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New Jersey drivers may be able to ignore other states’ speed cameras

New Jersey drivers who are caught speeding by traffic cameras in other states may be able to ignore the tickets.

A pair of New Jersey state senators – including the head of the transportation committee – announced support for a bill that would shield drivers from speed traps outside state lines. A similar bill has already been introduced in the state House.

“I’ve been getting loads of complaints from people,” state Sen. Nick Sacco (D) told the Newark Star-Ledger. “They drive to Virginia to visit relatives. They go through Maryland. They come back home and start receiving tickets in the mail. And they swear that they’re not speeding, that they’re keeping up with the traffic.”

Under the bill, the state Motor Vehicle Commission would be barred from sharing drivers’ license plate information with other state agencies looking to collect fines for alleged red-light or speed-limit violations.

Across the country, red-light cameras are the most common types of automated enforcement. Twelve states use photo radar to hand out speeding tickets and 24 states use cameras to look for red-light violations, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Ten states have put traffic cameras on the ballot – and in nearly all cases, voters turned them down.

New Jersey may stop allowing photo enforcement next year once its five-year pilot program expires in December. Gov. Chris Christie (R) has declined to say whether he supports the approach.

South Dakota passed a law in March to protect its drivers from out-of-state tickets. Lawmakers were particularly irked by camera enforcement in nearby Iowa, which the governor warned was “not providing due process of law.”

In some states, drivers have taken stands against traffic cameras. The Maryland Drivers Alliance, which launched in 2008, fights against “programs and fees which treat motorists as cash cows.”

Maryland, which has been nicknamed the “speed trap state,” made as much as $77 million in one year from its speed cameras, according to information obtained by the organization’s Freedom of Information Act requests