In general the council brought the fines associated with both the scam-eras and the scam-vans in line with their criminal counterparts.
Councilor Don Harris said city residents are beginning to accept the cameras, adding that making the fines equal to officer-issued citations was a step in the right direction.We beg to differ with the councilor from district 9... We certainly do not have to "accept" this technology and the tweaks the council made last night do nothing to address the program's inherent due process problems. Technology has never been the issue except in its implementation that necessitates a delay in notification and a reliance on the state's "evidence" for your defense.
"We have to accept that we have this technology and make sure it is fair and (that) due process is protected," Harris said.
Right now, it is possible to put GPS tracking devices in every vehicle registered in the City of Albuquerque. These devices could continuously monitor our vehicles every move - more specifically every mile per hour over the posted speed limit. That data could automatically generate a citation that would be sent to the vehicle under the STOP Ordinance scheme. Not only would the city be a safer place, but the city could keep tabs on each and every one of us so that we were never in any danger. Little brother Marty would always be there to protect you.
You can bet that a system like that would make money for the city and The Almighty Alcalde at an astronomical rate. It might even be more effective at "changing driver's habits" than the current Redflex system. But even if it increased overall traffic safety by over 50%, would you want it?
Last night's action by the council only makes the STOP program appear more equitable by reducing the penalty. Offending vehicles and their owners will never, we repeat never get their day in court because they will never have the opportunity to appear in one.
(Sidebar)Now there are rumblings in Santa Fe that Big Bill and the Legislature have their collective eyes (no relation) on the scam-era green. Since the fines have been reduced, it's likely that it'll be the state that's taking Marty's "excess money" from now on. How long do you really think it'll be before scam-era revenue is just another income stream for the state to waste?
What a difference a year makes. Marty, after claiming that there's no way to keep the program operating with these fine reductions is now in favor of them. Hmmmm... Seems that His Honor agrees with us (read it here).