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Jersey City red light cameras may be to blame for illegal ticketing

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Jersey City, N.J. (PIX11)– Drivers around New Jersey have been complaining for a year that the red light cameras are unfairly snapping pictures and consequently ticketing them for allegedly running red lights.

State Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon of Monmouth says he heard their complaints and joined forces with a local lawyer to bring in the Red Light Doctor, an expert from Chicago who monitors video timing devices.

The result? O’Scanlon announced in a press conference on Monday afternoon is that the cameras are aiding in the illegal ticketing of N.J. drivers.

PIX 11 talked with drivers at the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and JFK Boulevard in Jersey City who say they are sick and tired of the problems the cameras are causing.

“Tickets were going out like crazy,” Pamela Wooten, who just received an $85 ticket for running a red light in July that she swears is incorrect, said.

“That yellow light is too short,” she said.

She is not the only one.

A local lawyer who reportedly represents many of the drivers who feel unfairly ticketed coordinated a visit from the “doctor” who did a forensic study on the lights and cameras at several intersections and found the yellow light was at least a quarter of a second shorter than its allowed to be by law.

This means the yellow lights are not long enough, according to his report, for a driver to pass through the light at 30 or 40 mph.

Wooten hopes the study will urge the Department of Transportation to take a second look at the timing of the lights and cameras to ensure drivers are not being unfairly charged.

“They [DOT] should really come down here and just watch what happens. They will see. But they won’t. Because its money for them,” Wooten said.

Last summer, after a series of resident complaints, DOT suspended the cameras to check the accuracy. They determined the cameras were working and insist that over the year, they have helped reduce accidents in the areas where cameras monitor highly-trafficked intersections.

DOT has not responded to the most recent report.