Albuquerque to install more speed cameras along busy roads

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Speed cameras have been in place for a little more than a year now, and the progress has been so promising, Albuquerque is about to get three more.

City reps say they’re putting up one new cam at the Coors Bypass, another on Coors between Montaño and Paseo, and the third along Paseo, just west of Louisiana.

The new cams will be installed this summer, bringing the city’s total to 20.

“We launched the program on April 25, 2022, with three cameras. Today, we have 17 cameras,” said Valerie Hermanson, a City of Albuquerque Public Works Strategic program manager.

A lot of growth in the span of a year and the City of Albuquerque says it’s not slowing down with speed cams now.

“For nine locations installed for almost a year, we’ve seen decreases in average speed of drivers,” said Hermanson. 

They’ve also seen decreases in speeders going 10-40 miles over the speed limit on busy roads like Gibson and Montgomery.

“Even a one mile per hour reduction in operating speed can result in a 17% decrease in fatal crashes,” Hermanson said. 

City officials hope to bring the probability for fatal crashes even lower with the addition of three new speed cams, but this time on busy state roads like Coors and Paseo.

“I don’t know if more cams would really help,” said Thomas Simic with Lead Coal Safety Brigade. 

Simic says the cameras the city installed in his neighborhood last year, have done little to deter dangerous drivers to the point where he can’t even plant trees in his yard.

“Somebody went up on the sidewalk, and you know, another tree got knocked down,” said Simic. 

Simic says the second drivers pass the cams, they immediately speed back up. Which is why he believes mobile cameras are more effective than fixed ones.

But there’s a problem with mobile cameras:

“They might get stolen, might get stolen like that last one. Was it last year that was there at Yale,” Simic said. 

Since April, city reps say they’ve issued nearly 77,000 citations from speed cams.

“We’re not playing, not trying to play gotcha. You know, we’re not trying to make money,” said Simic. 

They say they’re only trying to make our streets safer. 

The city says it’s in the process of putting together data from before they put each camera up. Once a camera reaches its three-year mark, they’ll be able to gather after data to really see if there are behavior changes from drivers.