Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
By Linda Giang
Since the first red light camera was installed last March in Jersey City, more have been sneaking up every few months. While police say the cameras may potentially save lives, they can also hurt your pockets. Jersey City anticipates 7 million dollars annually from the tickets. Officials say these cameras are to improve safety and generate revenue for the city. But a police officer we talk to said there has not been a noticeable increase or decrease in motor vehicle accidents since the installation of the cameras.
“ Most of those cameras are put in high traffic areas used to come in and out of the city, so they mostly get people who aren’t from Jersey City and don’t know the cameras are there, so if they don’t know it’s there, it’s not reducing accidents, but it will increase ticket numbers”, said a Jersey City Police Officer who asked to remain anonymous.
There are mixed opinions about the cameras. While some Jersey City resident drivers believe the cameras will prevent accidents, others like Saint Peter’s Junior Sheldon Gochiz disagrees.
“It would make more sense to make the wait time from the light changing red to green a few seconds longer to insure safe driving when crossing an intersection,” he said.
As of now, there are eight activated red light cameras, at the end of this project; there will be a total of eleven cameras. The cameras are located at:
Three more cameras are planned for the following intersection:
Keep in mind that even in the absence of a “No Turn on Red” sign, drivers must come to a complete stop, and then proceed to turn. Otherwise, the camera will catch you, and you can expect a ticket in the mail in about 2-3 weeks. The penalty if your picture is snapped is $85. However, for the first 30 days, drivers will get a warning letter in the mail, after that, you’re out of luck.