Traffic light camera company posts crashes online

December 28, 2011 3:41:27 PM PST
Crash at a New Jersey intersection and you could wind up on YouTube.

Crashes recorded from red light cameras around New Jersey have been posted on YouTube by American Traffic Solution, one of the country's biggest red light camera companies, in an effort to remind drivers about the dangers of running red lights.

But whether pictures of these crashes should be posted on the internet is the subject of some discussion.

"It's an invasion of privacy. Do you want your business broadcast to everybody in the world? It's just not nice," Ted Sateriale of Pennsauken said.

"What they're doing with the red light thing is okay cause I think it's deterring a lot of people, making sure they stop. But putting it on the internet? I'm not really for that," Dawn Eichenberg of Deptfod said.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-profit funded by the car insurance industry, says there's no privacy issue, driving is a regulated activity on public roads.

"I don't take it as a privacy issue. I think you're out in the public so it becomes public knowledge. It's not like it's in your home," Frances Gill of Sicklerville said.

"I don't know if it's a privacy issue. It's a public accident, right? They're public roadways," Pete Dietrich of Medford said.

Faces and license plates do not show up in the pictures, which are among dozens of similar red light crash postings on YouTube from New Jersey and around the nation.

American Traffic Solutions tells Action News it gets permission from local police departments to use the accident video.

Eileen Garton of Somerdale has seen the latest video and while disturbed by it, thinks putting it on the internet could be effective.

"I think that would discourage them. Even though it bothers me, I think it will discourage people from running through a red light," Garton said.

The state is in the midst of a 5-year pilot program to test red light cameras like the ones at Hurffvilleand Deptford Center roads in Deptford. The cameras are also controversial because some drivers see them not as a safety tool, but a way for towns to make money by collecting fines from violators.

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