ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – You see them on the back of city vehicles, “How’s my driving? Call 311.” KRQE News 13 found out just how often drivers are reporting city workers being irresponsible behind the wheel.
There’s 4,000 vehicles in the City of Albuquerque’s motorpool — that includes police, fire, Parks and Recreation, Municipal Development, etc.
With an emblem, vehicle number, government plate and a “how’s my driving?” bumper sticker, they’re relatively easy to spot.
That bumper sticker helps the city keep an eye on its employees when they’re on the road and unsupervised through ‘citizen watchdogs.’
“It’s important that our employees and our individuals that have the benefit, privilege or job description to use a vehicle maintain a level of professionalism and a level of safety,” Gilbert Montaño, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, said.
Just a day ago, a driver claims to have had such a bad experience with a city worker, they reported it to 311 just like the bumper sticker advises. They wrote in the vehicle number, saying the city worker tailgated them so closely, he or she nearly rear-ended them. The 311 reporter said they felt “threatened” by the behavior.
Another 311 reporter claims they saw a man driving a truck with a government plate and identifying number swerving while texting behind the wheel near the Big-I recently.
“An investigation is launched, frankly, it starts with the department whose vehicle is responsible for that and then it’s determined who the employee was, what happened in the situation,” Montaño said.
This summer, the monthly average of calls for city workers driving erratically was 71 — so roughly two per day. It’s unclear how many of those were substantiated, though.
The city says it takes all of these reports seriously, though, looking to see if there’s any truth to the accusations.
“We then can either teach, correct or discipline depending on the situation,” Montaño said.