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Fort Lee GOP to Host State Senator ‘Leading Charge' Against Red Light Cameras

The Week Ahead: a look at just some of what’s going on in Fort Lee this week.

The United Republican Club of Fort Lee (URCFL) is hosting New Jersey State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-23) Tuesday for an event the local GOP group is calling, “Red Light Cameras—The Real Story.”

The group touts Doherty as “the leading opponent of this form of ticketing.”

“Senator Doherty is leading the charge against red light cameras in New Jersey,” said URCFL president David Cohen. “He's going to speak and do some Q&A with us.”

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich that although it might prove to be an unpopular move with many Fort Lee residents, the idea of a red light came enforcement program for the borough is something he plans to “revisit,” and that the governing body is likely to move forward on it.

“I’m not going to deviate from the course,” Sokolich said, insisting that such an enforcement program isn’t designed “to ticket my own community.”

He said it’s intended to make dangerous intersections safer and to generate revenue for the borough, much of which he said would come from non-residents “who are just using [Fort Lee] as a cut-through.”

Doherty will be the guest speaker at the Fort Lee GOP’s monthly meeting on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the VFW at the corner of Main Street and Center Avenue.

Cohen said the meeting is open to the public and encouraged people to attend “before it’s too late.”

For more details, visit the United Republican Club of Fort Lee online.

Also this week, the Fort Lee Mayor and Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday at 8 p.m. in Borough Hall’s Council Chambers. The agenda for the meeting will be available at 309 Main St. by mid-afternoon Wednesday and posted on the borough’s website.

With summer winding down, time is running out for people who haven’t had a chance to check out at the .

This week sees a “makeup” concert at the community center—the Mahoney Brothers had been scheduled to perform on Aug. 1, but that performance had to be postponed and will now take place on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Organizers describe what the audience can expect from the Mahoney Brothers as follows:

This versatile act creates an evening of unforgettable, nostalgic entertainment with meticulous staging and high tech visuals. Their “Jukebox Heroes” show will chronicle the musical legends: The Beach Boys, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Elvis and The Beatles. Their show stopping impersonations will excite, entice and enthrall you.

Friday evening marks the final installment in the community center’s Dancing Under the Stars series. The dancing starts at 7:30 p.m.

And finally, don’t miss the Fort Lee Film Commission’s latest Movies & Music Under the Stars Saturday evening offering, which this week features 1920s-era jazz music by Sky Blue Jazz Band at 7 p.m. followed by a screening of Pillow Talk (1959), starring Rock Hudson, Doris Day and Tony Randall.

“We included Abbott and Costello because they were big money-makers the same way we included Doris Day and Rock Hudson from the late 50s and early 60s by including Pillow Talk because they, at that period of time, were pretty much the face of Universal,” said Fort Lee Film Commission executive director Tom Meyers when the Film Commission announced that all of this year’s outdoor movies would be Universal Studios films in and its founding in Fort Lee.

