Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Albuquerque May Get Tricky With Red Light Cameras
The city of Albuquerque is considering making some changes to its red-light camera program.
City officials are talking about shutting down the camera operations at some of the most successful intersections but leaving the apparatus in place, making it appear as if the device still works.
''We are coming to a point in the program where you evaluate,'' police spokesman John Walsh said. ''Our citizens have been extraordinarily responsive.''
Walsh said the number of crashes and traffic violations at intersections with visible red-light cameras have declined since the start of the program in October 2004.
The decision to move cameras to new intersections and leave inoperable shells at other intersections has not been finalized, and Walsh said it most likely won't be in the near future. He said the program is still in its infancy.
If the city decides to move the cameras around, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez said he hopes that will cause people to slow down and obey laws at every intersection.
''Here's what people should assume,'' he said. ''When the light turns yellow, don't enter the intersection, and if you run a red light, you're going to get a ticket.''
So far, the city has collected more than $6 million in fines from the program.
The cameras photograph motorists who run red lights or speed through the 17 intersections that are equipped with cameras. Owners of vehicles caught on camera are notified that they're being fined.
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