Unpaid Traffic Tickets May Get Violators' Utilities Turned Off In New Mexico

Residents of one New Mexico city are in danger of having their utilities shut off if they don't pay tickets for running red lights.

The city of Las Cruces is considering cutting off the water and sewer utilities of its customers with outstanding tickets in the wake of a $2-million deficit in fine revenue, according to ABC News.

When city officials began exploring options to make up for the loss, they found a section in the city municipal code that reads, "The city may decline, fail or 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," the station reported.

A spokesman in the city's public information office declined to comment to The Huffington Post. But city officials reportedly sent out warning letters to residents recently threatening that they might get cut of from the water and sewer lines.

"You are hereby advised that, unless the [red light camera] fines are paid or other satisfactory payment arrangements are made with the City on or before (date) the City will terminate all current City-provided utility service to the residence," an example letter reads.

The option is being explored because the city can't take its drivers to court over violations -- the only enforcement they seem to have is the utility plan, according to

Naturally, drivers are outraged.

"There are some angry customers that come in and say it isn’t proper the city is going this route," City communications director Udell Vigil told ABC.

The $100 fines are diviid up between the city, the state and the camera company that records drivers' licence plates.