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NJ Lawmaker To Introduce Bill Increasing Length Of Yellow Lights At Intersections

Drivers Say They're Tired Of Being Hit With Fines At Camera-Enforced Lights
Traffic light turns yellow at the intersection of Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

Traffic light turns yellow at the intersection of Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Drivers in the Garden State said they’re facing a problem at red-light cameras — not being able to make it through the yellow fast enough.

That predicament has resulted in many Jersey City residents being slapped with tickets. Now, one lawmaker wants to change the way the lights work.

“Yellow, you always thought that you could go through it, but not here,” Allan Adler told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Adler said he got a ticket for $87 for doing the same thing at another red-light camera at Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue. That is where in just one year, drivers were issued 20,000 tickets.

“It said that the light was yellow and I was in the middle lane and I kept going as it was turning red,” Adler said.

Some drivers said they’re getting tickets going through the yellow light.

“I got caught twice by the light. I am way past the light and it’s going off,” Melvin Wright said.

Drivers said the yellow lights at camera-enforced intersections don’t stay on long enough. Because of that, they say they can’t clear the intersections before the lights turn red.

New Jersey Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon is proposing a bill that would increase the length of yellow lights at intersections by a second and give drivers a half-a-second grace period.

He said the lights are not improving safety, but allowing private companies and governments to get more money.

But Jersey City Mayor Jerremiah Healy disagreed, saying the pilot program has been “…working as expected to slow traffic down traffic at some of our busiest intersections.”

Many pedestrians said red-light cameras are needed.

“People still speed around here so much and they keep running through the red lights,” Noel Micho said.

The bill, which would also lower fines for making a right on red, will be introduced next week.

Jersey City and other towns that have red-light cameras said you can go to court and fight tickets, but many drivers that spoke to CBS 2 said it’s easier to pay the fine rather than take a day off from work.