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If Safety Really Was Priority Number One

A lot of discussion has occurred on the web and elsewhere about Mayor Martin Chavez’s money-making machine (AKA the red-light cameras). The Mayor’s story is that it’s all about safety, and he is sticking to it. But reports like this kind of make you wonder:

Red light cameras and speed cameras have failed to reduce offenses committed by the drivers of school buses in Albuquerque, New Mexico. City officials insisted when the devices were installed in 2005 that their only purpose was to reduce driving violations, but drivers working on behalf of the city continue to be photographed.

Last year, six bus drivers sued the city for automatically finding them guilty of red light camera violations without offering them an opportunity to challenge the evidence.

This year, KOB-TV documented at least fifty examples of red light and speed camera citations that were mailed to the sixteen private companies that operate school buses on behalf of Albuquerque. The highest speeds alleged were between nine and ten MPH over the limit and a number of the claimed red light violations involved turning right on red.

The city makes each school bus company responsible for paying the fine.

If the city’s primary concern was safety, don’t you think they would terminate contracts with these school bus companies instead of just making them pay the fine? I’m just wondering.