Frequently asked questions about Albuquerque's Red Light Camera program.
Q1. Why is the City of Albuquerque collecting on these citations now?
A1. The City is required to collect the unpaid fines under New Mexico law. All fines have to be collected no matter how old the citation is. We are in the wind-down phase of the City's Red Light Camera Program, which the voters elected to cancel.
However, the cancellation of the program does not cancel the debt owed by individuals charged with a violation before the program was terminated.
Otherwise, it would not be fair to those who paid if there are no consequences for those who did not pay.
Q2. What steps does someone need to take to pay a delinquent citation or citations?
Should you visit either website, you will need to enter specific information such as the citation number, account number, license plate number and the city code, which is "ABQ."
Or you can also call CreditWatch at (877) 444-3343 to pay your citation over the phone. Violators can view digital still images or in some cases videos of their violation online at www.photonotice.com.
Q3. The citation I received was many years ago, do I still need to pay this citation?
A3. Yes, these citations are still valid despite their age.
The City of Albuquerque is required to collect the unpaid fines no matter when the driver or owner of the car got the ticket. You are required by law to pay and the City is required by law to collect.
The State of New Mexico gets half the net revenue from the fines and also has a stake in this matter.
Q4. Can I pay the City directly?
Q5. I never received this citation in the mail; why do I have to pay it?
A5. The red light camera law required Redflex to mail the citation to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle according to the records of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
You can call Redflex at (877) 847-2338 to verify they did this, which was all that was required. If you moved, you are required by law to notify MVD of your new address.
If you did not receive the citation because you failed to provide the notice of change of address, you are responsible for the fine even if you never received the citation.
Unfortunately for those who still owe these fines, a claim that the citation was never received is not a valid defense at this stage of the proceedings.
Q6. If I only have one citation, how can it possibly be worth such a high amount?
A6. During the time the cameras were in force, the amount of the fine and late fees changed several times over the years. For example, at one time, a third offense was a five hundred dollar ($500.00) fine. At the end of the program, the State had reduced the fine to seventy five dollars ($75). Therefore, the arrearages differ substantially depending on when the citation was received and whether it was a second or subsequent offense.
CreditWatch and Redflex have some discretion to work with violators who have high fines because of multiple offenses or late charges. You can call CreditWatch toll free at (877) 444-3343.
Q8. Why isn't the driver of the vehicle, rather than the owner, responsible for the citation?
A8: Red light camera tickets worked like parking tickets. If someone else drives your car and gets a parking ticket, you are responsible because you own the car and you are the only person the government can identify through the license plate number.
The same is true with red light camera violations. When the citation went out, the registered owner had the option of assigning the ticket to the actual driver as long as the owner did so within 20 days. This is how, for example, car rental companies handled the citations, by naming the lessee.
But the time for assigning responsibility to the actual driver has gone by. The registered owner(s) is responsible.
Q9. What if I sold my vehicle prior to the date of the violation?
A9. You missed the chance to raise this as a defense when the citation went out. You could have brought the bill of sale to a hearing officer and the ticket might have been dismissed.
Even now, if you have proof you sold the vehicle or the vehicle was stolen at the time of the violation, Redflex has some discretion to work with you on these matters. Redflex can be reached at (877) 847-2338.
Q10. What can I do to avoid having this issue be reflected on my credit report or becoming involved in a civil dispute in court?
A10. If you have an unpaid citation from this program, the best way to avoid this impacting your credit report is to pay your violation. Violations can be paid online at www.creditwatchservices.com or on www.photonotice.com or by calling (877) 444-3343. We encourage you to contact CreditWatch as soon as possible to discuss your unpaid citation.
Q11. I thought Redflex Traffic Systems operated the traffic safety cameras. Why is CreditWatch involved?
A11. Redflex's agreement with the City of Albuquerque to operate the traffic safety cameras has expired.
CreditWatch, a national provider of accounts receivable management solutions, was selected to facilitate the recovery and payment of outstanding traffic notices on behalf of the City of Albuquerque while the photo enforcement contract was still operating.
Q12 I thought the statute of limitations was 4 years in NM. Why am I still being asked to pay a ticket older than 4 years?
A12. The statute of limitations does not apply.
Q13. I already paid my ticket. How do I prove that and who do I contact?
A13. Contact CreditWatch at 877-444-3343 or Redflex at 877-847-2338.
Q14. I'm continually harassed by the credit agency. Who do I contact to complain about the way I've been treated?
A14. You have the right to contact an attorney. If you want to talk to the person at CreditWatch who handles customer complaints, call 877-444-3343.