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Lawrence Twp. Issues Red Light Camera Fact Sheet

New Lawrence Township document explains the $140 in fees that are charged for a red light violation captured by the new camera system at the intersection of Route 1 and Franklin Corner Road/Bakers Basin Road.

Editor's Note: The following "Lawrence Township Red Light Photo Enforcement Program Fact Sheet" was posted on the township website on Wednesday, Dec. 21. 

The Township of Lawrence and County of Mercer have mutually entered into a contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to provide photo enforcement service at the intersection of Brunswick Pike (Route One) and Franklin Corner Road / Bakers Basin Road. It is important to note that this service is paid on a flat monthly rental rate. The vendor is not paid on a per ticket basis. Also, the Town is protected in that if revenue received from the program does not match the rental fee, then the town is not responsible for the difference. This means that there is no financial risk to the taxpayers.

As previously stated, Mercer County has opted into the project as is their right according to law. The county receives half of the fine portion and is responsible to pay half of the monthly rental fee for the camera system.

The Amber light phase time of the intersection is not set by the vendor or the Township of Lawrence. Brunswick Pike (Route One) is a state highway and therefore, the signal times are set by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The Amber light phase time has not changed due to the installation of this system.

The Township of Lawrence has given ATS specific guidance to determine if a red light violation should in fact be forwarded to the police department for the issuance of a summons. Contained within these guidelines is the fact that an offending vehicle must fail to stop at the intersection. If a vehicle completely stops at the intersection, then there is no summons issued, even if the stop is completed past the designated stop line.

Motorists must take note that the failure to stop at or near the stop line of the intersection will result in the issuance of the summons. It is also important to note that New Jersey Law requires vehicles to stop at the stop line prior to making a right turn on red. Lawrence Township guidelines require vehicles to stop in the area of the stop line within one car length for a violation to be issued. For example, if a vehicle stops three feet past the stop line but does come to a complete stop, no summons will be issued.

“Caravanning” is not allowed under New Jersey law. Therefore, if a motorist is stopped in a line of traffic and intends on making a right turn on red, the vehicle must stop within a car length of the stop line prior to or after the stop line in order to avoid being issued a summons. If a vehicle is at least one or more than one car length prior to the stop line and fails to stop from any point further on during a right on red turn, the vehicle will be subject to a summons.

Right turns on red are allowed at this intersection on the Franklin Corner Road and Bakers Basin Road sides, but a vehicle can only make a right turn on red if the vehicle completely stops at the intersection. “Rolling stops” are not considered complete stops and will result in the issuance of a summons.

It is important to note that this intersection does allow for pedestrian crossing. There are clearly marked crosswalks painted on the roadway that are located after the designated stop lines. Pedestrians routinely cross this intersection at all hours of the day. This is an important reason why vehicles making a right turn on red must stop within a cars length of the stop line.

The ATS camera system contains a digital camera and an additional video recorder. For every violation, the system takes two still digital photos. The first photo is at the stop line and the second photo is of the vehicle proceeding through the intersection. For each violation, a video clip of the violation is included with the violation package.

Motorists should note that since the digital camera has a sensor in the roadway near the stop line, there are numerous times that the camera flash will activate to take a photo. However, if the vehicle that activated the camera and flash does stop and does not go through the intersection in violation of the law, there is no summons issued. This is the reason why motorists often observe “flashes” when there is no vehicle running a red light.

After ATS reviews the incident and compares it to the guidelines for the Lawrence Township Photo Enforcement Program, they only forward potential violations packages on to the police department that violate the guidelines. A sworn police officer reviews each violation package to determine if in fact there is a violation of New Jersey Law. If a vehicle is found to be in violation, then the officer issues the summons electronically and the summons is mailed out to the offender. It is important to note that the summons is issued by a Lawrence Township Police Officer, not the vendor.

According to New Jersey law, a summons issued by a police officer under this program is issued as a violation of N.J.S. 39:4-81(c). The penalty imposed for this violation is a fine only. There are no points accessed regarding this violation.

It is also important to note that this entire intersection is designated by New Jersey Law as being part of the safe corridor law. Therefore, by state law, the fines are doubled for any moving violations at this location, including a red light running violation. Motorists who are issued a summons for this violation and who are found guilty, will be assessed an amount of $ 140.00. The amount of the summons is broken down as follows: 

Fine Amount:

  • Lawrence Township $55 (double $27.50 due to stretch of road being a NJ Safe Corridor)
  • Mercer County $55 (double $27.50 due to stretch of road being a NJ Safe Corridor)

Costs - Municipality $18.50

Mandatory Funds (ATS, ATSM, EMTFF) - $5.50

  • Special State Assessments:     
  • Body Armor Replacement Fund $1.00
  • NJ Spinal Cord Research Fund $1.00
  • NJ DNA Lab Fee $2.00
  • Autism Medical Research and Treatment Fund $1.00
  • NJ Brain Injury Fund $1.00

The total is $140.

