A closer look at street racing in the Albuquerque metro

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Street racing is not a new problem for the Albuquerque metro.

"The different activities that occur on our roads are literally killing people on our streets and we absolutely have to do more," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said at a news conference last summer. He was talking about his plan to bring in mobile speed enforcement units.

Then, on Wednesday, seven students were taken to the hospital because a suspected street racer crashed into their school bus.

"People have to understand that their own behavior is dangerous and could kill children," Keller said Wednesday night at a news conference following the crash. "That’s what happens when you do things like speed race on our streets."

Just last year, a beloved priest was killed in a South Valley crash while he was on his way to get dinner.

In 2019, a crash involving a Kirtland airman was one of the most gruesome scenes Albuquerque police have ever handled. Police said the airman crashed into a woman crossing the street – killing her instantly. Local investigators suspected street racing, but could never prove it.

Just this week, the Albuquerque Police Department arrested 20-year-old Joshua Ashford for street racing. Police found out Ashford was already on probation for previously running from police.

However, police admit enforcement can be a challenge with street racers.

"The racing is kind of a problem for all over the city," said Daren DeAguero, an APD spokesman. "As soon as we target one area, these individuals move somewhere else.

Police said they need the entire community to make reckless drivers realize this is not OK.

"Hold each other accountable and let’s just do our best to encourage people to take responsibility and understand what they’re doing," said Fire Chief Gene Gallegos.

Just hours before the school bus crash Thursday, Albuquerque police launched a new program to help target speeders during peak driving hours.