CITY OF NEWARK PROJECT RED LIGHT (AUTOMATED PHOTO ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM) FAQ’S RED LIGHT RUNNING: Q. What is red light running? A. A violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the signal light has turned red. Motorists trapped inadvertently in an intersection when the signal changes to red (e.g., waiting to turn left) are not considered red light runners pursuant to this statute. Q. Is red light running really a problem? A. Red light running is one of the major causes of collisions, deaths and injuries at signalized intersections in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 20 percent of drivers do not obey intersection signals. Crashes caused by red light running result in more than 800 fatalities and 165,000 injuries each year, according to the NHTSA. The economic impact of red light running on society is estimated to be $14 billion annually. Other motorists and pedestrians account for nearly half the deaths caused by red light running crashes. Q. What are red light cameras and how do they work? A. Red light cameras help communities enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing vehicles whose drivers run red lights. A red light camera system is connected to sensors that monitor traffic flow at the crosswalk or stop line. The system continuously monitors the traffic signal 24/7, and the camera itself is triggered by any vehicle entering the intersection above a pre-established minimum speed and following a specified time after the signal has turned red. A second photograph typically shows the red light violator in the intersection. Cameras record the date, time of day, time elapsed since the beginning of the red signal and vehicle speed. Tickets are sent by mail to owners of the violating vehicles, following a review by a Newark Police Officers of the photographic evidence. You can view your photos and video online at www.photonotice.com. You must enter the required information from the summons. The Citation Number is a nine digit alpha-numeric entry composed of the Prefix followed by the Ticket Number. The city code is NWRKNJ. If you do not have access to a computer, you may use computers in the public library to access the website. Q. Isn’t conventional police enforcement sufficient? A. Red light cameras are designed to identify traffic law violators without depending on the presence of police officers essentially providing twenty four hour police enforcement as it relates to red light running violators. Q. I’ve heard that extending yellow signal timing can be sufficient to prevent red light running. A. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports that the use of adequate yellow signal timing reduces red light running-related injuries and collisions, but longer yellow timing used together with red light cameras provides a more significant decrease in incidents of red light running. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a field study to evaluate the effects on red light running by first lengthening yellow signal timing, followed by the introduction of red light cameras. Results showed that yellow timing changes reduced red light violations by an average 36 percent. The addition of red light camera enforcement reduced red light violations by an additional 96 percent beyond levels achieved by longer yellow signal timing alone. At the intersection with the greatest incidence of red light running – 251 per 10,000 vehicles – yellow light extensions reduced red light running to 198 incidents per 10,000 vehicles. Once red light cameras were installed, incidents of red light running dropped to an astounding two per 10,000 vehicles.* *Source: Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, Status Report, Vol. 42, No. 1 January 27, 2007; Retting, Richard A., Ferguson, Susan A., Farmer, Charles M., Reducing Red Light Running Through Longer Yellow Signal Timing and Red Light Camera Enforcement: Results of a Field Investigation, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, January 2007. Q. Do I get points on my license? A. In no case shall motor vehicle points or automobile insurance eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) be assessed against any person for a violation occurring under the provisions of this act. The ticket for a violation of New Jersey Title 39:4-81, Failure to Observe Signal is the responsibility of the registered owner of the vehicle. PHOTO ENFORCEMENT (GENERAL): Q. Isn’t photo enforcement just a thinly-veiled attempt by the government to generate revenue? A. Photo enforcement deters aggressive and dangerous driving behavior. Studies have shown significant safety benefits of automated traffic enforcement. Photo enforcement programs are completely violator funded and do not cost law-abiding citizens anything. It is important to note, though, that revenues do not equal profits. Photo enforcement systems are a costly endeavor, from the cost of the equipment, installation, operation, maintenance and program oversight. These funds go back into the operating expenses of the service, provide additional revenue for the city and often provide funding for specific safety programs. Q. How do you respond to critics who say that cameras violate motorists’ rights to privacy and are just another example of “Big Brother” invading our right to privacy? A. Red Light Running Cameras are clearly posted in advance of the intersection to ensure motorists are aware that they are in use. A violation is mailed out and includes a link to view the video tape and photo of the incident along with detailed data. Cameras have become a part of our everyday existence. If you shop at a store, use an ATM or fill up your car, you’re on camera. When you choose to travel on public streets, you have a responsibility to operate a vehicle in a safe manner and abide by all traffic laws. The technology is simply one tool available to the City to ensure that drivers are acting in a safe and responsible manner for themselves and those utilizing public streets and sidewalks. Q. How much will this program cost taxpayers in Newark? A. The technology is violator funded. The technology provider does not charge the city to install photo enforcement technology. Instead, the company absorbs much of the upfront cost to install and implement the technology. Q. Aren’t vehicle owners who are issued a photo enforcement-generated ticket for red light running guilty until proven innocent? A. A Photo enforcement citation is a summons. Those receiving a ticket have an opportunity to go online at www.photonotice.com to review the alleged infraction to make a decision if they violated the law. Additionally, those issued a ticket have an opportunity to contest their ticket in municipal court, just as they can with a traditional traffic ticket. Q. Aren’t the cameras inflexible? If an officer was at the corner and saw an infraction, he or she might choose not to write a ticket based on the circumstances. A. A Newark Police officer reviews the footage to ensure a violation in fact occurred. Also, the owners of the vehicles to whom the ticket is issued, can review the actual photos at Photonotice.com and can clearly see why they were issued a ticket. Photo enforcement cameras have been in use for more than 20 years and, in that time, the technology itself has proven extremely accurate and reliable. Q. Where are red light cameras located? A. Broad Street and Market Street Broad Street and Raymond Boulevard Broad Street and Murray Street Raymond Boulevard and Prospect Street Raymond Boulevard and Raymond Plaza West Mulberry Street and Market Street McCarter Highway and Market Street McCarter Highway and Edison Place McCarter Highway and Lafayette Street McCarter Highway and South Street Stockton Street and Delancy Street Market street and Washington Street Market street and University Avenue Wilson Avenue and Doremus Avenue Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard and Court Street Q. How much will a red light running ticket cost? A. The fine for an uncontested ticket is $85.00. Q. What if I have a question? A. Redflex provides a toll free number (1-877-847-2338) to respond to citizen inquiries from 7:00am – 5:00pm (MST) Monday - Friday. If further assistance is needed, a person can contact the Newark Municipal Court at (973) 733-6520. PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS 1. Do not mail cash. 2. Payment of the penalty can be made online at www.njmcdirect.com by Visa or MasterCard. The following information must be available: • Case number • License plate number • Credit card information • You will be required to enter the Court ID number 0714 3. Payment can be made in person at the Newark Municipal Court, 31 Green Street, Newark, NJ 07102. Hours of operation: Monday thru Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm, excluding holidays. The Newark Municipal Court accepts the following payment methods in person: • Cash • Check • Money order • Visa or MasterCard 4. Payment can be made through the mail by check or money order. You must write the Case Number on the check or money order and a copy of the ticket must be included in the mailing. 5. For questions regarding payment, call the Newark Municipal Court at 973-733-6520.
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