The clock has started ticking on the , and at two of the intersections, the 30-day grace period is almost up.
Starting January 24, if you run a red light at two of the new intersections flanked by cameras that snap photos of license plates for going through a red light, you'll get hit with a $140 fine.
The NJ Dept. of Transportation had given the township the go-ahead to start up the cameras on December 25 for two of the three new intersections: Route 1 and Green Street, and Route 184/West Pond Road, at the entrance to Walmart.
Approval for the third intersection with red light cameras, at Route 1 and Gill Lane, was given by the DOT on January 16. The grace period at that intersection ends on February 15.
The way the system works is that for first 30 days after the cameras become operational, drivers who get snagged will only get a warning notice in the mail, not a ticket.
But after the 30 days are up, the tickets and the $140 fines that come with them, are for real. Motorists who get the tickets will not get any points on their licenses as they would if they were stopped by a police officer for running a red light.
The three new red light camera intersections join an already existing red light camera which was installed in July, 2010 at Avenel Street and Route 1.
"The problem I have with them is that the yellow light doesn't give people enough time to get through an intersection," said Councilman Bob Luban, who voted to approve the cameras.
Luban also said that the signs warning people about the lights should be more prominent. "The signs should be larger so drivers know they're there and change their behavior," he said. "They're so small that you can get into an accident, trying to find them in all the visual clutter on the side of the road."
The official reason for having the red light cameras is to promote safety, but there's no question the red light cameras are big moneymakers for towns that have them.
The red light camera at Avenel Street and Route 1 brought in $1,240,526, with the township getting $632,837 of that, according to a report at newjerseynewsroom.com.