Cops apply for red light cameras

The Police Department received approval from the state for a red light camera pilot program at Routes 1/9 and East Milton Avenue and also will seek cameras for East Grand Avenue.

City Council discussed the proposal during a meeting earlier this summer. Requests for Proposals (RFP) will go out after the pilot gets approval and vendors will vie to install the cameras. But tn 18 months since the state program started, none have been installed yet because of court battles, according to Police Chief John Rodger. “I’m sure there will be test cases played out in the courts on this,” he said.

Rahway is in the second cycle of approvals by the state Department of Transportation and towns that were in the first cycle are not yet installed. “We will continue to pursue it until it gets done,” he said.

A survey by the Police Department indicated as many as 60 violations per hour at Routes 1/9-East Milton Avenue. Eight summonses issued per hour would project a total of almost 200 a day, or 70,000 per year. By comparison, an average motor vehicle stop takes 20 minutes so one officer could theoretically complete three an hour — if assigned to nothing but traffic enforcement, Rodger said. The department averages between 10,000 and 12,000 violations per year, he added, with about 6,100 this year through mid-August.

Revenue from the fines, which are doubled because the area is a state-designated “Safe Corridor,” is shared between the state, county and town, according to Rodger.