| | Red-Light Cameras On Trial: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Will The Cameras Survive The Latest Legal Challenge?
Albuquerque’s controversial ticket camera program has been in operation for over two years now and during that time the police have handed out 118,000 tickets to drivers.
But all the revenue from those tickets could be going back into drivers’ pockets if a new class-action lawsuit succeeds.
Recently, five people sued against the program and asked to be certified as representing all drivers cited under the program. Their request was approved by State District Judge Valeria Huling.
The lawsuit alleges the camera program conflicts with state traffic law and sets up an illegitimate, quasi-legal hearing process for people who challenge their tickets.
A district judge ruled in January that the camera program is allowed under the city’s home-rule powers.
But former city attorney Rick Sandoval said the system is not fair. “What the city’s done, by creating their own little court system, they now keep all of those fees,” Sandoval said.
Albuquerque’s ticket camera program has been under scrutiny by the state legislature and narrowly avoided being shut down. Gov. Bill Richardson vetoed the ban in exchange for reduced fines.
By Aaron Quinn, Communications Director, NMA
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