Report on Statewide Red-Light Camera Initiative Has Critics Seeing Red

WNYC | December 17, 2014 | Transportation
Opponents argue that small sampling size casts doubt on sizable reductions in accidents and traffic violations

With numbers like these, why would New Jersey shut down its five-year pilot program for red-light cameras: broadside collisions down 86 percent; rear-end crashes, 58 percent; red-light running, 83 percent?

But the numbers appear far less impressive, critics of the program say, when they’re put in perspective: They are drawn from data for only two out of 76 intersections equipped with cameras statewide, according to a report prepared by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The trouble is that the department needs three full years of data before it can make a recommendation about pushing ahead with the program. The only intersections that meet that requirement are two in Newark.

And that small sampling skews the numbers so that they’re not representative, opponents of the initiative say, who also cite other problems with the report’s findings.

Read the full story by Joseph Capriglione on WNYC/NJPR, an NJ Spotlight content partner.