5/8/2005Off-Duty Albuquerque Cops Caught Running Red Lights
Albuquerque, New Mexico police officers won't pay citation for running red lights. Ordinary motorists face car confiscation.
Red light cameras at two Albuquerque, New Mexico intersections have been running since October 18, 2004. They've also caught two off-duty police officers running the red, but they won't be paying any tickets. Instead they face "disciplinary action."
Ordinary motorists began paying their fines on May 5. A first offense is a $100 ticket. Second offenders pay $250 and have their car confiscated for 30 days. A third violation results in a $500 fine and 90-day vehicle confiscation. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is challenging the constitutionality of the system in court.
Toby Gallegos, president of the Fraternal Order of Police's Albuquerque Lodge, said he was concerned that APD administration might be taking things too far. "It is obvious that we are not above the law, and traffic laws are there to be followed," Gallegos said. "But I don't like the idea of us facing a harsher punishment than what a citizen would. In our minds an internal affairs investigation is serious."