December 18, 2014 |
The controversial 5 year pilot program ended last night at midnight. The plan which was a source of income to those municipalities that implemented it raised many questions as to the true motiviation behind its implemetnation.
While those towns that installed the cameras claim saftey concerns were paramount, others argue that it is simply a source of easy revenue.
At Englewood Cliffs according to the Northern Valley Suburbanite the red light camera that was stationed at the intersection of Sylvan and Palisades Avenue generated over $300,000 in 2014 and over $600,000 in 2013. Though red light cameras are used to promote safer driving, complaints have resulted in Houston, Los Angeles and 12 states banning the devices while others, including New Jersey, consider bans or restrictions, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
According to Time Magazine a couple of grassroots engineers have challenged those stats claiming increase ins aftey and reductions in accidents. Rick Short and George Ford produced a report detailing discrepancies between the red light camera safety claims and raw DOT crash data. “We have proved that the crash reduction percentages spread by the camera industry and town leaders are fictitious,” they said.
Polls show that the cameras have have slowly lost favor over the years, mirroring what’s happening in a number of states around the country. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 495 communities currently use the cameras down from a peak of 540 in 2012.