14 February 2008
When I first moved here three years ago Albuquerque was only then talking about installing 'red light cameras' at the 20 busiest intersections.
I was a bit suprised as LA has had them for over a decade I believe.
Here we are two years later after having installed the cameras and the city has reported that it made about six milion dollars in profits...oops...correction as the city does not refer to them as 'profits' but 'monies' that will go into the city's 'general fund' and help pay for the cameras.
Funny thing about money is that once you have it...someone else wants it too...in this case, the State.
Seems that former presidential candidate and current governor Bill Richardson wants a huge chunk of that money too. [See, his pet project, the $400 million Rail Runner commuter train is way over budget and the link to Santa Fe has not even been completed!!! On top of that he has had to slash millions from the transportation budget that would have helped repair roads and bridges throughout the state!!]
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez [and potential future governor] has said 'hell no' and effective immediately has suspended red light camera fines.
Can't we all get along...monitarily speaking.
All I know is last year I went through an intersection 11 miles over the speed limit and had to pay a red light camera fine of $150!!! The crazy thing is....a few months after that I got a speeding ticket on the interstate and had to pay $80 and even crazier a few months after that a cop with a speed gun snagged me going 15 miles over the limit on Zuni at which point I had to go to court...but the judge only charged me court costs and I got off for $25 !!!! GO FIGURE!! The more tickets I got the cheaper it got!!! [HA! Take that mutt!!!!]
Anyhow... I learned my lesson the first time around with red light cameras and now find an alternative route if possible to avoid them.
More likely then not the city and the state will come to terms...especially since money is involved.