Posted on Jul 12, 2012

Motorists who have received tickets for running a stop light and getting caught on camera in Cherry Hill, Monroe, or Glassboro, New Jersey, might have cause for hope if the plaintiffs in class action suits filed recently are victorious.   The suits in Glassboro and Monroe Twp. are alleging that the yellow lights were not lasting long enough, and as such, the plaintiffs got tickets for running a red light when they should not have.

How Long Should the Yellow Light Last?

According to th NJDOT, the yellow light must last 3 seconds where 85% of the traffic is going 25mph or less.  When 85% of the traffic is going faster than 30mph, the light must last a half second for every 5mph over.  Thus at 35mph, the light must last 3.5 seconds, 40mph it is 4 seconds, and so on.  These lights also have to be inspected and certified every six months.

In Glassboro, they allege that the yellow light lasted only 3 seconds when it should have been 5 seconds.  In Monroe, they are stating that the yellow light lasted less than the 4.5 seconds it should have (and that NJDOT would have rounded the time to 5 seconds).  The suits are seeking the refunding of the $85 fine plus unspecified damages and costs.

Are the Yellow Lights Too Short?

These suits come at a time when the NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT) ordered 21 towns to stop giving out tickets for red light violations.  This must continue until officials test to determine whether the lights are in compliance with state law on the duration of the yellow light.  The results are due by August 1. Ticketing has been suspended, but the camera data is still being maintained going forward.  If the lights are found to be in compliance, you could be in for a surprise in the mail next month.

What Do You Do?

If you have received tickets in these towns for running a red light (it also carries 2 points) and are looking for a lawyer to represent you, please call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment. If you have other questions or concerns about New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my book, A Guide to Driving Legally in New Jersey and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.


Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.