Poll: N.J. Drivers want red light cameras

March 6, 2008 6:45:48 AM PST
Most New Jersey drivers support using cameras to catch drivers running red lights, according to a poll released Thursday.

The AAA Clubs of New Jersey poll found 70 percent of drivers polled support using the cameras at red lights to catch violators. The Legislature and Gov. Jon S. Corzine recently approved a five-year red light camera program.

Joel Vittori, chairman of the New Jersey Council of AAA Clubs, said the program must focus on safety, not increasing revenue through tickets.

"We will follow the pilot program closely to ensure this new technology is used to enhance traffic safety," he said.

The survey found nearly every New Jersey motorist encounters aggressive drivers, with 90 percent saying they encountered one within the last six months.

It also found 65 percent oppose increasing the gas tax to improve roads and bridges, and 48 percent support and 47 percent oppose using a toll increase to improve roads and bridges.

According to the poll, drivers listed as the top five most serious safety concerns, in order: impaired drivers, text messaging while driving, big trucks that tailgate, aggressive driving, and using a hand-held cell phone.

A new state law bans text messaging while driving and talking on a hand-held cell phone. Violators face $100 fines.

The survey found motorists ranked reading, using a texting device, grooming, talking on a cell phone and eating and drinking as the top driving distractions.

It also found 73 percent found toll roads in "excellent" or "good" condition, with 63 percent giving that praise to interstate highways. Only 42 percent found local roads in those conditions, and just 35 percent find state and county roads in those conditions.

The survey of 1,000 New Jersey motorists was done in November by National Research of Holmdel. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.