Peter December 22, 2011 at 05:12 PM
The cameras are way to sensitive. I was behind someone who stopped fully, and after a couple of seconds inched forward and it took a picture of the license plate. I've seen it take pictures of peoples license plates at all the wrong times; It's crazy.
Margo December 22, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Peter, read the above media release. If the camera flashes it will be reviewed and only sent to the police if it meets the criteria set forth. A summons will only be issued if the violation is confirmed by a sworn officer. The fact that the camera flashes means only that somehow the sensor was activated. It does not mean that a ticket will be issued. (that is the way I read it anyway). I commend the township for releasing such a comprehensive and well explained article. This cleared up the rumors and assumptions. Thank you.
Brian Ceccarelli December 22, 2011 at 07:40 PM
For the true and funny story about red light cameras, watch the video at http://redlightrobber.com.
The Ticket Doctor December 23, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Although the article appears forthright, here are some hardball questions that need answers. 1-Why is there no independent camera certification? 2-Why do the do the vast majority of sworn police officers reviewing RLC videos have no forensic video training? 3-Why are judges and officers only trained by camera vendors? 4-Why does the video software used by most camera vendors and municipalities lack the ability to do "instant replay" for fairer hearings? 5- Why don't red light cameras have the ability to record newer car's digital stop lights which may influence municipal decisions? 6- Why do RLCs use Federally prohibited strobe flash lights? 7- Why don't RLC contracts contain the word "safety"? 8- Why don't any of the RLC contracts have safety milestones or goals????
Catlady1 December 23, 2011 at 02:42 AM
I read the previous article regarding the camera lights and didn't think much of it, thinking that people need to not run red lights. That all changed when I got a ticket TODAY for $140.00. And it's for all the reasons stated in this bu****it article. I immediately called the office and was told that, even though I came to a stop at the intersection (I was making a right onto route 1 south), my car stopped just beyond the white line. I saw the video - my car stops ON the white line, way before the pedestrian path. Not a rolling stop, a complete stop. I was told by the clerk on the phone that it won't really be worth it to fight it. I told her that if Lawrenceville wanted to have me donate money to the township, the could've just asked. $140.00??? Are they serious? The ticket shows that I did this stopping on the white line on November 30th. The person authorizing the ticket signed it on December 13th. I received it today, the 22nd, and they want it paid by the 29th... $140.00 ... had I'd known there were so many effing stipulations to this stupid camera ('If a vehicle is at least one or more than one car length prior to the stop line and fails to stop from any point further on during a right on red turn, the vehicle will be subject to a summons.'... I'm not illiterate, but what the frig does that mean?), I would've just ran the red light. And then they're going to post these ridiculous rules on the Patch? How very unfair... shame on you Lawrenceville...
Patrick December 23, 2011 at 03:34 AM
$140 seems rather steep. and it mentioned that Lawrence will never lose money yet there is no mention what the 'rental' fee is... Pretty sick that a company can profit at the hands of us and the intersection feels a lot less safe.... Today a 18 wheeler was riding me very closely as I drove south in very congested traffic. The light turned yellow when I was past the diner entrance. I was sure to make sure I stopped. As I was braking in my rear view All I could see was the grill of the truck and finally saw the cabin lurch forward as he had to apply forcefully apply his brakes. Because the traffic was slowed to about 40 because of traffic I hear to write this... I have to say its not safe.
Linda December 23, 2011 at 07:12 AM
I also consider myself to be fairly intelligent, however after reading those stipulations, I felt like I needed to call on a friendly cop and have him show me what the hell this means! Safety my pitutti, this is all about revenue for these nutty spending liberals!
come to reality December 23, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Seems as though this is a no win situation. The township answered the questions that the commuity had and still there are folks upset. There are people that now want to take the questioning to a different level. Exampless. Are there independant camera certifications? This is not a speed camera. The camera is mereley taking pictures of a license plate. Why would there need to be an independant camera certification? "Why do the vast majority of sworn police officers reviewing RLC videos have no forensic video training?" Vast majority? It merely took me a few minutes and one phone call / question to find out that there are only a few officers that received training and review the videos. I am not sure what the training level is of those officers but I am not sure forensic video training is necessary to determine a red light violation. What is forensic video training anyway? Rather than go back and forth with some of these ridiculous concerns just STOP AT THE RED LIGHT, STOP BEFORE MAKING A RIGHT ON RED and STOP WITHIN A CAR LENGTH OF THE STOP LINE and there will be no problem. I don't know why it is so hard to comprehend the township article as some say. I am not an overly intelligent person and I understood it just fine. It is annoying to read people question and contest the validity of the device rather then just following the law. Is it a money maker for local government? YES. Fight the town making money by following the law not raising silly arguments. - Ed
Sanriobaby December 23, 2011 at 09:51 PM
To completely avoid even the risk of getting a ticket, I'll be sure to just not turn on red at that intersection anymore. I know that has/will annoy other drivers who want to turn on red behind me, but I know I'm not alone b/c others are now doing this too. A fine of $140 is a pretty steep fine to pay, especially these days.
Franklin December 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM
