ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - News 13 has learned the state transportation department shuts off its live traffic cameras from time to time to keep people from seeing certain things—one group believes that is censorship.
From road conditions to road obstructions dozens and dozens of cameras dot the freeways and highways around the state giving the department of transportation and the public a real time views of what is going on and where.
"They let us know instantly what is happening out there so we can asses the dangers," said Ray Herne, a spokesman for NMDOT.
The cameras run 24-7 the DOT admits that doesn't mean the public has 24-7 access.
It turns out there are times when the department pulls the plug on the cams.
"One camera feed might be cut for a very brief period of time when we're looking at a close-up of a crash scene where people are being extracted from the vehicle where rescue personnel are and we don't want their privacy to be violated," Herne said.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government said shutting the cameras down for any reason raises red flags.
"Turning off the camera is only going to make people wonder what are we not seeing, it's going to increase people's paranoia that something is being hidden from them," said NMFOG Executive Director Gwyneth Donald.
The DOT insists it is not trying to cover up anything and claims the cameras are only down for a few minutes while it gets emergency crews on the way, once that happens, the camera is brought back up on a wider shot.
Herne said this is not a transparency issue it is a safety and privacy issue.
"If there are dead people there then obviously we're not going to show that if there are injured people there and we're talking about close-ups where we can identify people we're not going to show it," said Herne.
However Doland said it should not be up to the state to decide what's appropriate for the public to see.
"Our position is just show everything and we have transparency and accountability people will feel confident they know they're not missing anything, nothings being hidden," she said.
The DOT said it is maybe once or twice a month that they have to cut off access to the cameras because of a bad wreck.
FOG said it is not aware of a written policy about when the cameras get turned off. The DOT said it has a policy but that when to turn the cameras off is common sense.
A District Court judge has ordered city leaders respond to a petition filed by an animal activist on the city's trap-neuter-return approach of managing feral cats.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Albuquerque's famous Bugg Lights Christmas can now be seen every night until Christmas Eve.
Morning Headlines and Forecast from KRQE New This Morning with Matt Mauro & Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.