I had made a note to blog about this back in early May but it kept getting put off. After a KOAT TV employee got a red light camera citation which he felt he did not deserve he went back to the intersection and found a flaw in the timing of the camera which caused innocent drivers to receive citations. It would be interesting to see how many innocent people paid the $100 to $300 fine and never fought the ticket. Also how would the average citizen fight the ticket? As the news cast shows the evidence photo only shows the vehicle supposedly running the red light. The evidence is deceiving and would have held up to the yes or no, no room for argument hearing provided on these cases.
What is missing in this system besides reasonable fines is a human judge who can use common sense and compassion in making decisions. If you are taking your dying family member to a hospital and get pulled over for a traffic infraction by an officer, the officer can make a human decision whether or not you should be cited. If you are about to be rear ended by a driver who is not paying attention the officer who observes the incident can use his discretion to determine what really happened. The red light camera is a robot with no ability to use discretion or understand variables. Unfortunately the hearing officers unlike real judges in Albuquerque's red light camera civil process also are robots who only look at the photo and say yes or no.