Utilities for Unpaid Offenders Shut Off

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Red-light cameras are designed to deter traffic offenses in major intersections, but an unpaid citation could result in having the offender's utilities shut off.

The City of Las Cruces is notifying offenders by mail that they have to pay their fines or make arrangements by the due date stated in the letter, and failure to do so will result in termination of utilities services, officials said.  In the Las Cruces Municipal Code, Section 28-10, it gives the city authority to remove such services. It states that: The City may decline, fail to cease to furnish utility service to any person who may be in debt to the city for any reason, except ad valorem taxes and special assessments.

So far, the city reports approximately $2 million in unpaid and delinquent fines from red-light traffic cameras. To top it off, those who have their utilities removed will have to pay a $48 fee to re-establish services once the red-light traffic-camera fines have been paid.

Red-light traffic-camera violations cost $100 per violation, and a $25 default fee is added when the citation is not paid within 35 days.