6/5/2007New Mexico: Red Light Camera Caught Ticketing the Innocent
An Albuquerque, New Mexico red light camera is ticketing motorists turning right on red even when they have a green arrow.
A television news employee who received a red light camera ticket in Albuquerque, New Mexico proved the device has been wrongly ticketing motorists who did not actually run red lights. Gary Williams, who works at KOAT-TV, drove his white Ford pickup through a red light without stopping at the intersection of Carlisle and Montgomery. According to the indisputable photographic proof on the citation, the light appeared red for 9.26 seconds when Williams entered the intersection while making a right-hand turn. The city demanded $100.
Williams did not believe it, and he had the equipment needed to verify the city's claim. After videotaping the intersection, he discovered that the photograph on the ticket did not tell the whole story. Yes, the light was red, but drivers at the intersection have a green arrow permitting right-hand turns without stopping for 14 seconds after the light turns red. A 3-second yellow arrow brings the total allowable turning time to 17 seconds.
Williams presented the evidence to a city hearing officer who quickly dismissed the citation. Police claimed they would look into the matter.
"If I was wrongly accused, then what does this say for everybody else?" Williams asked, in his interview with KOAT last month.
"It would be interesting to see how many innocent people paid the $100 to $300 fine and never fought the ticket," Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano wrote. "Also how would the average citizen fight the ticket? As the newscast shows, the evidence photo only shows the vehicle supposedly running the red light. The evidence is deceiving and would have held up to the 'yes or no,' 'no room for argument' hearing provided on these cases."
A videoclip of the KOAT-TV report from YouTube is available at the source link below.