3 On Your Side: Video Provides Grim Warning For ‘Red Light Runners’

By Todd Quinones

DEPTFORD, NJ (CBS) — The video can be a little tough to watch and that’s exactly the point.

We can see one red light runner after another in various towns in New Jersey causing serious crashes, including this intersection at Route 41 and Deptford Center Road in Deptford.

Jamie Starkey often has her 5-year-old daughter with her in the car.

We showed them the video of the red light runners.

“I have noticed people flying through the intersections, turning when they are not supposed to, and they almost hit me,” Starkey said.

The video is being released by American Traffic Solutions, which is the company that owns and maintains the cameras in parts of South Jersey as well as Philadelphia.

The video is being released to make a point.

“Two thirds of the people injured or killed in red light running related collisions are people other than the red light runner themselves,” said Charles Territo of American Traffic Solutions.

AAA contends that red light cameras can be effective in reducing fatalities if used correctly.

Among the standards AAA recommends are posted warning signs that the cameras are in use, camera vendors being paid a flat amount (not by the number of tickets), camera locations based solely on crash data (not traffic volume) and yellow light timing that meets federal standards.

There are critics who remain unconvinced about the motive behind the cameras.

“I am all for people not running red lights, but it seems like it’s just trying to take advantage of normal people who trying to go to work and make a living,” driver Brian Gahm said.

However, ATS contends that the camera and video are meant only to try and get people to stop running red lights.

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One Comment

  1. Henry says:

    I just noticed: The Linden accident (begins at 0:58) happened while the light was yellow. The left turner simply started his left turn too soon, several seconds before the light went red. For some reason he was not watching the signal AND he was not watching for oncoming traffic. I wonder what he WAS watching.
    The accident was not caused by red light running.

  2. Henry says:

    Cameras give a false sense of security, because even with high fines (example: $500 in California) they don’t stop the real late runners – like in this video of accidents the cameras didn’t prevent!
    Most real late runners don’t do it on purpose – they fail to see the signal, because they are lost, unfamiliar with the area, distracted, or impaired. To stop the late runners, local traffic engineers need to make high-accident intersections more obvious, improve the visual cues that say, “You are coming to an important intersection.” Florida’s DOT found that improved pavement markings (paint!) cut running by up to 74%, without installing cameras – thus without the side effect of increased rearenders. Also make the signal lights brighter, bigger in diameter, add backboards to them, and place the poles on the NEAR side of the intersection, not so far away. Put brighter bulbs in the street lights at intersections. Put up lighted name signs, for the cross streets.
    Longer yellows (which drop violations by 2/3, and the effect is permanent) and improved visual cues are easy and cheap to do, so can be done all over town, unlike cameras, which are expensive and can drive business away.

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