ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department is working with the city to curb speeding, but their ticket numbers aren’t promising, issuing more than 4,500 speeding tickets. That makes up about 13 speeding citations a day, but on one stretch of road, we found at least a dozen in 20 minutes. With more cars on the roads, it’s not hard to notice some flying by. It’s a problem, now inspiring the city’s latest campaign.
“This is a city-wide issue and we really have to tackle it. Outside of enforcement, we really have to make people aware of some of the repercussions,” said Klarissa Peña, the city councilor representing District 3. “Speeding is a huge concern, we know APD is doing what they can do but we need to something maybe like this that would help just bring awareness to the issue.”
However, starting the day the campaign was launched — April 30 — APD officers only issued 12 speeding tickets that week, and didn’t issue any on three of those days. APD says the campaign is more about educating the public and changing the culture, but just a few weeks ago, the chief of police suggested short-staffing may hinder the enforcement efforts.
“There is traffic citations that are issued on a daily basis,” Chief Harold Medina said on April 30. “Obviously, we’d love to have more time to do that, but it’s always a balancing act. We have officers that are going from call to call.”
KRQE News 13 took a radar gun to Paseo del Norte and Fourth Street and it wasn’t difficult to find people going well over the posted 60 mph. It was the same story along the 30 mph stretch of Lead between I-25 and Montgomery. Some locals say they’ve had enough.
“It’s getting out of hand, honestly,” said Marissa, a local. “People just aren’t paying attention and it just increases people dying. It’s just not safe.”
The tickets issued the week of the 30th were mostly along the Montgomery corridor between I-25 and San Mateo. Officials say it’s a city-wide issue though and locals think more should be done.
“I think it should be more,” said Marissa. “It shouldn’t be the amount that they’re doing.”
APD says their biggest focus in the new campaign is drag-racing, which did make up one of the arrests from the week of the launch. Speeding tickets made up about a fifth of APD’s traffic citations last year, just behind license plate and insurance violations.
The ‘Speeding has a Name’ campaign will cost about $51,000, mostly for yard signs and bumper stickers to spread awareness. There were nearly 7,500 speeding tickets issued in 2019 before the pandemic. In addition, the Keller administration has issued more speeding tickets each year than the last year of the Berry administration.