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Brick Officials Confident Red Light Cams Will Get Green Light

Forthcoming study to determine if red light camera program continues

Though Brick Township’s pilot program of featuring red light cameras at three roadway intersections was among 21 such , a forthcoming traffic engineering study will determine if the program gets the red light for good.

Brick officials are confident, however, that the township's three red light cameras will meet the state's requirements.

Capt. John Rein of the Brick Township Police Department said that a recent in-house study of all town intersections, which is conducted every six months, showed that the township was complying with state guidelines, including on the red light camera intersections.

“We have always been in compliance — the suspension is due to the timing and language of the amber light requirements. The NJDOT and the Governor’s Office just want to make sure that everyone is following the same guidelines,” said Rein.

Rein said that he anticipated that once the state received the necessary certifications, the red light camera program would be permitted to continue in Brick Township.

“The purpose of the cameras is to change the behavior of drivers, and have them heed the time provided by the amber warning light to stop at the intersection or slow down,” Rein explained.

Yellow signal speeds

Brick currently has three intersections where red light cameras are present: Brick Boulevard and Hooper Avenue; Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road; and Route 70 and Brick Boulevard. The Route 70-Brick Boulevard camera just began issuing tickets to motorists on June 6.

The NJDOT made the decision to suspend the program due to videotaped evidence and because the legislation providing for the red light cameras requires a formula used to calculate the length of the yellow light at these intersections — a different one than that already is used on many state roadways.

As it stands, two of the intersections in Brick Township which are equipped with red light cameras are on state roadways.

State officials have said previously that most yellow lights follow the prescribed engineering and safety standards in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which require a minimum duration of the yellow light to equal one-tenth of the posted speed limit on the approaching road.

For example, where the approaching road has a posted speed of 40 miles per hour, the traffic signal must display yellow for a minimum of four seconds. The NJDOT rounds up to the nearest whole second in this formula, so in instances where the approaching speed limit is 45 miles per hour, the signal displays a yellow light for five seconds.

However, the legislation providing for the red light cameras also requires an analysis of vehicle speeds, as they approach the intersection where a red light camera installation is proposed. The formula requires a yellow signal of at least three seconds, if at least 85 percent of the approaching traffic travels at speeds of 25 mph

For each increase of 5 miles per hour in vehicle speed above 30 mph, the minimum duration of the yellow light must be increased by 0.5 seconds, according to the legislation.

Officials previously commented that this requirement is in place to make sure that the traffic signal is properly timed to allow drivers to avoid a violation and fine by entering an intersection when the light is red.

Under state guidelines, Brick and the other 20 municipalities whose programs were suspended must conduct traffic engineering studies on their red light camera intersections to this effect, and submit the necessary certifications to the NJDOT by Aug. 1.

If studies show that the yellow light at the intersection is meeting the legislation’s guidelines, then the municipality will continue to be authorized to issue violations and fines to motorists. If those studies reveal the length of the yellow light is not up to the standards set in the legislation’s formula, that intersection will be removed from the red light camera pilot program.

$570K in violations

Mayor Stephen Acropolis said specifically that the timing of the yellow light at the Route 70 and Brick Boulevard intersection would be the subject of the aforementioned traffic engineering study.

“The study will be conducted by Frank Miskovich, from our engineering firm, Birdsall Services Group,” said Acropolis. “Anytime you can review a pilot program, it’s a good thing.”

Acropolis said Brick Township has received roughly $570,000 since the installation of the red light cameras (minus fees paid to the state and camera vendor, Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions), and explained some of the result data garnered by the presence of the red light cameras.

“Accidents at these intersections are down 50 percent, 95 percent of the people who have been issued a red light violation have not received another one, and 70 percent of the people who have been issued violations are not from Brick Township,” said the mayor.

Acropolis said the presence of the cameras is meant to positively affect motorist behavior and to ensure that people are not being injured or killed in crashes at the intersections where cameras are installed.

