City of Albuquerque considers bringing back speed vans

Traffic and Roads

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s mayor wants to bring back speed vans. City of Albuquerque leaders say the city’s speeding problem has gotten so bad, they’re bringing back cameras to the streets to catch problem drivers.

There are several Albuquerque streets known for speeders, but soon speed vans will be placed around the city to catch those drivers breaking the law. “Breaking the law should have consequences and right now the consequences are tragic and there are people dying from these people that are speeding and breaking the rules of what we have as enforcement,” says District 4 City Councilor Brook Bassan.

Councilors Brook Bassan, Klarissa Peña, and Lan Sena are co-sponsoring a resolution to bring the mobile camera devices back to Albuquerque. The city had speed vans a dozen years ago.

If the city goes this route again, the vans would be similar to the ones used in Rio Rancho. The mayor and city councilors wouldn’t say how many vans they’d like or how much the tickets would cost, just that they’d like to move them around town to different problem spots around the city.

Flanked by the mayor, the Albuquerque Police Department explained why it doesn’t think officers writing more tickets is the answer to this speeding problem. “In other cities, officers are stationed at different hot spots throughout the city to target speeding but I don’t believe and the city doesn’t believe this is the right approach for Albuquerque. We want our officers focused on violent crime and we would be stretched too thin if we relied on the officers to just do increased speeding enforcement throughout the city,” says APD Commander Joseph Viers.

As was the case with the red light cameras and speed vans a decade ago, tickets would be a civil offense and they’d go to the registered owner of the car. Of course, Albuquerque launched a red light camera program in 2004 as a way to cut down on reckless driving and crashes.

Voters decided to get rid of them in 2011. The city says it issued $53 million worth of citations. That program cost about $26 million to operate.

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