Red-light cameras come to S. Jersey
South Jersey's first red-light cameras are up and running. Warning notices to drivers began Thursday in Glassboro, a day after power was hooked up to pole-mounted cameras where Dalton Drive meets Delsea Drive.
South Jersey's first red-light cameras are up and running.
Warning notices to drivers began Thursday in Glassboro, a day after power was hooked up to pole-mounted cameras where Dalton Drive meets Delsea Drive.
After a state-mandated 30-day grace period, owners of violating vehicles will be mailed $85 tickets, Police Chief Alex Fanfarillo said.
"I don't particularly like them, as a driver. Too much Big Brother," said Clayton electrician Link Sanders, 49, outside a Pep Boys store near the crossroads, which is crowded with shopping centers.
As the father of two young drivers, George Deal, 44, of Washington Township, had a different take.
"I'm all for it, if there's no points involved," said Deal, a music producer, who had just picked up food at a Checkers drive-in at the intersection.
Points are not assessed, as the cameras identify license plates, not drivers.
Minutes before, a white sedan marked "Student Driver" had nosed past the crosswalk, signaled a left, waited, waited, then zoomed through the intersection after the light turned red.
"How's My Driving?" asked a prominent sign on the car.
The answer soon might be in the mail.
Since October 2008, the state Department of Transportation has accepted 22 municipalities - including Deptford, Stratford, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township and Monroe Township - into the red-light-camera pilot program.
Not until last month, however, did real tickets start to go out, beginning with a dozen intersections in Newark, followed by one in Brick Township, Ocean County.
Philadelphia's red-light camera program, begun in 2005, generates $100 tickets at more than a dozen intersections from Roosevelt Boulevard to City Hall.
In Glassboro, Fanfarillo said he wouldn't mind if the cameras were such an effective deterrent that no tickets were issued.
"The objective isn't to punish people or raise money," he said. "Anything for the sake of safety is a positive."
More New Jersey towns hope to activate their cameras this year now that major hurdles - including synchronizing the computers that provide state, county, and local court records - have been ironed out.
Camera installation is expected to begin this week in Deptford, where Hurffville Road meets Deptford Center Road and a Route 42 on-ramp, near Deptford Mall, according to system provider American Traffic Solutions.
Gloucester Township has received initial state approval for cameras at four intersections on Blackwood-Clementon Road. Monroe Township is working out the details for two crossroads along Route 322.
Stratford - which signed with provider Redflex - is working out right-of-way issues because at least one camera would be on state property, at the intersection of White Horse Road and Berlin Road, near the Lindenwold High-Speed Line station, Police Chief Ron Morello said.
Cherry Hill hopes to have cameras operating by fall at Route 70 and Springdale Road, according to police.
The intersections in New Jersey's pilot were chosen for their heavy traffic, frequent accidents and the obstacles they pose to law enforcement.
Around the Glassboro location, for example, the roads have no shoulders for police to pull cars over. With 49 major accidents involving injuries or damages of at least $500 from 2004 to 2006, it is the most dangerous intersection in town, Fanfarillo said.
"It's about time. What took them so long?" said Elva Dorrell, 84, outside a TD Bank at the intersection.
Crossing is too hazardous for pedestrians, Dorrell said.