New York and New Jersey Engage in Heated Dispute Over Traffic Enforcement Legislation

The ongoing conflict between state lawmakers in New York and New Jersey continues to intensify as both sides propose legislation aimed at counteracting traffic enforcement rules. Last year, the New Jersey Senate unanimously voted to advance a bill sponsored by New Jersey Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. The bill seeks to limit the influence of red-light and speed cameras by preventing the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission from sharing identifying information of New Jersey-licensed drivers with camera enforcement entities in other states. This move comes after New Jersey had previously banned the use of automated ticketing devices.

Sen. O’Scanlon, in his prepared remarks, expressed his concerns over out-of-state politicians targeting New Jersey drivers with the goal of increasing costs for travelers solely for monetary gain. The senator emphasized that bipartisan efforts successfully defeated camera enforced violations in New Jersey, as they were viewed as government-sanctioned theft.

The legislation, known as the “Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act,” takes inspiration from a South Dakota law that prohibits the sharing of information with other states for the collection of civil fines resulting from camera tickets.

In response to New Jersey’s action, lawmakers in the New York Assembly and Senate have introduced legislation that would impose a $50 fee on drivers from “noncooperative” states. Specifically, vehicles registered in states that “do not cooperate” with New York in enforcing automated ticketing systems and enter New York City would be subject to this fee.

New York Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz, D-Bronx, along with four cosponsors, is leading the Assembly’s efforts to counter what he perceives as “irresponsible policy” in New Jersey. According to Dinowitz’s bill memo, the purpose of the proposed legislation is to collect fees from drivers from states that allow their drivers to bypass New York traffic laws.

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While red-light and speed safety cameras have proven effective in deterring reckless behavior, Dinowitz believes that certain lawmakers in other states prioritize protecting their drivers’ ability to drive recklessly in New York City rather than holding them accountable for breaking the city’s traffic laws, particularly those captured by red-light and speed cameras.

Similar bills were introduced in New York last year but remained in committee when the 2022 regular session concluded, effectively halting their progress for the year. The bills, now reintroduced as A1905 and S5496, are currently under review in their respective chambers’ transportation committees.

Sen. O’Scanlon strongly criticized the “dimwitted proposal” to charge New Jersey drivers entering New York City. He emphasized that New Jersey abolished its red-light camera program due to its exploitative nature, benefiting corrupt tech companies at the expense of drivers without improving public safety. O’Scanlon vehemently opposes New Jersey’s involvement in perpetuating automated injustice on its residents or any others, denouncing the attempt by New York politicians to extort his state into enforcing a corrupt automated ticket racket that victimizes constituents on both sides.

While the New Jersey bill, S460, was sent to the Assembly almost a year ago, it has not been brought up for consideration since the introduction of the New York bills. The situation remains tense as the debate surrounding traffic enforcement rules and inter-state relations continues to unfold. LL

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