VILLAGE OF LOS LUNAS ORDINANCE NO. ____
AN ORDINANCE TO MONITOR THE SPEED OF TRAVEL AND ENFORCE THE SPEED LIMIT THROUGH SPEED ENFORCEMENT CAMERAS
BY ADDING ARTICLE XIV TO THE VILLAGE OF LOS LUNAS UNIFORM TRAFFIC ORDINANCE
AUTOMATED SPEED ENFORCEMENT ORDINANCE ARTICLE XIV
WHEREAS, traffic safety is an important piece of our overall effort to improve public safety;
WHEREAS, it is estimated that excessive speed plays a role in 25% or more of all fatal crashes, in conjunction with other dangerous driving behaviors; and our community needs a shared commitment to save lives and protect our residents from dangerous crashes;
WHEREAS, §3-18-17(A) 1978 permits a municipality to define a nuisance, abate a nuisance and impose penalties upon a person who creates or allows a nuisance to exist for a speeding offense or violation provided that the penalty for such violation shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100); and
WHEREAS, the operation of motor vehicles in excess of the posted speed limit within the Village of Los Lunas constitutes a public nuisance that can be abated by the use of automated speed enforcement equipment and the imposition of a civil penalty.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE VILLAGE OF LOS LUNAS, COUNTY OF VALENCIA, STATE OF NEW MEXICO THAT,
ARTICLE XIV SHALL BE ADDED TO TITLE 12 OF THE VILLAGE OF LOS LUNAS UNIFORM TRAFFIC CODE AS FOLLOWS:
ARTICLE XIV: AUTOMATED SPEED ENFORCEMENT
12-14-1 Short title
12-14-1 SHORT TITLE.
This article may be referred to as the Village of Los Lunas Automated Speed Enforcement Ordinance or "VLLASE."
For the purposes of the Village of Los Lunas Automated Speed Enforcement Ordinance, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
VLLASE SYSTEM FINE. The fine assessed for a violation, as set forth in §12-14-4(G) or successor provision under this article (or successor article of the Village’s codified ordinances).
VLLASE SYSTEM FINE NOTICE. A written document mailed to the address of the registered owner or nominee stating that a violation has occurred and payment is due.
CAMERA SPEED DEVICE or “CSD”. The instrument that detects a violation of this article. The definition includes but is not limited to cameras and electronic speed detection equipment reasonably relied upon by police officers.
CONTRACTOR. A person or entity that enters into a contract with the Village of Los Lunas to provide photographic or electronic evidence of a speed violation through a CSD.
DEPARTMENT. The Los Lunas Police Department.
DRIVER. The person operating a motor vehicle at the time of a violation.
IDENTIFY. To submit information on the actual driver of a vehicle sufficient to allow the Village to locate and notify the driver in lieu of the registered owner, including but not limited to the name and address of the driver.
NOMINATE or NOMINATION. A written statement by the registered owner identifying the actual driver of a car as the responsible party for a violation.
NOMINEE. The person or entity identified by the registered owner as the driver or responsible party.
NUISANCE. The act of operating a vehicle in violation of this article.
OWNER’S AFFIDAVIT. A written statement signed under oath and submitted to the Village or the Village’s contractor under penalty of perjury by the registered owner of a vehicle who asserts therein that the registered owner was not driving the vehicle at the time of a violation.
RESPONDENT. An accused violator who has received a VLLASE System Fine Notice and requested a hearing.
Any action or conduct constituting a violation under §12-6-1.2, and §16-6-1.3 of the Village of Los Lunas Uniform Traffic Ordinance, Section 66-7-104 NMSA 1978 of the New Mexico State Motor Vehicle Code, or any other Village or state laws pertaining to speeding is a violation. This article does not apply to emergency vehicles responding to an emergency.
(A) Violation recorded by CSD. The contractor shall provide all evidence of a CSD-recorded violation to the Los Lunas Police Department. The Los Lunas Police Department shall review all CSD evidence provided by the contractor.
(1) If the Los Lunas Police Department determines that a violation has occurred and that a citation is warranted, the Los Lunas Police Department shall cause a VLLASE fine notice to be delivered to the registered owner.
(2) The registered owner is strictly and vicariously liable for the violation unless one of the defenses herein applies. If there is more than one registered owner, all registered owners shall be jointly and severally liable for the violation.
(B) VLLASE fine notice.
(1) The VLLASE fine notice shall state and contain the name of the registered owner or nominee, the effective date of the VLLASE fine notice, the type of violation, the date, time, and location of the violation, a picture of the violation, the license plate number of the vehicle, the name and identification of the issuing Los Lunas Police Department official, the amount of the fine, the response due date and the return address. The VLLASE fine notice shall inform the registered owner or the nominee of the option to complete community service in lieu of payment of the VLLASE fine, and the right to request a hearing.
(2) Delivery. The VLLASE fine notice shall be delivered to the address of the registered owner according to the address registered with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), from information obtained from the Municipal or Magistrate Court, from Los Lunas Police Department Records, or from any other documentation or records reasonably relied upon by police officers, or it shall be delivered to the address of the nominee according to the owner’s affidavit.
(3) Response to a VLLASE fine notice. The registered owner shall pay the fine, elect to complete community service, file an owner’s affidavit making a nomination, or request a hearing by the response due date as indicated by the VLLASE fine notice. A request for hearing shall be submitted to the Village of Los Lunas Municipal Court Clerk or designee.
