New York ‘dimwitted’ proposal targets New Jersey travelers

June 12, 2023

Keith Goble


State lawmakers in New York and New Jersey continue to bicker about legislation in each state to counter traffic enforcement rules.

The New Jersey Senate voted unanimously a year ago to advance a bill that is intended to limit the effect of red-light and speed cameras.

Sponsored by New Jersey Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, the bill would prohibit the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission from providing identifying information for New Jersey-licensed drivers to camera enforcement entities in other states.

His state previously acted to outlaw use of the automated ticketing devices.

“New Jersey drivers are under siege from out-of-state politicians who want to drive up costs for travelers for the purpose of making a quick buck,” O’Scanlon said in prepared remarks. “Through bipartisan efforts, we fought and defeated camera enforced violations in New Jersey because we recognized that it was nothing more than government-sanctioned-theft.”

Titled the “Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act,” his legislation is modeled after a South Dakota law that prohibits the state from sharing information with other states for the collection of civil fines that result from camera tickets.

New York reaction

In response to the New Jersey action, legislation introduced in the New York Assembly and Senate would charge a $50 fee on drivers from a “noncooperative” state. Specifically, vehicles entering New York City that are registered in states “which do not cooperate” with New York in the enforcement of automated ticketing systems would be charged the fee.

New York Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz, D-Bronx, is behind the Assembly pursuit to counter what he describes in New Jersey as “irresponsible policy.” He has four cosponsors.

In a bill memo, Dinowitz wrote that his bill is intended to collect fees from drivers from states that “allow the drivers of those vehicles the ability to skirt New York traffic laws.”

“Although red-light and speed safety cameras have proven to be successful at discouraging negligent behavior, there are lawmakers in certain states who are more interested in protecting the ability of their drivers to drive recklessly in NYC rather than have them face the consequences of breaking NYC traffic laws, specifically those captured by a red-light and speed cameras,” Dinowitz wrote.

Identical bills were introduced in New York last fall but they remained in committee when the 2022 regular session ended, effectively killing them for the year.

The bills were reintroduced for the 2023 regular session as A1905 and S5496. Both bills are in their respective chambers’ transportation committees.

‘Corrupt automated ticket racket’

O’Scanlon has blasted the “dimwitted proposal” to charge New Jersey drivers entering New York City.

“New Jersey got rid of our red-light camera program because we learned it was a scam that enriched corrupt tech companies at the expense of drivers without improving public safety,” O’Scanlon previously stated. “New Jersey doesn’t inflict these scams on our drivers or anyone else’s, and we should not be complicit in helping other states to perpetuate their automated injustice on New Jerseyans.”

O’Scanlon said the New York legislation is escalating abuse of New Jersey workers by New York.

“I won’t let a dimwitted New York politician try to extort New Jersey into enforcing a corrupt automated ticket racket that preys on both his constituents and my own.”

The New Jersey bill, S460, moved to the Assembly nearly one year ago. It has not been brought up for consideration since the New York bills were introduced. LL

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