tickets or didn't get tickets," said Ducey. "Either way, they weren't happy that we had red light cameras in town."

The cameras generate $85 tickets for those who run red lights or do not sufficiently stop before making right turns on red.

Ducey made the announcement alongside state Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth), a fierce opponent of the state's red light camera pilot program, which expires next year. Both elected officials said evidence from Brick showed the cameras were more about generating revenue than promoting roadway safety.

The pair quoted accident statistics from the year before the cameras were installed compared with 2013, and in almost all cases, accidents – including right angle accidents, the most serious kind – were either not reduced or had risen.

Ducey said data showed that there were zero right angle accidents at the intersection of Brick Boulevard and Route 70 before the cameras were installed, and the number remained at zero once they were put into place. At Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road, there were 35 total accidents and one right angle accident the year before the cameras were installed, but in the last year, they had risen to 36 with five right angle accidents.

At the township's first intersection to receive cameras – Brick Boulevard and Hooper Avenue – accidents rose to 28 total last year, including eight right angle accidents from 13 accidents and five right angle accidents the year before the cameras were installed.

O'Scanlon called the red light cameras a "scourge" on New Jersey motorists and said he planned to fight attempts to have a pilot program allowing the cameras evolve into a permanent allowance.

"It is a shame that, in the pursuit of the almighty dollar, officials in other towns have gone out of their way to avoid facing the truth: that these devices exist exclusively to enrich the companies that operate them and the municipalities that permit them to operate within their jurisdictions," said O'Scanlon. "They provide no safety benefit."

But while the cameras were seen as an inconvenience by many, they produced hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of revenue for the township each year since they were installed.

In 2011, they generated $502,060, in 2012 they generated $684,496 and in 2013 they generated $830,000.

Ducey said the revenue from the cameras would be made up as part of his larger plan to reduce township expenses. Thus far, he said, the township has saved money by eliminating the salaries and benefits of two employees – former Deputy Business Administrator Juan Bellu and former Tax Assessor Al Cerone – and there are more cost savings measures about to be put into place. Ducey did not elaborate on the future cost savings measures, pointing to his 100 day plan for the township.

"I will not balance the budget on punitive measures," said Ducey.

The mayor said since the contract with the camera provider is ending, there will be no penalties or termination fees associated with ending the program in Brick. The cameras, he said, will be turned off during the day Feb. 18 and the equipment will be removed by Feb. 24.

Should ATS not remove its equipment, he said, township crews will remove it and consider it abandoned property.
Bricktown Lew February 09, 2014 at 02:59 PM
On second thought, I'm glad they are gone! Who needs safety on the streets with the way people drive here and the huge chunk on money in our town budget? It's extremely safe and our town is already tremendously prosperous. I'm sold! ; )
Not So Dumb February 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM
I continue to think that some people just don't think before they comment here or any story. Yes, if you want to be sarcastic this is a [lace to do it. And, it tells me that you have no character. Now if you think it's funny great get yourself your 15 minutes of fame on the comedy channel. Yea you can hide behind the keyboard, but to tell you the truth you're not funny. Blaming others for your lack of responsibility and trying to understand you is like trying to smell the COLOR 9. I know I've used it before, but I that if you sit down and think about it maybe you'll understand. If we made 800K+ you can bet that most of those tickets are for NOT OBEYING THE LAW. So now we can say we will continue to disobey the law and do a "BRICKROLL" through red lights. And I will continue to slow down when I approach the traffic light.
Chris February 13, 2014 at 07:03 PM
I wish there was a camera at every intersection, even ones without lights. There are so many bad drivers out there, when i am behind someone and can see their eyes in their mirror clearly looking at a phone and the car is veering into other lanes or running lights completely, it makes me so mad. I was driving and got hit by a drunk driver and no one stopped to ask if we were okay, or provide a statement, if there was a camera there it would have been open and shut, instead of reliving the moment every time i was asked what happened by the police and lawyers. Just sayin stop whining things could be worse....Also if you didn't run red lights you shouldn't really care....don't blame empty businesses on red light cams
TuesdaySunshine February 15, 2014 at 09:38 AM
Thank You Mayor Ducey !
J.JONES February 15, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Did anyone notice that there is now 7 democrat seats on the council now so there is no one to argue right or wrong ..Its my way and end of story..

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