GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) – In a time when many municipalities are facing layoffs, one south Jersey town is surviving thanks to money being generated from what was initially intended as a safety measure.
The one year anniversary of the ‘red light’ cameras located at the intersection of Delsea and William Dalton Drives in Glassboro is quickly approaching and officials say they have been an effective tool in reducing accidents.
“The red light cameras have been in full operation since March 26 of 2010 and it’s cut our accidents at the intersection from 10 to two,” said Captain William Highley of the Glassboro Police Department.
Officials argue that improving safety is the cameras primary intent, but based on the number of tickets issued, they’ve also been revenue producers.
“We’ve issued approximately 14,510 summonses,” said Highley.
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A ‘red light’ ticket at the intersection will cost up to $85, and Glassboro Township gets to keep $45. That amounts to $467,000 after monthly maintenance fees for the cameras in the $24 Million 2010 budget. The extra revenue reduced furlough days, saved jobs and kept municipal taxes flat.
“It’s all about making money,” said Blaise Cascio of Washington Township, who spoke with Eyewitness News about his $85 speeding ticket. “It’s ridiculous, I do not have eight five dollars to give to Glassboro.”
“We don’t have the man power or the resources to set an officer at this intersection 24-7,” said Highley.
And now they don’t need to, the traffic lights have freed up the police department to use officers for other priorities. Officials do estimate that as people heed the warning sign, revenues will decrease and future budget adjustments will be made.
Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3