The Big Scam — or I Am Steamed

March 4, 2011

Albuquerque has “Red Light Cameras”.  No police officer must witness an infraction — they just watch the tapes and decide someone was speeding or ran a red light.  We have right turn arrows where the traffic perpendicular is turning left.  We all know that so when we come to an intersection and the folks going the opposite way begin to turn left, we turn right — the arrow will pop up.  I earned two red light violations two days apart in December because I turned on red — the arrow was about to pop up, the perpendicular cars were turning left — I watched the video.

This is an administrative process so no points are levied against your license, but the fine is $75 per ticket.  It is a huge City scam.  The City and Rediflex (the camera company) are making a killing.  The State made the City remove the cameras from any road that has a State number designation — even if it’s just a little piece of a State road that runs through town.  Unfortunately, all the intersections near my office are bugged.

I’m one of those people that lets drivers into my lane if they signal, I try not to speed, I signal for lane changes and turns.  And today the City levied $150 in fines against me.  I watch idiots weaving in and out of traffic endangering everyone — but I got this giant fine.  I am way beyond annoyed!


  1. C-Myste says:

    We have photo enforcement in Medford too. Speed enforcement from a white van which is always parked in a conspicuous place when he’s on Biddle Rd on my way to work in the mornings, so does nothing to control the 45 mph limit except when he’s there.

    OTOH the deputy who hides out on Table Rock Rd in the mornings is invisible until you’re right upon him. Especially when it’s foggy. I have learned to just set my cruise control to 55 and relax listening to the radio. If someone wants to pass me, so be it!

  2. Dawn says:

    We had the red light cameras here in MN for about 3 months before they were ruled as unconstitutional since they cannot prove swho the driver of the vehicle was. Millions of dollars to install just wasted. Can you fight it?

    • c-myste says:

      The cameras used here have a bright flash and pretty clearly show the driver. We had one of the tickets mailed to our office when one the techs got caught in a company truck.

      Interesting question, though.

    • myeye says:

      I did fight it — had the hearing today. “The light was red and you went through it”. There is no room at all for common sense.

  3. Pat H. says:

    We have the cameras here in Sioux City, IA as well. You got off cheap at $75. Ours is $125 per incident. Now the city fathers are getting them for the construction zones on the interstate that runs along the edge of the city. And oh, has that started a boiling kettle among the citizens. They say the cameras are not about the money, but they are expecting 2 million dollars a year from just these comeras, never mind the 10 scattered throughout the city.

    • myeye says:

      Ours started out at $125. There were court challenges, etc. and the legislature lowered them to $75 (said that is the max for a red-light ticket even in cities with “Home Rule”. The I wasn’t the driver is only a defense if you will rat out the actual driver. Since it’s only me (and all the Cardis who have no thumbs and, consequently no licenses), I took the fall.

  4. Jean from NM says:

    My husband got nailed on a right turn too — but he was waiting for a pedestrian to clear the intersection before proceeding, by which time the arrow had changed to red. I thought it was nice of him not to knock off someone crossing the street, but the red light cameras never lie. 🙁

  5. C-Mystec says:

    And for today’s stupid question: is it illegal to turn right on red lights in all of NM? In OR and CA (at least) it’s legal to turn right on red if safe and if not otherwise marked.

    They should post lists of state-specific driving laws at the border.

    But then again maybe they like the extra income from the tourists.

  6. sandy says:

    Not in defense of the cameras, but if you (a collective “you”) don’t violate the rules of the road, you don’t get a ticket. Pretty simple, if there is anything that is simple. Flame suit securely donned. 😉

    • Susan says:

      I had to laugh, Sandy. That is what I tell Ron when he gets a ticket (G). I make him crazy – I even stop at stop signs.