February 18, 2009
Red-light camera installation OK'd at Brick intersections
By JESSICA DIKLICH
TOMS RIVER BUREAU
The Township Council on Tuesday night awarded a contract to American Traffic Solutions to install and operate so-called red-light cameras at two major intersections.
"It will create safer intersections. When surveying the area, officials saw 85 traffic violations in a three-hour period," Councilman Brian Deluca said. "With safety being first — that is why we're doing this — but with that aside, the revenue they're looking at generating is projected at $40,000 to $50,000 a month" for the township.
The cameras will be installed at Chambers Bridge Road and Route 70, and Cedar Bridge Road and Route 70.
The contract calls for the company, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., to receive $38,000 a month from the township, which would pay that amount from the revenue from summonses issued. A provision in the contract reduces the monthly payment by $1,200 to reflect the township's expenses in processing the tickets.
"The camera is triggered when both sets of tires are behind the stop line and the light is red," said Charles Callari, New Jersey regional development director for the company.
"Data has shown traffic violations, crashes and fatalities have all gone down" after the cameras are installed, Callari said. "In terms of the business model, what makes it unique is we are responsible for it and it does not require township money."
Callari said that New York City, which has the longest-running red-light camera program, has seen a 75 percent reduction in violations, which has spurred other municipalities to look into adding the technology.
"I am also happy to say you are the first municipality to allow a vendor to do this in the state of New Jersey," Callari said.
Each summons would cost an individual violator $85, with $46 going to the town.
In response to questions about the cost of the cameras to the township, Callari said, "The cost is $150,000 per approach, with four approaches at each intersection, and we pay for that."
Deluca asked: "So we are not paying any money at all? If you don't meet the rental fee, you don't charge us?"
"Correct," Callari responded.
According to Councilman Anthony Matthews, 150 accidents a year have occurred at those two intersections.
"If we can just reduce it by one accident, I think we are doing our job," Mayor Stephen Acropolis said. "Brick should be proud of the fact we will be the first to do this so we can look out for the wellness of the people of this township.
"These are the most dangerous intersections in town."