East Windsor Township is adding an extra eye to its police patrol with the addition of a camera detection system that will spot violators who speed through a red light at the intersection of Route 130 and Dutch Neck Road.
The camera, which is expected to be in place by the beginning of next year, is part of a pilot program offered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Motorists who drive through a red light and are caught by the camera are subject to an $85 fine, but they will not face any points on their driving record, which is in accordance with the state regulation, said East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov.
There would still be a fine and points for a motorist caught going through a red light by a police officer in East Windsor, according to Mironov.
A request for a proposal had been offered several months ago, was reviewed by a special committee and a company was selected – American Traffic Solutions (ATS) from Scottsdale, AZ, Mironov said. The cost for the light would be a fixed cost of about $4,000.
According to Mironov, ATS is looking into the details regarding the camera’s installation, including the setup of a warning period to motorists, where violators would receive written warnings for the first 30 days.
The traffic control signal monitoring system pilot program was also requested by East Windsor for the intersection of Route 130 and Route 571, as well as the intersection of Route 571 and Old Trenton Road, but was denied by the NJDOT.
Tim Greeley, a spokesman from the NJDOT could not confirm why East Windsor was denied the extra lights, however, Mironov said it pertained to a technical issue involving the light’s timing.
“When the state looked at the signals, and it’s their signals, the timing sequence disqualifies us from the program,” Mironov said. “Because they do a safety evaluation they would have to fix it [the traffic lights] for the program. I’m not suggesting I find the explanation fully satisfactory, but that’s the rules of the program and it would require three years of non-camera activity.”
“We always believed that Route 130 and 571 were the obvious and highest volume intersections and that we get a large quantity of pass through traffic including trucks and that was quickly identified,” Mironov said.
Mironov said that the use of the camera will be two-fold.
“A great many studies support that these lights enhance safety, driving safety in the area, and that is the primary factor in the state’s establishment of the program,” Mironov said. “I think it would be disingenuous not to recognize that the light is a supplement to our policing and that it does supplement our revenue.”
According to Mironov, ATS is involved in projecting estimates of how much revenue will be generated by the traffic lights for East Windsor.
According to Greeley, the red light traffic program was signed into law in 2008, but did not begin until last spring. He said that there is no data at this time to highlight its success or failure. Greeley said that 19 of 25 municipalities in the state who are in the program currently have the system running.