Santa Fe considers bringing back speeding cameras

New Mexico News

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Santa Fe could be bringing back cameras to catch speeders. Five years after doing away with the speed vans, the city could be bringing in a new version.

Santa Fe police say Rodeo Road is one of the problem streets within the city. They say if city council signs off on the idea, one of the cameras could be set up there.

Santa Fe residents say it’s normal to see drivers flying to their destination down a street where 35 is supposed to be the speed limit. Santa Fe Police Deputy Chief Ben Valdez says Rodeo Road is only one of their major problem streets within the city.

Reckless driving is why the city is considering bringing back speed camera devices. Similar devices used to be set up throughout Santa Fe, but the city chose to get rid of them in 2014.

“What ultimately did away with the speeding cameras throughout the state is the assertion that big brother is watching,” said Chief Valdez.

Since then, the number of crashes with injuries has jumped. Now, if it gets approved, drivers could be seeing new devices on the streets.

Santa Fe police say the cameras would only go on city-run streets, so drivers won’t see them on state highways like Cerrillos Road or Saint Francis Drive. However, if they are approved, police say the cameras will free up officers to focus their energy on other issues.

In addition to busy streets like Rodeo Road, police say they’re looking at setting the cameras up near school zones, senior centers, and parks. There will also be a grace period with warnings before fines are issued.

Unlike traffic tickets, these citations would be civil, so they don’t count as points against a driver’s license or insurance.

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