Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday vetoed a measure that would towns to install “smart meters” which use cameras to automatically issue tickets for parking violations.
His veto of the measure, which lawmakers approved in a 55-20 January Assembly vote and a 23-12 June Senate vote, comes amidst worries that municipalities would begin using the meters to count on local residents and patrons as a continuing source of income.
And Murphy agreed, saying in his veto message that he’s “concerned that the proliferation of these meters would dramatically increase the number of parking tickets issued across the state.”
The meters work by snapping a photo of a person’s license plate and car when the allotted time expires, then sending that information to the local police department or parking enforcement agency. Later, the driver receives a parking ticket in the mail for the violation.
Palisades Park in Bergen County was allowed to carry out a limited pilot program employing the parking meters. The parking meters – installed along Main Street – brought in roughly $60,000 a year, according to Borough Administrator David Lorenzo.
Current law requires the physical presence of an officer at the site of the violation. With the system, a driver can still get off scot-free if an officer does not actually see the expired meter and write a ticket.
But Murphy countered that he would not allow legislation to go forward that would extract money from “low and middle-income New Jerseyans” who are “struggling to make ends meet.”
Murphy used the veto message to once again propose the millionaire’s tax – which lawmakers twice shot down – arguing that earners above $1 million would be a far better source of income for local and state coffers than would parking tickets.