Police crackdown on ART lane violators

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police were out along the ART bus route Tuesday catching people who cannot seem to follow the rules. After KRQE News 13 spotted several drivers breaking the law Monday, APD conducted an enforcement operation.

Police are laying down the law when it comes to driving in the ART lanes along Central. Dozens were caught Tuesday driving in the lanes in Nob Hill for the second day in a row.

“People don’t know when to use them and not use them,” Daisy Craw of Nob Hill said. “People just think it’s another lane.”

KRQE News 13 spotted a UPS truck parked in one of the lanes Tuesday afternoon. Officers said they pulled over more than a dozen drivers in less than an hour for driving across ART lanes, going left on red and other violations.

“People seem to be very confused on when they can turn left,” Sgt. Matt Sandoval said. “People are mostly trying to turn into businesses from the bus lane, so they are occupying the bus lane, which they can’t do.”

Tuesday’s traffic stops only resulted in verbal warnings. “We are kind of out here just stopping and educating people a little bit on what that does,” Sandoval said.

Police handed out information cards to drivers on the rules of the road.

“I guess it’s good that they are giving people a warning before them the ticket, because if you got the ticket right off the bat without knowing what you did wrong, that would be pretty messed up,” Robert Hatcher, who grew up in Nob Hill, said.

Police said the focus right now is education and driver safety.

“When ART starts running with the buses and passengers, we do not want anybody to get hurt, so we just want to make sure everybody is safe and they know what lane to stay in,” Sandoval said.

Police said drivers should expect the number of traffic stops to ramp up in ART areas over the next several weeks.

They will start writing actual tickets later this year. APD is also warning bicyclists, skaters, and people on scooters that they will be ticketed as well for using the ART lanes.

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