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paul berardi August 20, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Red light camera's will result in more rear end collisions at intersections from people that have a fear of being 1/32 of a second into the red light zone, especially senior citizens with slower reaction time. Check the stats in places like Scottsdale Arizona and other communities. From the Mayors point of view it's OK to ticket people going through town. Fort Lee does not want to be a Jessup Georgia!
William Mays August 20, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I love how all of the crappy drivers are really afraid of this program.
Jim August 20, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Red light cams do just one thing well: They record crash videos, which can be studied to find ways to prevent crashes. A study sponsored by the TX DOT reviewed 40 crash videos and found: "With one exception, all of the right-angle crashes occurred after 5 secs. or more of red." (thenewspaper daht com/news/02/243.asp) These real late runners (5+ secs. late) don't do it on purpose. They don't know (most violations are by lost or distracted visitors - the mayor of Hallandale FL just revealed that 78% of their runs are by visitors) or don't remember (distracted or impaired "locals") that a camera is up ahead, so the presence of a camera won't stop them. To cut these real late runs and the crashes they cause, a city should identify its worst intersections and improve the visual cues that say, "signal ahead." A. Paint "signal ahead" on the pavement. A study sponsored by Florida's DOT found that doing so could cut running by up to 74%. B. Make the signal lights bigger in dia. or add another signal head. A study by the Texas Transp. Inst. (TTI) found that doing either one could cut crashes by 47%. C. Add backboards to the signal heads or enlarge those you have. The TTI found that doing so could cut crashes by 32%. D. For nighttime driving, put brighter bulbs in the street lights and put up lighted name signs for the cross street. These fixes should be tried at the city's worst intersections, and the results published, before there is any vote to put in red light cams.
James C. Walker August 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
"Jim" above is correct that most right-angle crashes are caused by drivers who enter late into the red, often 5+ seconds after the light goes red. These drivers are usually impaired or heavily distracted and never even recognized the light. They are also NOT the drivers the red light cameras are targeting, because there are not enough of them to make the expensive cameras even pay their own way. Cameras typically lease for $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera and if they targeted only the small number of dangerous drivers, the city would go broke paying for them. His A through D improvements are all correct for safety, but one more item is critical to ending the predatory use of the cameras for revenue. The yellow intervals MUST be timed for the actual 85th percentile approach speeds of traffic, NOT for the posted speed limits that are usually set artificially low, well below the actual 85th percentile speeds where the posted limits would be set IF safety was the true goal. The only effective answer is a statewide ban on the cameras so cities would be forced to engineer for safety and NOT for ticket revenue. At least two such bills have been killed in the legislature with heavy and expensive lobbying from the predatory camera companies. Citizens need to repeatedly contact state and local officials to say NO to ticket cameras. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor, MI
William Mays August 20, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Even people who run the light a half second past are putting others lives in danger. Nothing wrong with making money off of stupid people. Telebrands does it all the time.
Jim August 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I question "Billy Mays" impartiality. I think that he knew that that running by a half second isn't dangerous, but said it anyway, just to muddy the water. Anyway, I will try to clear it up, as follows: If you look at the accident photos the Industry so generously provides for our entertainment, you will see that they happen multiple seconds into the red. There is no study, or field data, claiming otherwise. And it is common sense. Anyone making a claim like Billy's is either unread - and Billy is obviously well read - or some nature of troll, perhaps a paid one. In the case of Billy, I suspect he is of the latter variety - his first name could fit Bill Kroske, the infamous VP - and paid Astroturfer - at ATS, the camera company. Another thing that fits is that Billy has been here for just two weeks, and his non-red light camera posts have been quips, nothing substantial. If you want to read the fascinating story of Kroske, Google Bill Kroske ATS.
William Mays August 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Dude, I've been posting on Patch for a year and I work for Blackstone Group, you know, the financial company, not a camera company. Calm down with the accusations.
Fort Lee Truth August 21, 2012 at 04:36 AM
When interviewed about this topic recently, the Chief of Police was honest and admitted there are a lot of negatives. I am sure he got a call the next morning from the Mayor's office: http://fortlee.patch.com/articles/police-chief-sees-negatives-positives-in-red-light-camera-enforcement
Jim August 21, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Billy: I apologize if you're not Kroske. But would you please explain why you posted that half-second runs are dangerous?
William Mays August 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Yeah, I was a little wrong, there, maybe I should have said like 1 or 2 second runs.
Luca D. August 21, 2012 at 05:35 PM
The article that Fort Lee Truth referenced does not say that the Chief admitted to a lot of negatives. He gave the pros and the cons and indicated he would go with what the governing body decides. Don't misquote what the man said and title yourself Fort Lee Truth.
Jim August 21, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Sorry Billy but I'm not buying the 1 -2 sec. claim either. Anyone who watches the many crash videos circulated by the Industry will notice that most of the crashes occur many seconds into the red. The Texas Transportation Institute, with sponsorship by the Texas DOT, studied 41 crash videos obtained from red light cameras and confirmed what the public has been noticing: "With one exception, all of the right-angle crashes occurred after 5 seconds or more of red." They also reported that the average was 8.9 seconds into the red. (Link to the study: http://thenewspaper [daht] com/rlc/docs/04-alternatives.pdf See pages 5-15 and 5-16.)
Toni M. August 22, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Doesn't the Mayor want this cause it's more money in Kaufman's pocket. Why is that guy involved in every single thing that this town approves?

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