The State of NJ Department of Transportation released a report today. The report studied accident data of various red light installations of a year prior to installation to one year after. It found:

Combining all RLR locations and comparing the Pre-Camera installation 12-month time period versus the Year 1 installation 12-month time period, the data indicate that total crashes are up 0.9%, however, more sever right-angle crashes are down 15%, while same-direction (rear-end) crashes are up 20%. Crash severity cost increased by an estimated $1,172,800.

The crash severity cost was based on a five categories: fatality, disabling injury, evident injury, possible, injury, and property damage only (no injury) with each of these categories assigned a dollar figure.

Is the small increase in revenue worth the loss of privacy and increased rear-end collisions? Two of the original sponsors of the 2007 bill are still in the Assembly, Brian Stack (Senate, District 33) and John Wisniewski (Assembly, District 19). Perhaps they thought that Orwell wrote 1984 as an instruction manual?

Our society is growing more and more totalitarian. The government tracks our air travel, routinely scans our license plates, tracks and analyses our financial lives, collects our calling records, tracks our social networking activities, and tracks and reports our political donations. With our personal data being digitized, government and businesses alike will be tempted into gathering and using this data. We should not tolerate politicians who do not protect our privacy.