Councilor Mark Scott
weighs in on an editorial run-a-muck regarding red-light cameras
Points that need to be made in response to Mr. Rehm’s recent Red-light article:
1. The City’s Reserve Fund (savings) went down this year to cover the current services. Are you happy with current level of services or would you want more services like most citizens I hear from? 500 words can’t cover the issues with our budget. Mr. Rehm states that he has read the articles and editorials, yet asks for the actual numbers on revenue and numbers of accidents to be published. I suggest that he read them all again, because the numbers were included and have been published. It might have been helpful if he had attended the public debate as well. Those numbers show fewer accidents after cameras were added, even with more population. I would also add that there were fewer violations from Rio Rancho residents as time went on.
2. Red-Light citations are civil citations and not criminal. Even under a criminal offense, video is permissible evidence. I can see the bank robber using the excuse that he doesn’t get to confront the camera that videotaped him robbing the bank, so I guess he is innocent. Really?
3. As an “educated person” Mr. Rehm should grasp the many studies that show intersections with a camera set up will influence us to slow down or stop for a yellow light, instead of speeding up to beat the red light. Yes, study after study has proven it. Will it stop all speeders or red-light runners? NO, but neither does having a police officer, or we would never have officers writing tickets. Nor do we have the budget to put an officer at every corner. The cameras do change driving habits, and if we are honest, we all have to admit it.
4. Mr. Rehm’s real objection seems to be that he doesn’t have any opportunity to talk the officer giving the ticket. May I suggest not speeding or running red lights? You won’t have to gamble on the Officer taking pity on you. If you’re given a citation from the cameras, you do still have the option to plead your case to a hearing officer, but as most people know, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million.
I would recommend that Mr. Rehm please read and research the studies and information before writing letters to the editor. He does himself a disservice by making comments suggesting that cameras do nothing to stop accidents and T-bones resulting in death. What Rio Rancho residents deserve is the truth in what the consequences are of removing the cameras. I would be more than happy to put this issue on the ballot for the voters to decide at the next city election, but hopefully they will get educated on the truth, and not take the misinformation that others have put out there as gospel.