New Jersey Legislation May Protect Residents From Out-Of-State Automated Enforcement

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Do you live in New Jersey, but travel around states where a traffic enforcement camera could ruin your day? You may soon be able to put that fear aside, thanks to a new bipartisan bill going through the state’s legislature.

Autoblog reports the bill would prohibit the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission from sharing plate numbers and related identification to another state or an interstate information network for the sole purpose of levying fines on New Jersey drivers. The bill, which targets the aforementioned cameras and other similar traffic enforcement devices, was introduced to the assembly in July, and made its appearance before the senate last week.

The reasoning behind the bill, sponsored by Republican assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Democrat senators Nick Sacco and Nick Scutari, is that the cameras put the blame on the owner of the vehicle in question, and not upon the driver behind the wheel at the time the vehicle was caught on-camera. The same criticism led city officials in Baltimore, Md. into scrapping the city’s cameras, and the state legislature in South Dakota to protect its constituents from Iowa’s line of cameras along the border shared between the two states.

Enforcement of the law may prove difficult should the New Jersey bill be enacted, as there is no specific language on how to block information access from out-of-state automated enforcement while allowing for human enforcement to proceed unhindered.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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11 of 24 comments
  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Aug 11, 2014

    Of course, other states could reciprocate by hauling every NJ resident into the jail for a hearing and payment of the fine before release on every human stop. Right?

    • Chris FOM Chris FOM on Aug 11, 2014

      This would only work for camera violations. If they pull you over then they've got your driver's license and don't need to look you up.

  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Aug 11, 2014

    And that's always been the main issue with camera enforcement, it sends an automatic fine to the owner, not necessarily to the offender. The government hasn't had an issue turning citizens into tax collector's on it's behalf, but this is just ridiculous.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Aug 11, 2014

    Traffic laws are largely a state matter. New Jersey has no authority to interfere with another state's enforcement of its own traffic laws.

    • See 5 previous
    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Aug 11, 2014

      @PCH101 If NJ doesn't want to tell other states who a particular license plate belongs to, I see that as NJ's prerogative. That is a VERY different issue from pulling someone over for an infraction and requiring that they show their licence, registration, and proof of insurance so that a ticket can be issued. Of course, the next level of escalation to this is that the ticketing state will issue the equivalent of an arrest warrant for that plate in their jurisdiction, and God help whoever is driving the car when it is spotted. And in this day of automated plate readers that WILL happen.

  • Bunkie Bunkie on Aug 11, 2014

    I could see some outfit such as, say, Experian becoming a third-party source for car registration information. After all, insurance companies keep this data and what's to stop them from providing it "for legitimate law-enforcement purposes"? Even better, they could add another "service" to get us to pay to police and correct bad data, just like credit reports! ... ... ... Profit!