Rio Rancho to shut off red light cameras but it may not last long

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Two intersections in Rio Rancho are well known for their flashing red light cameras that snap pictures of drivers running red lights.

“I don’t really think there’s any justification on it or why you should get ticket,” said one Rio Rancho man.

In early December, Rio Rancho City Council members voted down a new contract with Redflex, the company they work with who makes the cameras. Council member and former Rio Rancho Mayor, Jim Owen said the new four-year contract, just didn’t meet the council’s expectations moving forward.

“For the most part there wasn’t a strong feeling to cancel the program but rather to add speed vans for instance,” said councilman Owen.

So now, the red light cameras won’t be snapping your picture any longer come December 31, when the contract with Redflex is officially over. But, Owen said the program still has a fighting chance.

“What we basically said is ‘hey, if we can’t modify this, then we have to go back to the drawing table.'”

Owen said this Thursday he’ll be meeting with the City Manager to discuss what he’d like to see in the future of the program and that more meetings will be held with the other council members as well.

In addition to wanting more speed vans in residential areas, he said they’ve had issues with people paying their fines. A city spokesperson said since the cameras went up in 2011, there are 35,000 unpaid red light camera citations totaling $4 million.

“I’m not after a revenue stream, what I’m after is change behavior,” said Owen.

So for now, their main concern remains safety although they’d like to rectify the unpaid fines.

The $4 million is broken up into portions and is owed to the state, the city of Rio Rancho and Redflex.

A spokesperson for the city said the have been and will continue submitting those fines to the collection agency.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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