Capt. Rein said that the cameras being in place have led to a drop in the number of right-angle crashes, and the serious injuries associated with them, in addition to a reduction in the amount of violations from the first year of the program to the second.

Communications officials from the NJDOT did not return several calls for comment.

John B Taxpayer June 29, 2012 at 01:29 PM
You're absolutely right I contested a camera on rt 70 and sprinkle rd Cherry Hill and won!
Don Smith June 29, 2012 at 02:59 PM
These are very complicated intersections and you make it sound like we are playing with now a varyable on yellow lights? WOW, I thought that was a fixed time. I have no problem with the use for blaitent red but catching people by the fraction of a second with a senior population in the area seems like this is in the form of a tax. Too often there are off camara issues that they driver sees that are not caught on the camaras. It would be interesting to see several years of accident data anylised to know that this is truly improving safety.
1atatyme June 29, 2012 at 03:15 PM
its NOT about our safty... its about making money
John B Taxpayer June 29, 2012 at 03:17 PM
You're right! Nobody that approved these care a rats ass about your safety it's $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Mickey June 29, 2012 at 03:26 PM
next you're gonna tell us, these elected officals only care about providing for themselves & friends.
John B Taxpayer June 29, 2012 at 03:33 PM
No Mickey you just did that!
Chief Wahoo June 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Scott Pezzaras is going to be very happy. Lots more money for him and Bellu and their pensions.
GMA June 29, 2012 at 09:58 PM
These "red light cameras" are like playing musical chairs,without the chairs.And who is going to be stuck when that camera goes off.
msrd June 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Sooo true GMA. I was crossing 70 on 88....old laurelton circle ....the other day and as I was crossing through on the green, the guy in front of me stopped in the middle of the intersection to make a left onto 70, which of course is illegal. But the point is....he ended up making his left when there was a break in traffic but I was now screwed and stuck in the middle of the intersection as the light turned yellow (for about two seconds) and then red. They are not accounting for situations like that ....and I see that happen all over town where people stop in the middle and try to make illegal left turns to avoid having to make a bunch of uturns. And if you end up behind them, the camera will read that you were in the middle on a red.
Joseph Woolston Brick June 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Well there's no reason to waste your valuable time bitching about the cameras, we can justly reward those responsible for them this November.
msrd June 30, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Agreed!
Derrik Wilkes June 30, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Yes we can vote against the guy who came up with the big ideas. But cameras may still remain. Brick may be under a lengthy contract with the camera installers. If so, We must submit to their will.
John B Taxpayer June 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM
They could somehow break too.....
Joseph Woolston Brick June 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM
People in other parts of the state are growing some balls. They're not spending their time on boards, but in their lawyers office, someone from Brick should give these guys a call and see if we can join in on their venture. Two people in the Cherry Hill area, have filed class action suits! I find it strange that the state suspended the lights, something must have happened in order for them to be that worried to do so. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/06/seeing_red_cherry_hill_faces_f.html
oldsoldier June 30, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I'm not impressed with the class-action lawsuits, as I believe the lawyers get the most benefit. In my opinion, As with all the ills of the different levels of our government, it is a "we the people" problem. We the people get "so upset" when we are confronted with a law or ordnance that causes us inconvenience or money to comply, or fines or even jail when we break them. Certainly, we need laws. But if you have a problem with it, you need to let your politicians know, and if they don't agree with you and its an issue you feel very strongly about, then vote against them come election time. Lawsuits should be individual, short term fixes to legitimate problems, and elections should be the long term fix. So we should stop blaming each other and follow the laws, or follow the laws, vote in someone else and get the laws repealed. Just my opinion.
Derrik Wilkes June 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Arizona & Los Angeles Ca. seem to be at the forefront of the fight to remove red light cameras. These cameras have spread to more than 500 cities and towns in 25 states . Arizona also have speed cameras in the middle of the desert. They are fighting red light cameras with house bill 2557 & others. Taking a look at how these private citizens & public officials work together to fight aganst this foolishness may be helpful.
