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Problem with Red Light Running?

Is there a Red Light Running Problem in Newark? Are Red Light Cameras for revenue or for safety?

The question of whether a rolling right-on-red violation is so dangerous that it should be enforced with a nearly $500 fine has been debated for some time. We now have the definitive answer and it is a resounding, "NO."

Let us look to one of the most highly enforced red light camera approaches in the area. Northbound Cedar at Mowry near NewPark Mall.

In a recent 3-year period there was just one accident at that approach, a minor, non-injury accident, which was not attributed to red light running. Has there ever been an accident attributed to red light running? Has there ever been an accident for a right-on-red violation? Yet massive enforcement is necessary ostensibly for safety reasons?

This one red light camera snaps photos of potential violations at the rate of 4,000 per year, a number which is not coming down but actually going up slightly. Newark Police Dept. reports that of the 4,161 potential violations captured by this camera last year, that it issued 2,195 citations and that over 99.2% are for right turning violations. Last month (Dec. 2012), of 210 citations issued, only 2 occurred from the left turn and 208 occurred from the right hand lane. None occurred in the through lane.

Over $1 million in fines annually just from this one camera (Newark has 4 cameras) to solve a non-existent problem? Seems excessive. Wouldn't the community be better served by leaving that money in the pockets of consumers to stimulate the economy? Better that than to levy this "back door tax" onto motorists in order to fund government not to mention enriching the camera vendor from Arizona.

Roger Jones

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Albert Rubio January 21, 2013 at 07:11 AM
I calculated from patch figures a year ago that the cameras are costing in fines 118K per prevented incidents. I told the board this is extremely excessive IMO. Especially when you consider that the normal deterrent and payer for such incidents is auto insurance. Bad drivers are punished and good drivers rewarded. The only standard of so called safety is if the system brings in revenues IMO. There is no standard of safety to justify 118K in costs to prevent a fender bender.
Albert Rubio January 21, 2013 at 07:15 AM
Also beware, this topic attracts Fanatic Pharisees that insist we should be happy to pay whatever fine because the authorities have imposed them for our safety. They think we are immoral and destroyers of civilization for questioning traffic fee's.
Patricia January 23, 2013 at 08:11 PM
A camera on the southbound exits from 880 at Mowry, Stevenson and Auto Mall could pay for themselves and the others. Scary how many times I've been sitting at the red light going east on either of these overpasses and witnessed everything from motorcycles to big rigs flying through the red light.
Nika Megino January 25, 2013 at 12:46 AM
I got one of these, too! But at the Jarvis Ave. and Newark Blvd. intersection. Sigh. I now count to 5 before turning right on red. One alligator. Two alligator.
Stephanie Kareht August 30, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I got a nasty gram after making an rolling right on red at the Jarvis Ave. and Newark Blvd. intersection. Looking at the film, it's clear that there should be a green arrow at that intersection while traffic is making a left, like there is at the Gateway/Thornton Ave intersection. In any event, taking traffic school is fine, but the judge said he couldn't reduce the fine. In retrospect I should have pleaded Not Guilty and taken my chances in court. Instead I had to pay $549 plus $17.50 to the traffic school. If the cop didn't show up, I couldn't have gotten off all together. All that said, I will be more careful about stopping before making rights on red, ESPECIALLY in Newark.

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