Albuquerque speed cameras: More than 2,000 warnings issued in under a month

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The City of Albuquerque’s Automated Speed Enforcement cameras have issued over 2,000 warnings to drivers in under a month.

Currently, there are three cameras that are live and issuing warnings. Starting May 25, $100 citations will be issued.

City officials have identified three more locations where speed cameras will be installed over the coming months. Eventually, there will be 10 cameras total.

“The numbers show that more than ever, we need this force multiplier to crack down on speeding on our streets,” said Lt. Nick Wheeler with APD’s Motors Unit. “We need a change in behavior, and we’re using Automated Speed Enforcement combined with our ongoing strategic traffic operations to get us there.”

Between April 25 and May 19, the three cameras in place have captured the following data:

  • 2,192 warnings were issued by the system, approved by APD, and sent to registered vehicle owners
  • 917,036 total vehicles passing through enforcement areas (all in 40 mph zones)
  • 756,013 (82%) of vehicles were traveling one or more miles per hour over the posted limit
  • 187,849 (21%) of vehicles were traveling 11 or more miles per hour over the posted limit
  • 32 vehicles were traveling 60 or more miles per hour over the posted limit

“We captured a top speed on eastbound Gibson – 137 miles an hour – that is excessive,” said Kevin Sourisseau, associate chief administrative officer with CABQ. “That’s a 40 mph zone. That’s almost a hundred miles over the speed limit.”

Officials said that was in the middle of the day, on a weekend.

Automated Speed Enforcement FAQs

Automated speed enforcement units are mobile and fixed radar devices equipped with cameras to monitor excessive speed in a particular area. The devices are designed to keep our communities safer by issuing citations to speeders who endanger pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. Other cities in New Mexico and across the United States have used similar technology with positive results.

Mobile and fixed units will be placed in various areas of the City, based on crash and traffic data. The mobile units can be moved as needed to address trends and demographics. Radar in these units is activated when a vehicle exceeds the set enforcement speed, which triggers a camera to capture images of the car and license plate and for the unit to measure the speed of the offending driver.

Mobile and fixed automated speed enforcement units will be placed in areas known for high-speed driving and high numbers of injury and fatality crashes. Whereas red light cameras were stationary, positioned at intersections, and captured red light violations, automated speed enforcement units capture speeding violations. Moreover, automated speed enforcement units can be mobile or fixed and placed where there is need in order to meet the goal of making Albuquerque a safer City for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

No. The units do not capture information of images of passing vehicles that are not exceeding the enforcement speed.

Prior to a violation being issued, the Albuquerque Police Department will review all footage provided from the automated speed enforcement cameras as provided by the vendor. If the Albuquerque Police Department determines that a violation has occurred, the officer shall cause a fine to be delivered to the registered owner of the vehicle.

The fine notice will be sent to the address of the registered owner or nominee determined by records with:

  • The Department of Motor Vehicles;
  • The Albuquerque Police Department Records;
  • The Bernalillo Metropolitan Court;
  • Documents reasonably relied on by police officers; and
  • Information provided in the Owner’s Affidavit.

If another driver is operating a vehicle that is registered to you and is found to have a violation, you can identify the responsible individual with an owner’s affidavit. Note that if that individual defaults on their fine, you will be responsible for it.

A registered owner is in default if they do not timely respond to the fine notice (i.e. failure to pay the fine, request a hearing, nominate a driver, or request and complete community service).

An Automated Speed Enforcement fine notice is a civil violation, much like a parking ticket. In the event of a default, the City will enforce debt collections. This is not a criminal violation; therefore, a default does not result in a bench warrant, points on a driver’s license, or affect car insurance rates.

The City Clerk’s Office will administer Automated Speed Enforcement hearings. The hearing officers are appointed by the presiding judge of the civil division of the district court and the hearings will adhere to the Independent Office of Hearing Ordinance.

No. With the use of automated speed enforcement cameras, there will be less direct interaction between law enforcement and speeders, however police officers will still stop offenders when they witness speeding or reckless driving behaviors. Automated speed enforcement will allow police officers to focus more on responding to violent crime.

No. The locations of the mobile speed units will be selected based on data from the Vision Zero Action Plan. This data shows the areas across Albuquerque which have the highest numbers of traffic fatalities and injuries in conjunction with the areas with the highest prevalence of speeders.

Because the radar technology is triggered by speed, the automated speed enforcement units will be an unbiased approach to responding to speeding.

The Automated Speed Enforcement Ordinance allows for four (4) hours of community service in lieu of payment.

The revenue generated through Automated Speed Enforcement will be retained and distributed in accordance with the provisions of Section 3-18-17(A)(2) NMSA 1978 (2009), which requires half be remitted to the State and the other half is retained by the municipality to offset reasonable costs directly related to administering the program. Any remaining funds will be used for Vision Zero traffic safety initiatives.

No. The Automated Speed Enforcement Ordinance specifically requires that any vendor that the City contracts with have a flat fee structure and not a per citation fee structure.

No. First and foremost, utilizing many of these products is illegal. Moreover, with the industrial flash technology, most of the sprays actually serve to enhance the image of a reflective surface like a license plate, making the evidence even more prosecutable.