Would Protect Motorists From Double Fines
TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner (D – Mercer, Hunterdon) today said she will introduce legislation that would require additional signage at intersections patrolled by red light cameras to protect motorists from being doubly fined in court for violations they may have had no idea they committed.
Senator Turner sponsored the legislation after receiving complaints from constituents, particularly regarding the areas of Bakers Basin and Franklin Corner Roads in Lawrence Township.
“While they were designed with the best of intentions, we are seeing more and more problems with red light cameras across the state. It is clear that there are many issues that need to be corrected with them. Having appropriate road signs that clearly spell out what is and is not allowed at these lights will keep people safe and protect their wallets from overzealous fines,” said Turner.
One of the complaints of the program is that motorists making a right turn on red have received violations notices, as the cameras often can not differentiate between a car legitimately travelling through a red light from one that has simply made a right turn on red. Under the bill, right turn on red would no longer be allowed at any traffic signal in which there is a red light camera, with “No Turn On Red” signs clearly mounted within the view of motorists.
“People seeking to simply make a legal right turn on red should not have to undergo the shock some time later of receiving a summons from a camera that couldn’t take reality into consideration,” said Turner. “Communities considering putting up a camera to gain extra revenue would also have to weigh the potential for greater back-ups at a traffic light from disallowing right turns on red. If the real goal of the red light cameras is to increase safety, then removing right turn on red from those dangerous intersections is common sense.”
Additionally, the law would require signage be put up that clearly indicates when motorists are driving through a “safe corridor.”
“Often, people receive tickets having no idea they were in a ‘safe corridor’ area. Then, they get to court and are hit with a double fine. That is not right. We should not be treating people on the road as if their only purpose is to fill our government coffers with their money. Our job is to make sure the roads, and the people traveling them, are safe,” added Turner.
The Senator said she intends to introduce the bill next Monday.