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Las Cruces won't renew contract with red-light camera company

By: Jesse Martinez
LAS CRUCES, N.M. The city of Las Cruces decided against renewing its contract with the company in charge of red-light cameras in the city.

The citys five-year contract, which began in March 2009, ends March 30. As per the terms of its contract, the city was required to notify Redflex 30 days in advance of the experience date if it chose to not renew the contract, officials said.

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

Police Chief Jaime Montoya said the following in a statement, 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. While I believe the program does affect driving behavior, we cant say it was happening to our satisfaction.

Garza said the citys Safe Traffic Operations Program, which was approved in 2008, will remain in place.

Redflex is not the only contractor to provide these types of services. Were leaving our options open, Garza said.

Redflex operates cameras in El Paso and Las Cruces, along with several other states in the country.

The Australian company has been in damage control mode lately after a Chicago Tribune article that quoted a fired Redflex executive as saying the company had given out bribes to officials in dozens of municipalities in up to 13 states, including Texas and New Mexico, to secure contracts for the cameras.

The Las Cruces City Council determined there were no bribes offered to them

The cameras began operation in Las Cruces in 2009. Over five years, they generated $5,471,000 in revenue, but the city only got to keep $1,418,000 of it after Redflex and the state took their cuts, along with other fees.

 

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