Reporting Diana Rocco
By Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Do you run it, or stop?
“Sometimes, you’re at a yellow and you can’t stop,” says Arelene Schwartz from Cherry Hill Township.
It’s something motorists toil with everyday on the road, but when you see the camera flash…
“I hate it when they just take the picture,” says Nick Johnson, who is one of the drivers who’s been caught in a yellow light and was issued a ticket.
Red light cameras have nabbed more than 100,000 drivers in six South Jersey towns over the last two years, and they’ve paid out millions in fines throughout Gloucester and Camden counties.
Now, a glitch in the system has put the red light on the cameras. The program has been suspended in 21 towns throughout the state.
The light at the corner of Route 70 and Springdale Road in Cherry Hill was flagged as one of many that needs to be looked at, along with eight others in South Jersey. The NJ Department of Transportation says that the yellow lights are too short, and cameras may have been ticketing drivers unfairly.
“The goal is to make sure people stop at red lights,” says Jason Springer from Cherry Hill Township.
While the camera flashes won’t be resulting in tickets, they’re still taking pictures, and once they’re fixed, anyone who ran the light while the program was suspended could get a ticket in the mail–which has drivers debating whether safety is worth the cost. Drivers who feel they’ve been ticketed unfairly can file an appeal.
“It’s more than it’s worth. It’s taking money out of peoples pockets they’d like to have in their pocket,” says Sartor.
“I think it makes people more cautious,” disagrees Schwartz.
“I don’t like them,” admits another driver.
Other major cities have done away with red light programs because they’ve proven more costly than effective, but New Jersey has no plans for that. And just a few miles away in Philadelphia, state lawmakers have until the end of next week to renew the program, or the city’s pilot program, which has been running since 2005, will disappear too.