Study: New Jersey Voters Strongly Support Red Light Safety Cameras

07/06/2011
National Coalition for Safer Roads | NCSR

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The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) released new research today showing that New Jersey’s registered voters overwhelmingly support the use of red light safety cameras. The poll found that 77 percent back the use of cameras at busy intersections in New Jersey, with 43 percent saying they “strongly support” the cameras.

“New Jersey voters report that drivers in the state are more careful when they are aware that red light cameras are installed at busy intersections,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of National Research Inc, whose client list includes Fortuna 500 companies, and elected officials throughout the country, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. “They perceive the same thing as other studies are showing – that these cameras make roads safer, help prevent accidents, and save lives.”

Among 600 likely voters, more than half (56 percent) report they drive more carefully when they know that red light safety cameras are present. More than 7 in ten (71 percent) believe other drivers are more careful when safety cameras are present.

“Drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers have made it clear they want these cameras in their communities,” said David Kelly, president and executive director of the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), and former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Although there is a vocal minority who opposes these life-saving devices, the public overwhelmingly supports red light safety cameras because they change dangerous driver behavior, reduce accidents and save lives.”

New Jersey is operating under a five-year pilot program for red light cameras. Seventeen municipalities currently use this technology: Brick, East Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge in Middlesex County; Linden and Roselle Park in Union County; Deptford, Monroe and Glassboro in Gloucester County; Stratford, Gloucester Township and Cherry Hill in Camden County; Wayne in Passaic County; Jersey City in Hudson County; Palisades Park in Bergen County and Newark in Essex County. Poll respondents strongly supported — by a 71 percent to 24 percent margin — broader access to this technology in New Jersey.

“Communities across New Jersey should have the opportunity to put these at every dangerous intersection in our state,” said Alex Fanfarillo, chief of police for Glassboro. “New Jersey lawmakers should strongly consider expanding the pilot red light camera program to allow the use of these life-saving cameras across the state.”

The new survey comes on the heels of a national study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showing that two thirds of drivers in 14 big cities with longstanding red light camera programs support their use, and that more than 90 percent of drivers surveyed in the 14 cities believe red light running is unacceptable. More than 80 percent deem it a serious threat to personal safety.

Other highlights of the New Jersey poll:

  • When it comes to specific places where cameras might be used, support was highest in school zones (74% support), followed by construction zones (59%).
  • By a 77%-22% margin, voters support the use of red light safety cameras at New Jersey’s busiest intersections, to monitor drivers who run red lights.
  • When supporters were asked in an open ended question WHY they supported the cameras, 69% cited the safety of other drivers and pedestrians, and 59% cited law enforcement and prevention of violating the law. (Numbers sum to more than 100% as multiple responses were accepted)

The survey was conducted in New Jersey on June 6-8 among 600 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4% in 95 out of 100 cases. The sample is 22% Republican, 35% Democrat and 43% unaffiliated. Males comprise 48% of the sample, and females 52%. The statewide poll was conducted by National Research Inc.

Click here to view the executive summary and the poll results.

To view footage of red-light runners caught on tape in New Jersey, click here.

NCSR is a nonprofit advocacy organization that brings together industry leaders, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of red light safety camera technology. Coalition members include the National Safety Council, Child Safety Network, National Organizations for Youth Safety, America Walks, and Red Means Stop. NCSR receives funding from American Traffic Solutions. NCSR helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red light safety cameras can improve driver behavior. For more information, visit http://SafeRoadsSaveLives.org/, follow @SaferRoadsUSA on Twitter and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaferRoadsUSA.