alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.17 No.5 | January 31 - February 6, 2008 

Council Bite

Flash and Burn

Will the city make improvements to its STOP program, or will red-light cameras wink out of existence?

A task force appointed by Mayor Martin Chavez says if problems with the red-light camera program aren't fixed, it should be discarded. Ted Shogry, a task force staff member, reported to the City Council at its Wednesday, Jan. 23, meeting. "The study group had one main recommendation, and that basically is to continue the STOP Program, but to improve it."

Shogry says the task force was firm in stating if red-light camera issues aren't addressed, the city should pull the plug.

In late November, Council President Brad Winter criticized the group. "I am not sure how much credibility or legitimacy this task force will have as it has been hand-picked by the mayor with no input from the Council," he says on the Council Highlights page of the city's website.

It is still not possible to conclude whether red-light cameras lowered the number of accidents since their introduction, because data is limited, Shogry says. Cameras have been in place in Albuquerque since October 2004. "They are not prepared to say conclusively that automated enforcement is having an impact on traffic safety in Albuquerque," Shogry told the Council. "They felt strongly that it should be continued two more years to collect the data."

According to the study group, the number of crashes from 2005 to 2007 has gone down, and 2006 saw the fewest crashes. Councilor Michael Cadigan asked if it was possible to correlate the slight decline in accidents citywide to the red-light camera program. Shogry responded that wasn't a valid statistical approach.

The task force recommended the city review the red-light camera locations and develop technical standards for placing cameras. It also said the certainty of being fined was more significant to drivers than the amount of the fine. The effort on the part of the Council to reduce fines should be supported, Shogry says.

After fine money pays for the program, says the task force, extra revenue should go to traffic improvements, and public education efforts about the importance of safe driving and the STOP program. Gov. Bill Richardson allowed the issue into the Legislative Session and wants to talk about using the red-light camera funds for DWI prevention.

Four councilors, Cadigan, Winter, Debbie O'Malley and Trudy Jones, sent a letter to the mayor two weeks ago saying the contract the city signed with Redflex Traffic Systems wasn't the one the Council approved. Wording that would allow the city to cancel the program with 15 days’ notice was removed.

The task force also addressed criticism the red-light camera program received since its inception. The length of yellow lights occasionally requires adjustment, and the intervals are appropriate, according to the task force. The Administrative Hearing Office is professional and independent, the group reports. STOP is not a surveillance program and hasn't been used to detect any crime other than speeding or red-light running, Shogry added.

Send news tips to Marisa Demarco at


Today's Events

Small Business Workshop at Loma Colorado Main Library


Craft a business plan tailored to your company’s unique mission and needs.

Monthly Meeting of the Mind and Brain: Jumping to Conclusions at North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center

Petroglyph Plática at Oñate Monument and Visitors Center

More Recommended Events ››

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.