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Out-of-state tickets for red-light cameras may end for NJ

Car accidents have many causes. From speeding to drunk driving to the innumerable ways in which drivers become distracted and crash in to other motorists, pedestrians and objects. Vast arrays of traffic laws and ordinances have been enacted to attempt to regulate this behavior and prevent the enormously expensive consequences of these car accidents.

Hiring sufficient numbers of police and state troopers is not possible. So other methods have been devised. Vehicles running red lights, unsurprisingly, cause a fair number of accidents, as most drivers expect when a traffic light affords them the right of way, they need not be concerned about traffic entering their intersection from the stopped lanes.

Sadly, they would be wrong. In 2008 in the U.S., there were about 2.3 million accidents that occurred at intersections, causing more than 7,000 fatalities and 733,000 injuries. Stationing law enforcement at these intersections could help, but it is unrealistic to assign officers to this type of work, as they have other, higher-priority work.

Technology appears to offer a solution, in the form of the red-light camera. This camera is triggered by a vehicle entering an intersection after the light has turned red. While the purpose of the system is to prevent the running of red lights, they are criticized as merely being revenue-gathering devices.

There are also questions as to their effectiveness at reducing accidents. In New Jersey, one opponent of the cameras in the state legislature has introduced a bill to prevent New Jersey residents from being fined by neighboring states that operate red-light cameras.

There are some red-light cameras in New Jersey, but the law that authorized their use is set to expire at the end of this year and may not be renewed.

Source: The Washington Post, "New Jersey drivers may be able to ignore other states’ speed cameras," Sarah Ferris, August 4, 2014

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