(C) Nomination. A registered owner not driving the car at the time of the violation may either accept the responsibility and pay the VLLASE fine or identify the driver so a VLLASE fine notice can be sent to the driver.
(1) If the registered owner claims that another person was driving the vehicle at the time of the violation, the registered owner shall so indicate on the owner’s affidavit and identify the person who was driving the vehicle. Any registered owner who submits an owner’s affidavit does so under penalty of perjury.
(2) A new VLLASE fine notice will be delivered to the nominee. If the nominee successfully appeals the allegation that they were the driver, the Village may proceed against the registered owner. The registered owner is also responsible for payment of the VLLASE fine if the Village cannot assert jurisdiction over the nominee, subject to the remaining defenses available in this article.
(D) Default. If the Village does not receive payment of the VLLASE fine, an election to complete community service, a nomination, or a request for a hearing by the response due date as indicated by the VLLASE fine notice, the registered owner is in default. If the default is not cured, the Village may pursue all remedies for collection of a debt and is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees incurred.
(1) In the event of a demand for a hearing, the duly elected Municipal Judge or duly appointed alternate Judge shall hold a hearing. No party shall have the right to peremptorily disqualify the Municipal Judge or the alternate Judge.
(2) The Clerk of the Municipal Court or designee shall mail, or hand deliver the notice of hearing to the parties and shall e-mail a copy of the notice to each party that has provided an e-mail address or whose e-mail address is posted on the Village of Los Lunas website. The mailing of the notice to the address provided by the party requesting the hearing constitutes receipt of the notice on the third day after the mailing date. Hand delivery of the notice constitutes receipt of the notice on the date of delivery. Transmission or receipt of an e-mailed copy of the notice shall not change any deadline that applies to a party.
(3) The hearing shall be conducted following the rules of evidence and civil procedure for the district courts. The Los Lunas Police Department has the burden to prove the violation by a preponderance of the evidence. The respondent has the burden to prove any defenses by a preponderance of the evidence. If the Los Lunas Police Department prevails, the respondent shall pay the fine within 30 consecutive days from the date of the decision. Following a hearing, the respondent may appeal the decision of the Municipal Judge or the alternate Municipal Judge to the District Court within 30 days of the decision and may recover the costs of filing the appeal if successful.
(4) If a decision of the Municipal Judge or the alternate Municipal Judge is appealed to the District Court by the respondent, the record of the hearing shall include at a minimum the following:
(a) The notices, pleadings, motions, and intermediate rulings;
(b) The documentary evidence offered and admitted;
(c) A written decision; and
(d) The recording or transcript of the hearing.
(5) Transcript. The hearing shall be electronically recorded. A party may arrange at their own expense for the hearing to be stenographically recorded.
(F) Defenses. At a timely requested hearing, the respondent may present the following defenses:
(1) The vehicle was stolen or otherwise being driven without the registered owner’s knowledge or permission at the time of the alleged violation. The registered owner shall have a police report pertaining to the theft to avail the owner of this defense.
(2) The ownership of the vehicle had lawfully been transferred and conveyed from the registered owner to another person before the time of the alleged violation.
(3) The evidence does not show that a violation was committed involving the subject vehicle.
(4) The respondent is the registered owner but was not driving the vehicle at the time of the violation. To assert this defense, the registered owner shall identify the actual driver and comply with the nomination provisions in subsection (C) of this section.
(5) The registered owner did not receive notice because the VLLASE fine notice was not mailed to the address of record with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
(1) A violation constitutes a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $100.00 or completion of four hours of community service to the Village of Los Lunas.
A violator may elect community service to the Village of Los Lunas as an alternative to payment of fines. A violator who elects the option of community service to the Village of Los Lunas in lieu of payment of a fine does so voluntarily and is entitled to none of the benefits conferred upon Village employees, including, without limitation, worker’s compensation, or the payment of any wages or benefits. The Village is not responsible for damages incurred as a result of such service except as otherwise provided by law. The person seeking relief hereunder shall timely request the option of community service to the Village of Los Lunas in lieu of payment of a fine. Services shall be rendered in not less than full hour increments and shall be credited against the fine payable at a rate of $25 per hour. The Mayor or the Mayor’s designee shall establish procedures for administering this paragraph including, but not limited to, the nature of community service that may be performed, the timeframe in which a respondent must complete their community service, and consequences for failure to complete community service.
(A) The Los Lunas Police Department shall be responsible for administration of this article. Reasonable rules and regulations may be promulgated by the Chief of Police to carry out the intent and purpose of this article.
(B) The revenue generated through VLLASE shall be retained and distributed in accordance with the provisions of Section 3-18-17(A)(3) NMSA 1978.
(C) The contractor hired to aid in the administration of this program will not be compensated VLLASE based on the number of citations issued. The contractor shall be compensated by a flat fee.
(D) An independent third-party lab shall perform a calibration test on the CSD instruments used for speed detection at least annually.
PASSED, APPROVED, SIGNED, AND ADOPTED THIS ____ DAY OF _________, 2022.
Charles Griego, Mayor
Village of Los Lunas
Gregory D. Martin, Village Administrator
Village of Los Lunas
Published in the Valencia County News-Bulletin on May 26, 2022
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.