Lisa McCormick is opposed to employing cameras for traffic enforcement and she released the following statement clarifying her position on the issue:
The traffic enforcement camera program is one of the reasons why I do not support Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who is a major advocate for red light cameras in New Jersey.
For one thing, we are supposed to live in a free society and not a police state. Red light cameras exist to make money for law enforcement agencies by violating America’s values, not promoting public safety.
The driver, not the vehicle’s owner, should be liable for violations as a matter of justice and we should maintain the presumption of innocence. In Maryland, state Sen. Alex Mooney successfully fought a ticket for running a red light in 2003 despite a camera capturing his car speeding through an intersection because he was able to prove to a judge that a car thief was behind the wheel. Americans should not need to prove they are innocent.
Moreover, I am committed to eliminating the practice of privatizing law enforcement for profit, and that is what outsourcing traffic regulation is no matter how you dress it up.
I don’t think accident reductions merit continuation of the program. A 2012 analysis of two dozen New Jersey intersections that had red-light cameras for at least a year showed that the number of accidents – particularly rear-end crashes – increased, and the collisions are more costly. The “crash severity cost” — which takes into account vehicle and property damage, emergency response and medical care — at those locations increased by nearly $1.2 million after the cameras were installed.
Traffic fines as a revenue source are unfair, and there are better ways to get people to drive safely. There are also far greater crimes against society and red light camera advocates have broken those. Two leading companies in contracting for traffic cameras — Redflex Traffic Systems, headquartered in Australia, and American Traffic Solutions Inc., based in Arizona — have engaged in far greater violations of the law (including bribery) and they should be banned from having any government contract. Redflex bribed officials in 13 states, including New Jersey, according to court documents filed by a former company executive. Wisniewski was New Jersey’s top recipient of campaign cash from the Australian company that was guilty of bribing of politicians to install red-light cameras at intersections.
I have sought to make an issue of the fact that 75% off crimes reported in New Jersey go unsolved. We won’t improve on that by making this a police state. We need to make major changes to establish justice.
Wisniewski (D-Redflex) is the leading recipient of campaign cash from the Australian company that is in the midst of a scandal over the alleged bribing of politicians to install those infernal red-light cameras at intersections.