Starting May 25, drivers caught speeding through certain intersections and past mobile cameras will be issued $100 fines. Three intersection cameras are already in place, with two on Gibson east- and westbound lanes between Carlisle and San Mateo. The other is on the eastbound lane of Montgomery between Wyoming and Eubank. A total of 10 fixed speed cameras and multiple mobile units are planned for different locations throughout Albuquerque.
The city will issue warnings to those caught speeding by the cameras. Starting May 25, fines will be mailed to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle. A city of Albuquerque FAQs webpage says, “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.”
Over the past week, neighborhood residents shared their thoughts on the speed cameras and how they think they will affect people’s driving.
Rob Liccione, an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department, answered: “I can’t speak on an official level, but personally I’m kind of against the whole approach of it so we can look people up and write tickets with it. Because it’s weird, I’m more of a minimalistic government belief but at the same time I work for the government, but I think that they should go for the driver and not just the registered owner of the vehicle, which the ticketing system tends to do. They have a civil aspect to it versus the natural, like driving history or criminal record to it. That’s really why I’m against it.”
Liccione added there will be a lot of fixed cameras, saying “they’re gonna want to expand it.” When asked how the speed cameras will be any different than the red-light cameras the city scrapped in 2011, Liccione said, “In all reality, we do need assistance in traffic enforcement here . . . but I don’t think automated is necessarily the way to go, but that’s on a personal level. While I’m suited up, I go with it. I gotta feed my family, too.”
Josh Crawley, an officer with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, responded: “I like the concept of it. I’m just hoping that it will slow people down because crashes are becoming more and more of an issue, especially the higher-speed ones. So, I’m hoping that it’ll stem some of the more serious injury or fatal crashes that we’ve been seeing here in Albuquerque.”
Austin Gonzagowski responded, “Honestly, I hope it is a deterrent for those who do speed excessively; however, I’d be curious to know, and I’m not well informed, where the funds are going, who’s managing those funds. But I’m optimistic that it will be helpful all around.”
One person at North Domingo Baca Park who didn’t want her name or picture to be published said she received four tickets in one weekend when the red-light cameras were in place and that the automated system has a lot of problems. Another person said, “either way we’re going to get screwed,” signifying his unfortunate luck with traffic enforcement. One woman who also didn’t want her name to be published said she is against the cameras and that sometimes, “you have to speed.” She said it can often be more dangerous to go the speed limit when having to pass other vehicles or when the flow of traffic is going at a faster rate.