You might remember a few years ago when several cities around New Mexico started using mobile vans to capture photos of speeding vehicles. Those caught on camera faced a fine and traffic citation.
In one incident eight years ago, a Santa Fe resident became so enraged at having “big brother” watching the streets all the time that he approached one of the vans at night, wearing only his nightgown, and blasted several rounds from a pistol at it. It was all captured on video, but we don’t know if the device calculated how fast the bullets were whizzing by. And in Rio Rancho, three of the vans were torched before the program was cancelled.
Well, Santa Fe has now decided to re-introduce the vans to target speeders at random locations around the city.
As city Deputy Chief Ben Valdez explained:
“We can put a device out there and it doesn’t need to go for a lunch break.”
While the “speed vans” were reintroduced with a promise of reducing speeding, it was also clear that city revenue enhancement was also a priority. According to city officials, drivers who get busted by one of the units will have to pay fine of about $50, but the incident won’t go on their record. So if you have the cash, it appears you can just keep speeding and avoid any other consequences.
And just think of how much money the city will be saving by not having to shell out the salary for a traffic cop — and not paying for his or her lunch.