Red Light Cameras Could Come to Borough
The council authorized police to sign up for a waiting list requesting traffic cameras
The Traffic Safety Committee requested Sweetin to look into red light cameras for downtown. However, progress was somewhat derailed when the Department of Transportation suspended issuing any new summonses for red light cameras due to a question about the timing of yellow lights. The suspension began June 19.
According to Sweetin, "it was argued in court that the lights and the timing [was off, with] yellow lights not being long enough."
Yellow lights are usually based on how long it would take a pedestrian to safely walk across the street, given the posted speed limit. "What they argued in court was, what's in the books and what's reality could be two different things, so the court instructed them to get 85 percent of what the actual traffic speed is and calculate [yellow lights] off of there."
Of the 63 red light cameras in use in the state of New Jersey, Sweetin said speed testing has been done to make the yellow lights more applicable to real traffic speed patterns. However, the suspension on new summonses remains in place while the DOT reviews the results.
"So there's no need for us to be moving forward quickly on this," Mayor Bruce Harris said. Sweetin agreed, "except be aware that there is a waiting list. If we do decide to do it, we need to get on the waiting list."
Two companies currently operate red light cameras in the state, including American Traffic Solutions (ATS). There are about 25 towns currently on the waiting list to get red light cameras, Sweetin said.
Harris asked what was involved in getting on the waiting list. Sweetin said he had arranged a meeting Thursday for Councilman James Collander, the council's liaison to the Traffic Safety Committee, to discuss what it takes.
"Really, [it's] not much," Sweetin said. The borough takes on no cost or obligation to get the light by going onto the waiting list. "There's no out-of-[pocket money], no contracts to sign, we just say we want to be approached, we want the data done," Sweetin said.
When Council President James Lonergan asked if there was any reason not to get on the list or get a red light camera, Sweetin responded, "My professional opinion to you is, anything that makes it safer for all of our kids, and us, to walk downtown, and the motoring public, we should be on the waiting list."
The council agreed to have Sweetin sign the borough onto the waiting list for a red light camera after Collander's meeting Thursday.
Collander was not present at the time of the discussion. However, he has been on the Traffic Safety Committee for over a year and was involved in several key projects, including the Kings Road pedestrian safety project.