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Scutari Decries Hidden Taxes Resulting From ‘Big Brother’ Tactics


TRENTON – In light of reports that two companies involved in developing ‘red-light’ cameras are planning to market similar technology to be used for parking enforcement, Senator Nicholas Scutari today reiterated his opposition to the use of video surveillance for minor vehicle-related infractions.

“The red-light pilot program is riddled with problems, and under the guise of public safety is being used as a revenue raiser for cash-strapped municipalities. A parking enforcement program would be just another hidden tax,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union). “It’s shameful that any government would resort to targeting its own residents for minor traffic infractions as a means to raise money. This has got to stop.”

Scutari reiterated his opposition to the enforcement method amid reports that RedFlex and ACS, which market red-light cameras, are planning to expand their products to video and electronic surveillance technology to enforce parking regulations.

“These programs are not about public safety, but about bringing in new revenue for municipalities that are in a financial crunch,” said Scutari. “It’s time we put a stop to these ‘Big Brother’ tactics once and for all. Enough is enough.”

Scutari is the sponsor of legislation (S-197) that would repeal the five-year pilot program that allows ‘red-light’ cameras at 48 intersections across the state, half of which are up and running. Scutari said it has proven problematic, resulting in the issuance of tickets to vehicle owners as opposed to drivers. He also has raised concerns that cameras could cause drivers to stop short at an intersection to avoid a ticket, resulting in a traffic accident.

Scutari added that a recent case out of California in which a panel of Orange County Superior Court judges ruled that photos and videos from red light cameras by police were inadmissible as evidence also raises questions regarding the constitutionality of red light cameras.

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