Las Cruces ends red light camera contract

EL PASO, Texas - The City of Las Cruces announced Tuesday it will not renew its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems (Redflex) for red light cameras at three of the city's busiest intersections.

The City's five-year contract with Reflex expires March 30, 2014, but under the terms of the agreement, the City is required to notify Redflex of its intent to terminate no later than 30 days prior to the initial term expiration date.

City administration has the power to end the contract so City Council action is not required.

"We have no definitive data to convince us that the commonly called red light camera program is successful," said City Manager Robert Garza in a statement. "So after close scrutiny and much discussion, we've decided to discontinue the program."

Garza says despite the decision not to renew with Redflex, the Safe Traffic Operations Program approved by City Council  ordinance on Sept. 15, 2008, will remain in place. He says utilizing state-of-the-art technology to help improve traffic safety is still a consideration. "Redflex is not the only contractor to provide these types of services. We're leaving our options open," Garza said. The City entered into an agreement with Redflex on Sept. 22, 2008, and the first citations for violations captured by the STOP cameras were recorded on March 30, 2009.

"The whole idea behind the STOP program was to modify driver behavior, to get motorists not to run red lights or speed through lighted intersections," Las Cruces Police Chief Jaime Montoya said. "While I believe the program does affect driving behavior, we can't say it was happening to our satisfaction."

Initially, the traffic enforcement cameras were located at the following intersections:

  •     Main Street/Solano Drive east and west bound.
  •     Valley Drive and Avenida de Mesilla north and south bound.
  •     Lohman Avenue and Walnut Street east and west bound.
  •     Lohman Avenue and Telshor Boulevard east and west bound.

In March 2010, the New Mexico Transportation Commission enacted a policy restricting photo enforcement on state roadways. As a result, the City voluntarily deactivated both cameras at Main and Solano and the south bound camera on Valley and Avenida de Mesilla.

A City Council work session on the STOP was held Monday, Feb. 10. Attached is the PowerPoint presentation from the work session that provides additional background and statistical information.

 Source: City of Las Cruces

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