ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In a continuing effort to clamp down on speeders, the City of Albuquerque announced Wednesday when the new automated speed cameras will be turned on, and where the flagship units will be placed. No one knows better than the family of Erika Chavez–Albuquerque has a speeding problem. “On September 12 of 2020, a speeder devastated our family forever. He struck Erika’s Kia at a high speed, Erika was killed instantly,” says Rosa Rivera, aunt of Erika Chavez.
Members of Chavez’s family were at the Regional Transportation Management Center Wednesday as Mayor Tim Keller unveiled new details about the speed camera program. “I don’t think that any family should ever experience such a tragedy,” Rivera says.
In that spirit, the city is rolling out various versions of speed cameras. They’ll be up and running this month. “We’re giving everyone a heads up that on April 25th, automated devices will start issuing warnings,” Keller says.
But, drivers beware: a month after that, speeders will start getting $100 tickets. The city will start with three cameras–two on Gibson, the other on Montgomery by Eubank–areas Albuquerque Police call ‘hotspots’ for speeders.
City officials say these units are not about profits, but rather about changing the speeding culture in Duke City. “Last year, we took 85 fatal crashes in the city of Albuquerque. And one of the hardest things for myself and my guys to do is to go tell someone’s family they died as a result of someone else’s bad driving,” says Lt. Nick Wheeler of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Some of the cameras are fixed to traffic poles. Others are portable and will be on the move to crack down on speeders on other problem streets.
Within a year, city officials say they will have 10. “We’re hoping that this technology effectively targets hot spots for speeders in hopes of saving lives,” Rivera says.
The fines will cover the cost of the speed camera program and go toward traffic studies and road safety projects with the Vision Zero program.
The city has not said exactly how much drivers will have to go over the speed limit to trigger a ticket but says they are targeting the most egregious speeders.