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3/12/2007
New Mexico: Telemarketing Used to Push Red Light Cameras
Red light camera supporters resort to telemarketing calls to prevent a cut in ticket revenue.

Telemarketing
Telemarketing techniques are being used to lobby members of the New Mexico state legislature to oppose legislation that would cut into the millions being generated by red light cameras. A proposal to forbid cities from charging more for a photo enforcement ticket than is allowed under state law passed the state Senate last month without opposition. The measure would cut the fine for a first-time offense from $100 to $15. Worried red light camera lobbyists and city officials are desperate to stop the bill.

Albuquerque City Councilman Craig Loy admitted to the Albuquerque Tribune that he used an autodialer to lobby the legislature against cutting revenue. So far, Albuquerque, New Mexico has issued $9.3 million in automated tickets, with Australian camera vendor Redflex collecting about a third of the profit in return for operating the program.

A city council opponent of cameras, Brad Winter, received 45 calls on his mobile phone about the issue. Winter told the Tribune that he believes Redflex is behind the calls.

Article Excerpt:
48th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2007

SENATE BILL 365

INTRODUCED BY Michael S. Sanchez
AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES; PROVIDING FOR CONSISTENT TRAFFIC FINES TO BE IMPOSED BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES; DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

Section 1. Section 3-18-17 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1965, Chapter 300, Section 14-17-14) is amended to read:

"3-18-17. NUISANCES AND OFFENSES--REGULATION OR PROHIBITION.--A municipality may by ordinance:

A. define a nuisance, abate a nuisance and impose penalties upon a person who creates or allows a nuisance to exist, provided that penalties imposed by a civil or criminal nuisance ordinance for failure to obey a traffic sign or signal or for a speeding offense or violation shall not be different than the penalties imposed for failure to obey a traffic sign or signal or for a speeding offense contained in Section

66-8-116 NMSA 1978;

B. regulate or prohibit any amusement or practice [which] that tends to annoy persons on a street or public ground; and

C. prohibit and suppress:

(1) gambling and the use of fraudulent devices or practices for the purpose of obtaining money or property;

(2) the sale, possession or exhibition of obscene or immoral publications, prints, pictures or illustrations;

(3) public intoxication;

(4) disorderly conduct; and

(5) riots, noises, disturbances or disorderly assemblies in any public or private place."

Section 2. Section 66-7-9 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 379, as amended) is amended to read:

"66-7-9. POWERS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES.--

A. The provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(1) regulating the standing or parking of vehicles;

(2) regulating traffic by means of police officers or traffic-control signals;

(3) regulating or prohibiting processions or assemblages on the highways;

(4) designating particular highways as one-way highways and requiring that all vehicles thereon be moved in one specific direction;

(5) regulating the speed of vehicles in public parks;

(6) designating any highway as a through highway and requiring that all vehicles stop before entering or crossing it or designating any intersection as a stop intersection or a yield intersection and requiring all vehicles to stop or yield at one or more entrances to the intersection;

(7) restricting the use of highways as authorized in the Motor Vehicle Code;

(8) regulating the operation of bicycles and requiring their registration and licensing, including the requirement of a registration fee;

(9) regulating or prohibiting the turning of vehicles, or specified types of vehicles, at intersections;

(10) altering the maximum speed limits as authorized in the Motor Vehicle Code;

(11) adopting other traffic regulations as specifically authorized by the Motor Vehicle Code;

(12) regulating the operation of snowmobiles on public lands, waters and property under their jurisdiction and on streets and highways within their boundaries by resolution or ordinance of their governing bodies and by giving appropriate notice, if such regulation is not inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 66-9-1 through 66-9-13 NMSA 1978; or

(13) regulating the operation of golf carts on public lands and property under their jurisdiction and on streets and roads within their boundaries by resolution or ordinance of their governing bodies and requiring their registration and licensing, including the payment of a registration fee; provided, the resolution or ordinance shall:

(a) not permit operation of a golf cart on any state highway;

(b) require that the golf cart be in compliance with Section 66-3-887 NMSA 1978; and

(c) not be inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 66-3-1001 through 66-3-1016 NMSA 1978.

B. No local authority shall erect or maintain any stop sign or traffic-control signal at any location so as to require the traffic on any state highway to stop or yield before entering or crossing any intersecting highway unless approval in writing has first been obtained from the state transportation commission.

C. No ordinance or regulation enacted under Paragraph (4), (5), (6), (7) or (10) of Subsection A of this section shall be effective until signs giving notice of the local traffic regulations are posted upon or at the entrances to the highway or part thereof affected as may be most appropriate.

D. No local authority shall adopt a civil or criminal ordinance in which the penalties for failure to obey a traffic sign or signal or for a speeding offense or violation are different than the penalties for failure to obey a traffic sign or signal or for a speeding offense contained in Section 66-8-116 NMSA 1978."

Section 3. EMERGENCY.--It is necessary for the public peace, health and safety that this act take effect immediately.
Source: Lawmakers propose options for red-light program (Albuquerque Tribune (NM), 3/8/2007)

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