In my opinion this is just a "cash cow", for the vendor and Lawrenceville. It is a hidden tax for the alrteady overtaxed citizens of Lawrenceville. You can wrap it all up as a saftey issue, but I don't buy it; in fact I believe that it may even cause accidents. People will be more inclined to brake heavily at the amber light to avoid a ticket, thereby running the risk of being rear-ended. Also, as another poster has already stated, concerning turning right on the red, it might just be better to wait for the green.
Ashley K January 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Oh my god. I just got one in the mail. It's dated December 13th. Today is January 11th!!! Why did they take so long to send this to me? I could have known! Now I could have more! And the officer who answered when I called told me that they were installed in Nov. and warnings were going out. OK, I'll admit that I saw a light go off many times when I was turning from Franklin Corner onto Rt. 1 South. But I NEVER thought it applied to me because I knew (thought?) that right turn on reds were legal there. I got the notice today and I almost lost it. I turn on red 50% of the time I go through that light, which is every day I go to work. Why did it take them a month to send me the ticket??? Am I going to get more of these?? My fiance thinks that Lawrenceville is purposely reviewing the tickets to get as much money as possible without stirring up opposition to the cameras, which is his explanation of why I never got a warning despite making those cameras go off many, many times before Dec. 13th, and he also thinks I won't get any more tickets (and I hope for dear life he's right, we're so strapped for money because of our wedding, I was sobbing on the phone with the officer about this). I will say that when I watched the video, this was definitely the worst time - I was an idiot and didn't stop at all. But now I'm Iiving in fear of more, though starting Jan. 11th I'd rather sit in Princeton Pike/206 traffic for the Business 1 circle than ever go through Franklin Corner Road again.
Ashley K January 11, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Aren't other municipalities banning red light cameras because of issues with identification? When you're caught by an in-person officer, there's a witness to identify not only the violation but THE PERSON DOING THE VIOLATING. How can you issue a ticket to a car? So for anyone I let borrow my car, including my husband, the ticket ends up in my name? Also, how can this be a moving violation and a non-moving violation at the same time? Fine, I'm glad not to get points on my license, but this is incredibly shady, and at a time when the rest of the country is getting rid of it for these reasons. Finally, I read on NJ.com that the "safety" they're promoting is the 111 accidents with 42 injuries and 0 fatalities that happened last year. More than that happen in front of my house on Trenton Ave in Morrisville. Maybe Mercer County should be concentrating more on signifcant safety hazards, such as the waaay too short light at the Warren St. exit of Rt. 1 that backs up onto Rt. 1 where oncoming traffic can't see it because of the curved road. Sitting at a dead stop on Rt. 1 for like 5 light cycles in order to get over the Trenton Makes Bridge isn't terrifying or anything, with the way people will rush past my car, barely missing me. Some day I'm sure to be rear-ended and killed there, but now I really can't afford that $1 for the bridge because I have to worry about $140 tickets for nothing.
Ashley K January 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I knew I should have been reading the free copies of this newspaper at work: http://www.princetoninfo.com/index.php?option=com_us1more&Itemid=6&key=10-26-11%20cameras
x February 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Boycott Lawrenceville businesses, the power of the purse. don't even purchase gasoline in Lawrenceville. Remember the whole purpose of these RLCs is to raise revenue, deny them that revenue.
Linda February 03, 2012 at 06:43 PM
X I won't even make a right on red anymore! I have alot of po'd drivers behind me, but I do not have any faith in anything Big Brother does. This has nothing to do with safety, it is ALL ABOUT REVENUE!
Diane February 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
We also received a ticket for making a right hand turn on red at that intersection. I visited the intersection several times afterwards to check if there was a sign posted "no turn on red" and did not find one. I am really getting annoyed at the surveillance systems and believe there will be more accidents because of them. I now jam on my breaks when I spot a camera for fear that I will receive another $140 fine. I then pray that I will not be rear-ended by the car behind me!
Linda February 11, 2012 at 05:21 AM
New Jersey is quickly becoming a "no turns on red" state for me! This has nothing to do with safety!
Tilat Choudhry February 24, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I am so sick of living on Franklin corner road,Ist to make a left turn in the morning I have to wait for all the traffic coming down from 95 pn to franklin corner road,I also work down town in Trenton and there fore have to make right turn on us1.I have received 3 ticket since November all close to each other, the officers reviving the videos obviously hate me with pASSION AS i HAVE HAD 3 TICKETS.My property taxes are high,gas is getting expensive,and now i have to pay Lawrence township .I do agree that the camras are very sensitive and its a money maker for the township.I am now driving a longer route in order to avoid right on US1.
Linda February 24, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I'm sorry for your LOSS AND LAWRENCE TWP. GAIN Tilat! Seriously welcome to the "New Order" comrade! I no longer make a right on red and that miserable corner. They need to go and so does that creep Richard "commie" Krawczun our township Manager!
Shayron April 16, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Absurd camera. Really? A right and wrong way to make a right on red? Who wants to even try and make a right on red. It's not worth $140. I'd rather piss off all the cars in line behind me making a right.
tom June 23, 2012 at 05:56 PM
If the township didn't have the cameras certified before being put in operation all tickets issued should be dismissed! The township is not above adhering to the law and as a citizen you have to assume that they are in compliance. Then try to get your money back

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