2/21/2007New Mexico Senate Votes to Restrict Red Light Camera Profit
The New Mexico state Senate votes to restrict the profit gained by red light cameras.
The New Mexico state Senate yesterday passed legislation limiting the ability of cities to profit from the use of red light cameras. Senator William H. Payne (R-Albuquerque) originally introduced a bill to provide advance warning of the camera's presence, but the Senate approved a version limiting the price of photo citations to those already established by state law by a 41-0 vote.
"They are a guise for making money for the city of Albuquerque," Payne said.
Albuquerque charges $100 the first time the registered owner of a vehicle is mailed a photo ticket. A second mailing brings a $250 plus 30-day car seizure and on the third occasion, a $500 fine plus 90-day car seizure is imposed. State law provides a $15 first-time fine that rises to a maximum of $200.
City officials claim the program has not generated any profit and that all but $250,000 of the $5.2 million raised has been spent on the program itself.
"It almost seems impossible to me that the costs were $5.2 million dollars," Sante Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano wrote on his website. "It would be interesting to have one of our news outlets review the contract with Redflex and compare the costs of the program to the income."
The New Mexico House of Representatives will now consider the proposed restriction.