Red light cameras have recently become a topic again in New Jersey. Not on the red light pilot program that ended in 2014, but on how other states issue tickets for their red light program.
This part of the story is good news because it protects drivers in New Jersey. So before we dive into this camera that didn’t seem to want to leave our borders, let’s first talk about what happens with red light cameras outside our borders.
Earlier in June, New Jersey elected officials introduced a bill designed to protect drivers who are flagged by a red light camera outside our state. Essentially, this bill would prevent the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission from sharing driver information when it comes to these types of subpoenas (you can read more about this courtesy of nj.com).
So that’s the good news. New Jersey wants to protect us from the red light camera tickets that currently operate in other states. Nowhere is it mentioned that New Jersey is looking to bring back its old red light camera program.
In fact, a bill like this gives the impression that Garden State wants nothing to do with this kind of enforcement on our roads. But if that’s the case, then how come one of New Jersey’s red light cameras stuck around for so long?
Located at the intersection of Route 1 and Plainfield Avenue in Edison, NJ, this red light camera seemed to go nowhere. You may have already noticed it while passing through this area.
This is a route that I take regularly once a week, and therefore, I pass through this intersection regularly. I’ve never paid much attention to this in the past, but with the ongoing talk of protecting us from red light cameras outside of our state, it made me notice this one.
I’m sure other drivers have thought the same and wondered why these still stick around. And I highly doubt New Jersey drivers were very happy to see them.
Now, to be clear, I personally wasn’t sure if the cameras were still active. Since I usually drive through this location very early in the morning, I usually drive through this intersection when traffic is on the light side. And I didn’t go through a yellow light at a point that would trigger the cameras to turn off.
However, it does not matter whether they are active or not. The mere sight of them likely caused anxiety among many drivers who might have feared receiving a ticket in the mail.
And since Route 1 is a regular trucking route, let’s not forget vehicles with heavier loads. This very situation could force them to cross the intersection behind the yellow light, which could also increase the chances of a ticket if the cameras were active. Again, their mere presence is enough to make drivers nervous.
That said, we needed to get some answers on this. And I’m very happy to report that not only have we gotten some clarification on this, but steps have already been taken to correct the problem.
According to Edison Deputy Chief of Police Bob Dudash, “The red light camera project in New Jersey was disbanded several years ago. The Rte 1S and Plainfield Ave camera was never retired. inadvertently after the program ended. NJDOT has already been contacted to work on the removal.”
Shortly after, we received a response from NJDOT stating, “Equipment on Route 1 at Prince Avenue and on Route 1 and Plainfield Avenue at Edison was not operational, and NJDOT removed the equipment on June 27.”
So this is it. Although the pilot program ended in 2014, this particular camera was overlooked for some reason. And thanks to this being brought to the attention of the NJDOT and Edison Police, those cameras are no longer present to give drivers more anxiety.
So if you are one of those drivers who has always wondered at the intersection of Route 1 and Plainfield Ave, rest assured that there is no risk of you getting a ticket.
This also raises another point. Should we be concerned if we notice other cameras installed on New Jersey roads?
The short answer to this question is no. As noted above, the red light program ended in 2014 and has not been renewed to continue operating. Plus, any camera you might see might be nothing more than an intersection sensor or a traffic camera.
We may never know the real reason why that red light camera was left in place, but that doesn’t change the fact that we shouldn’t be careless on the roads. As long as we drive safely, we shouldn’t have any problems.
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