Kevin Murray (claystorm) wrote,
Kevin Murray

State Get No Money (One way or another)

So in this mornings Albuquerque Journal, "Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez said Tuesday that he'll pull the plug on the city's traffic camera enforcement program if legislators pass a law (SB780) requiring the city to share some of its fees ($74 of $100) with the state."

Crack me up this does. (Done in my best Yoda voice). Anyway, what really cracks me up is that the reason why this program is a civil violation is because the criminal violations must be witnessed by a police officer. Also a few years back the city tried to get the state to change that, but they did not and/or could not, forcing the city to make it a Civil Violation. So ya, city tried to make it a criminal violation, which would have required the city to send the money up the ranks to the state.

Now if SB780 passes, and the city is required to pay the state $74 per citation, it will force the program to become supported by the taxpayers to the tune of $5 million a year where as now the program is self funded by the fines them self’s.

So the only way to keep the taxpayers from funding this program would be to would be to increase all fines by $74. Mayor Chavez said "One hundred and seventy-four dollars for a red-light ticket (on the first offense) is way too much, and I think the people of Albuquerque would agree," which is why Chavez would pull the program if SB780 passes and I agree with Mayor Chavez that $174.00 is way too much for a first offense red-light ticket.

Now what also cracks me up is there is a push to bring the city’s fine schedule inline with the states. Well, if I saw right (which I would like to think I did) the State of New Mexico's fine for a first offense red-light ticket is 15 dollars. Hell, I spend more on gas per week then that. LOL. $15 dollars is not going to get me to think twice about trying to beat the yellow, and maybe run the red.

But $100 dollars for the first offense is sure as hell going to me think twice about anything. I don’t have $100 dollars sitting around (ok, that I am willing to part with) for something stupid like running a red-light. I think someone who was at the forum on the red-lights cam's said it best "If you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime." DAMN RIGHT!

Also as part of the article the city disclosed how the fines are split up. Of a standard $100 fine, here is the break down according to city officials:
   $14.00 - Pays company that owns the equipment.
   $15.65 - Funds the hearing office.
   $18.00 - Processes the fines.
     $9.60 - Pays officers to review the citations.
     $3.75 - Startup costs.
   $36.00 - Program expansion, program education and projects like the meth team.
     $2.00 - Repairs and maintenance.
     $0.87 - Personnel costs.

Now as I have said here before, I support the Red-light / Speed Cam Program in Albuquerque. I think it’s the best thing to happen here in long time. Really, I do. Now I wish we could figure out a way to use these cams to catch more people doing things they should not. Now before you start screaming 1984 and crap like that, just remember that these things catch people who are doing what they should not be. So do not go screaming big brother and that they are taking away our rights which is what a disc jockey (Lee Logan) for 106.3 The Range did, cus you have no right to speed and/or run red-lights. If you think you have that right, show me where it is in the State or Federal Constitution and/or the Bill of Rights! I dare you! Really, I do!

So one must assume that the people who don't like the camera programs in Albuquerque are the ones who are speeding and running red lights. It’s the only logical thing since the program does not cost taxpayers nor law-biting citizens anything. Nothing, nada, zip, Zero!

So if you don't do the crime, you will not have to pay the fine.
It's as simple as that, and really that is simple.

Tags: keyword-267, keyword-275, keyword-276, keyword-277
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