Citing accident statistics reporting an increase in accidents at the three red light camera intersections in his Township, Brick Mayor John Ducey announced this afternoon that he is not renewing American Traffic Solutions’s contract.
Brick’s red light camera program terminates effective February 18, 2014 and equipment is to be removed by February 24.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, New Jersey’s most prominent opponent of the red light camera program was on hand to congratulate Ducey, the residents of Brick, and New Jersey motorists who drive in Brick.
“When I was running for Mayor, one of the most frequent sources of frustrations of the people I spoke to was the red light cameras. I promised to review our red light camera program and remove them if that review didn’t convince me that they were making our roads safer,” said Mayor Ducey. “I have kept that promise. After conducting that review, I am not convinced that the benefit is safety and not revenue. At the end of the day, the statistics I was shown did not convince me that these cameras are making intersections safer. The strongest argument for keeping the lights is for the revenue they generate and I feel strongly that government should not be balancing budgets through punitive measures,” As a result I am not renewing the red light camera contract which is effectively ending red light cameras in Brick Township.”
Ducey noted an increase in accidents at each of the three Brick intersections that have RCLs between 2012 and 2013, the 2013 data is not completely reported yet.
“This is a historic day, Mayor Ducey is the first mayor of a New Jersey town that actually has red-light-cameras installed to do the right thing and pull the plug on the program,” O’Scanlon stated. “Too often government officials focus on money while sacrificing what’s right. The Mayor is breaking that mold and acting on behalf of the people and not the interests of the camera companies.”
Over 74,000 tickets were issued by Brick RLCs since the program went active in 2010. Ducey said that over 22,000 of those tickets were to Brick residents. He said that the RCL vendor, American Traffic Solutions, attempted to use the fact that most of the tickets were to out-of towners as a justification for renewing the contract. “I’m not interested in penalizing visitors to Brick and people coming from out of town to patronize our businesses. I want all of our businesses to do well.”
Brick received revenue of about $500,000 from RLC’s in 2013. Ducey, a Democrat who was elected last November, said that in the five weeks he’s been mayor he has already cut spending by about $300,000 and expects to find additional savings and new revenues for fill the gap. O’Scanlon said that governments should not be balancing their budgets with “ill gotten gains.”
“At the end of the day, the statistics I was shown did not convince me that these cameras are making intersections safer. The strongest argument for keeping the lights is for the revenue they generate and I feel strongly that government should not be balancing budgets through punitive measures,” said Mayor Ducey.
“I will continue to fight this fight until these automatic taxing machines are eradicated from the streets of New Jersey. These things do not increase safety. They are nothing more than government sanctioned theft,” O’Scanlon exclaimed. “Brick is a perfect example of zero safety benefit, short yellow light times and dishonest camera company tactics. It has it all. The one thing different about Brick vs the other towns in the program – Brick has a mayor willing to stand up and say “enough!” I applaud Mayor Ducey for resisting the siren song of revenue and putting doing what’s right and just above all else. I hope other mayors have the guts to follow his lead. But I won’t hold my breath.
There have been no significant reduction in accident rates at camera equipped intersections when you look at accident rates before the cameras and after. That’s all that should matter. These things are supposed to improve safety and they’re not doing that – plain and simple. I’m proud to stand with mayor Ducey today as he tells the camera companies, not in his town!”