FAQs - City of Newark_ NJ

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FAQs - City of Newark_ NJ Powered By Docstoc
					                            CITY OF NEWARK
                              PROJECT RED LIGHT

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

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

     *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

Q.   Isn’t photo enforcement just a thinly-veiled attempt by the government to generate

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

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

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.

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-

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