According to a ledger from New York City’s oldest library, George Washington owes 220 years worth of late fees for two books he checked out during his presidency. The books were due on November 2, 1789, but were never returned, which merits a late fee of about $300,000 at today’s prices, adjusted for inflation. Though the library is not seeking payment of the fines, it would very much like the two books back. One was the “Law of Nations,” a book on international law, and the other was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons.
A contract with Arizona-based Redflex expired in Oct. 2010, and we thought they were gone. No such luck. A month later Mayor Richard Berry reinstated red-light cameras at 14 intersections throughout the city. Not only do the cameras catch you red-handed, estimates say that an additional $370,000 was needed in tax money to keep the program in place. On average, 73 citations are issued per month and make up one-third of the city’s moving violation tickets. Data from 2010 put the intersection at Central and Coors as the clear frontrunner, with 3,036 citations issued between January and August. Add that to 4,385 citations at the same intersection in 2009. Fines are $75 and can be paid by mail or online. The question of whether to keep the system in place goes to Albuquerque voters on Oct. 4. For more on these robocop cameras: 1.usa.gov/abqredlightcameras. (EK)