clyde June 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I feel bad for the local businesses & pedestrians in the area of these cameras. I know I avoid the businesses because of the lights & the pedestrians because those intersections become drag strips. There is no warning for drivers when the light is about the change, so they gun it, to make sure they don't get a ticket. If someone ever ran out into the intersection, they would be dead. These cameras did nothing for traffic or safety! It took 20 yrs to stop the left turn @ 70 & chambers bridge, & not choke traffic between one intersection & the next. Those were some of the fixes Brick needed. I would love to see the accident numbers from after the changes were made & before the cameras were put up.
Johnny dangerous July 01, 2012 at 12:33 AM
There is a really cool site on the web about euro "traffic" cameras .... In the middle of the night townspeople destroy them , and publish the pics on a blog .... Sounds like a "great" idea without a vote !!!!!!! At $20,000 per camera the township will run out of ducats before we run out of vigilantes !
Derrik Wilkes July 01, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Now some drivers slam on the brakes when the lights turn yellow. Will rear end accidents might increase as a result.
Mike July 01, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The towns don't pay for them. That's what makes them so lucrative: when you divide revenue by cost, you get infinity. And the towns are financially penalized for changing the yellow light duration (see below). http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-10-26/red-light-camera-deals/50943554/1 Rear-End Crashes Go Up After Red Light Cameras Go In http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/bedard-crashes Rear-end collisions jump at red-light camera intersections in West Palm Beach http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/rear-end-collisions-jump-at-red-light-camera-inter/nL7Gk/
Mike July 01, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Read-end collisions do go up (see my other post). But that does not bring in more money. Most people I know wait a second before entering an intersection on a green light to ensure no one runs the red. Also, many lights have a short delay between giving one direction a red and giving the other a green. This is not about safety. It's about income - PERIOD.
Mike July 01, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Substantial penalties for early withdrawal from the contracts. The question is, which is greater? Voting citizens or lobbying by red light camera companies?
Mrgrumpass July 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Sounds like you’re in sighting a criminal act not too smart when you can be traced!
Mrgrumpass July 01, 2012 at 09:01 PM
All people have to do is pay attention when driving and when crossing the red light inter sections and the cameras make “O”! Put down the dam phone, don’t put on makeup, scold your kids, pick your nose and pay attention, you’re driving a 3000 lb. bullet pay attention!
clyde July 02, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Grum, agreed too many people are driving distracted. But the yellow lights at these intersection are too short. More than once I have approached one of these intersections, fully focused & unsure if I have the time to make the light or not. There is no way to tell if the light is about to change or not. Everyone is stopping on yellow now because you can't make it throught the intersection before the light goes red.
Don Smith July 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Did you get a ticket?
Don Smith July 02, 2012 at 01:34 PM
That is what I asked for.........
Don Smith July 02, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I saw discussion about lengh of yellow relative to normal traffic speed. Variables not taken into account are less then normal speeds, conditions when the road is snow covered and sudden stopping is not safe and the size of these intersections. What are the conditions that trigger the light? Do they snag you if traffic stops you half way through an intersection? What is the criteria for getting "Snagged?"
Longlivecameras July 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
.You make no sense. The state enforces the correct timing, and you’re saying they purposely increased it? They have nothing to gain from doing so; It benefits the township, not the state. What a moron. The speed limit determines amber times: 3 sec 30 mph, 4 sec 40 mph and so on. Do the speed limit and you will have time to stop. Educate your self before letting more nonsense out, it confuses the public.
Don Smith July 06, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I don't think calling people a Moron serves much of a purpose here unless you are trying to make a statement about your intellect. As a safety professional of some 35 years I am truly surprised at what has come out about "Amber time." I would think the complexity and size of the intersection would make some difference. Logically speaking when you get within the distance to the intersection and the light is green you should not have your eyes on the light but on the traffic. I for one am not entering an intersection after the light turns to make a right on red or anything unless it is posted so one can see it from the stop line.

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