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New York lawmakers threaten to pay $50 fees to NJ drivers entering New York

TRENTON — If you thought a potential $23 congestion pricing toll to get to downtown or lower Manhattan was steep, some New York state lawmakers might now want to add an extra $50 .

Proposed legislation in Albany would allow for the imposition of an additional $50 fee on New Jersey vehicles driven in New York, if the Garden State enacts a law that prevents the sharing of information related to camera-generated traffic tickets .

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit the Motor Vehicle Commission from disclosing the personal information of licensees to other states seeking to issue speed camera or red light camera citations. The Senate passed it unanimously in June, although the Assembly has yet to address it.

The bill has angered some officials in New York City, which uses traffic camera enforcement technology.

“I hope the very prospect of this legislation might convince some New Jersey politicians to come to their senses.”[/pullqutotes]

“A price to pay”

The proposed fees would apply to drivers entering the city from an “uncooperative” state, in an effort to deter — or force, depending on your perspective — New Jersey from turning its bill into law. The text of the New York bill does not specify how often the fee could be charged.

“I hope the very prospect of this legislation will convince some New Jersey politicians to come to their senses,” Congressman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who represents parts of the Bronx and northern Manhattan, told New York Public Radio. . “There will have to be a price to pay if my bill is accepted.”

“The fact that New Jersey would intentionally aid and abet road rage by letting its residents face no consequences for speeding is absolutely unconscionable,” Cory Epstein, spokesperson for the safe streets advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, told AFP. New York Public Radio.

Canvas/stock photo

Canvas/stock photo

“How stupid they are”

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, sponsor of the proposed New Jersey bill and avowed opponent of automated traffic enforcement, lambasted New York’s proposal.

“The only thing it accomplished was that the idiots who introduced it demonstrated how stupid they are,” O’Scanlon said.

O’Scanlon said there’s no correlation between speed and red light cameras and road safety, citing analysis that shows states with automated enforcement don’t have higher rates of traffic. lower mortality and accidents.

“These guys aren’t just happy to victimize their own constituents — and hey, those voters have to suffer to have New York’s leadership supporting this government-sanctioned theft,” he said. “But they also want to go after our constituents.”

O’Scanlon said New Jerseyans spend hundreds of millions a year in Manhattan, and the idea of ​​another additional tax on them would further delay the city’s pandemic recovery.

He said New York lawmakers were trying to escalate a battle and asked where it would end.

“Maybe I’ll make a bill that charges New York drivers $100. And New York drivers won’t get out of the left lane, so charging each of them $100, I think, would be a bit of justice,” O’Scanlon said. “So where does it end? It’s just stupidity.”

Congestion pricing is not affected

New Jersey’s bill would have no effect on New York’s congestion pricing plan because it applies to devices that record images of license plates after detecting a vehicle speeding or crossing an intersection after a light turned red.

New Jersey is cooperating with other states on toll violations, such as through the E-ZPass Consortium, and would continue to do so even if the pending bill becomes law.

Separately, New Jersey opposes plans for new congestion pricing tolls south of 60th Street in Manhattan, particularly if credits are not given for tolls already paid to cross the Hudson River tunnels. or the George Washington Bridge.

Governor Phil Murphy has written to the federal government asking for further review of the plan.

On Monday, the state Assembly is due to vote on a resolution expressing its opposition to the congestion pricing plan, which it says “does not treat residents of the State of New Jersey fairly and equitably.”

Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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