ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A high rate of drivers caught on Albuquerque’s newer speed cameras seem to be blowing off paying the fines they owe to the city. New statistics obtained by KRQE News 13 show a large number of drivers are ignoring the civil fines associated with speed camera violations.
The City of Albuquerque fired up its Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program on May 25, 2022. Today, there are 10 cameras parked in different places throughout the city, each issuing $100 fines to speeding drivers.
The program is different in that violators are issued civil fines, meaning a ticket from the ASE program doesn’t count against a driver’s license or insurance. Ignoring the fines also doesn’t lead to an arrest, but it could impact a person’s financial credit.
While the city says it does use a collection agency to track down payments after the 90-day payment window has passed, there are still a lot of drivers who are ignoring the issue.
Since May 2022, the city says at least 1,170 people who’ve received two or more citations from the cameras are past due on their payments. At least 432 people are past due on three or more citations from ASE cameras.
The city has issued 44,000 speed camera tickets since launching the program more than ten months ago, in May 2022. According to a spokesperson from the city’s Department of Municipal Development, around half of the drivers who receive the city’s ASE tickets miss the 90-day deadline to pay.
Roughly 43% of tickets issued that are more than 90 days old remain unpaid, according to the city. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has suggested the city address the issue of non-payment through a newly proposed ordinance.
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The proposal would create a municipal parking offense for drivers who are in default of payment on three or more ASE fines. If the proposal passes Albuquerque City Council, the change would allow the city’s Parking Enforcement to boot vehicles on city streets where the vehicle is associated with three or more unpaid ASE fines.
Addressing the new proposal in a news release, Keller reemphasized his suppose for ASE cameras. The Mayor says the program is a “useful tool” in helping slow dangerous driving.
“This ordinance would increase the effectiveness of ASE by providing another way to hold violators accountable for their actions,” Keller said Monday in a news release about the proposed change to ASE enforcement.
If the legislation passes, the City of Albuquerque would be required to send written notice to “all persons with two or more unpaid ASE fines in default” about possible additional fines and the possible booting of their vehicle.