Senate bill intends to revive traffic camera fines in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – Sen. Abel Nazario Quiñones has filed Senate Bill 452, aimed at regulating a new automated traffic control system–known locally as fotomultas, for traffic-camera fines, for implementation on the island’s high-risk roadways.
According to the bill, the secretary of the Public Works & Transportation Department (DTOP by its Spanish initials), will be in charge of establishing the system to oversee and calibrate the equipment used to detect traffic violations. A bidding process will be used to select the company “that is the most efficient and has the lowest cost to the treasury.”
This new version would have “a uniform and reliable review process,” since the process to challenge fines would be identical to that for any other traffic ticket in order to avoid confusion and guarantee citizens the right of due process of law, Nazario explained.
The distribution of funds collected by from the fines would be as follows: 25% for the retirement system for police personnel affected by Act 3; 5% for the Molecular Center of Puerto Rico; 5% for Puerto Rico Police overtime pay and debt owed to the force; 15% for infrastructure and purchase of equipment for the Medical Center of Puerto Rico; 25% for the payment of Puerto Rico’s debt; and the remaining 25% will be distributed among the municipalities where the cameras are located.
“One of the major problems of the former…system was the administrative review process to challenge fines. The drivers did not know the process to review and submit complaints about the fines issued,” the legislator said. “With this new version, each citizen is guaranteed the right to due process of law and eliminates any confusion.”
The Senate Innovation and Infrastructure Committee said public hearings for the bill will begin before October.