Hamilton Township wants to introduce a new way to catch traffic violators.
The township is applying to the state Department of Transportation to put red-light cameras on traffic lights near Hamilton Mall — at the Wrangleboro Road intersections of Black Horse Pike and the Atlantic City Expressway. The cameras would catch motorists who drive through red lights. Police would then be able send a summons in the mail.
The cameras would be paid for through fines by the violators.
Administrator Mike Jacobs said a consultant firm American Traffic Solutions Inc. is handling the application. They will await approval from the state, he said.
If approved, the cameras would be the first in the area. According to the DOT, only 25 municipalities in the state have been approved to install red-light cameras.
Middle Township also has applied to the DOT to add red-light cameras along Route 9, where the road intersects with Route 47 in Rio Grande and Stone Harbor Boulevard in Cape May Court House.
The closest red-light cameras are in Brick Township, Ocean County; Monroe Township and Glassboro, Gloucester County; and Gloucester Township, Camden County, the DOT said.
Committeeman Charles Cain said the two cameras will serve as a pilot program — and the township may decide to add more in the future.
"Whenever you can do something efficient and with limited resources and still meet our goal, it's a win-win," he said.
The township's Police Department also supports the plan.
Chief Stacey Tappeiner said he has researched the topic — and he believes the cameras would cut down on the number of car accidents.
The measure had disagreement among the Township Committee, as Committeeman Roger Silva and Tom Palmentieri opposed the measure. Cain, Mayor Amy Gatto and Committeeman Harvey Kesselman supported the plan at a meeting in January.
Silva said he was afraid the restriction would slow traffic on the Black Horse Pike, which is already very congested due to visitors for the area shopping centers. He also is concerned about taking up manpower for officers to review the tapes.
"I don't believe in raising revenue on the backs of residents, shoppers or visitors," he said. "This situation is a tough one. If people know there are cameras and slow up a few seconds early it will back up traffic on the Black Horse Pike. Instead of helping a situation it could exacerbate it."
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