NM senator calls red light cameras a cash cow for govt.

NM senator calls red light cameras a cash cow for govt.

Summary: City says they're 'the only thing that works' in stopping red light violations, accidents.

Albuquerque, NM has operated red light cameras since 2005, generating 80,000 tickets worth $5 million in tickets. Apparently, the technology is a boon to safety and city coffers. State Sen. William Payne, an Albuquerque Republican, agrees the cameras are lining the city's treasury but doubts they do anything for safety, reports the Albuquerque Tribune.
"They are a guise for making money for the city of Albuquerque," Payne said Monday in a news release.

Untrue, says Mayor Martin Chavez. The proceeds just pay for the program, he said, although $250,000 was used for prosecution of meth prodcution and distribution.

"These cameras are not a cash cow for the city," Chavez said. "I've tried everything to cut down on speeding and red-light violations, and this program is the first thing that has worked."

Payne wants the city to install flashing yellow beacons in the streets that would warn drivers that the signal is about to turn yellow. Sort of caution-caution lights.

Police spokesman John Walsh said the yellow lights on traffic signals are already designed to give drivers time to stop, even if they are traveling faster than the speed limit. "They give motorists a tremendous cushion or warning time," Walsh said.

The cameras operate under a public nuisance ordinance, meaning tickets issued by the system are civil rather than criminal violations. Fines generally start at $100 and range upward depending on how fast a motorist was driving and how many prior violations they've had.

Topics: Hardware, Government US

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  • Other Transportation Capitalization Strategies

    Hey, government dork-off: why don't you cause physical cosmetic damage to the perpetrator car with an automatic projectile as it passes below the camera? Then simply charge an extra cosmetic auto-body repair shop tax on every car that needs fix-ups. Make up your mind. Either provide public transportation, or don't require people to work to live. You can't rob people everywhere they go just because they're unfortunate enough to be stuck in America. Mexico is a better place to live. People won't be broken enough to live here forever. You can't keep grinding people down like this. It's a shame you force them to buy their own transportation, and you really have no business telling people the rules of their own self-provided transportation when you fail to provide a reasonable public alternative for them.
  • RE: NM senator calls red light cameras a cash cow for govt.

    I don't care what anyone says, it's just one more way your city/county/state preys on you. Sometimes depending upon circumstances it might be safer to run the light than stop and get rearended; these things don't make decisions like that. As someone that lives in a state that preys upon the citizen already I really don't want to see anything more. The human element needs to be involved not some piece of technology that can't make a judgment call and can't be subpoena'd or challenged in court. We've already lost too many of our rights, there was an excellent police show that joked about the implications of these cameras and what other uses those pictures could be put to...... I'm sick of the camel nose under my tent flap, that nose is damn cold.
    • Running red lights

      You are one sick dude. The government making you give up your right to
      run a red light and the possibility of killing someone. Once again "one
      sick dude"