Changes for Red Light Cameras in the Borderland

El Paso Getting More Red Light Cams

     Love them or hate them, there's reason to be happy about the likely changes for the region's red light cameras.

     Las Cruces will likely lose its cameras.   City Manager Robert Garza decided not to renew the city's contract with the camera provider, Redflex.

     In El Paso, however, the cameras are going strong.

     "We have seen a reduction citywide at the intersections that have cameras in the right-angle type of collision," Deputy Police Chief Michelle Gardner said.

     Police say "T-bone" collisions cause the most damage and that's what they're trying to prevent. So what's the difference between El Paso's system and the one in Las Cruces?

     For starters, El Paso has a lot more intersections covered - 17 in the city as of 2013 versus three in Las Cruces. And there's a lot more citations. Las Cruces averaged almost 17,000 citations a year, while El Paso had nearly 24,000 last year.

     That's led to a lot more fines, too. Over the total five-year program, Las Cruces saw $1.4 million in fines. Last year alone, El Paso's system netted $1.1 million dollars for the city. And that's even with El Paso having a lower fine, $75 versus Las Cruces's $100.    

     One of the problems in Las Cruces was that there's no real incentive to pay the fines, while El Paso's citations have some bite, in the Scofflaw program. It prevents people from registering their cars if they have outstanding citations.

     And more cameras are likely coming to El Paso in the future.

     David Almonte, deputy city manager said "As you can see up on the Eastside, around Pebble Hills, Edgemere, all the way down to Pelicano, those intersections, as far as activities, grow significantly over the last few years."

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