ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in Albuquerque seem to support the city’s vision for bringing back speed vans. Officials just released the results of a public survey showing where the vans could be going, and how the program could roll out.
It’s no secret Albuquerque’s speeding problem is contributing to devastating crashes. “When we’re looking at APD crash responses, we have probably between 70 and 80 fatal crashes a year,” Vision Zero Coordinator Terra Reed explained.
Now the city’s Vision Zero program is releasing the results of a survey about potentially bringing back speed vans, like the ones in Rio Rancho, to be parked on the side of roads in strategic locations. About 3,500 people responded to the survey, with more than 60% backing the initiative, and nearly half support citing people who clock 10 or more miles an hour above the posted limit.
Nearly half of respondents want the vans where deadly and injury crashes are most common. Reed said that includes East Central, West Central, and arterials in the northeast heights and southeast heights.
People said they’d also want those speed vans near schools. More than 800 people said they don’t want the speed van cameras.
Officials say a benefit of this program would be freeing up law enforcement to fight violent crime.
The city acknowledged there has been controversy surrounding the use of similar technology in the past with the red-light cameras.
“About them causing more crashes and this is because people are maybe slowing down, stopping more abruptly at an intersection to avoid that red light camera citation,” Reed said. To help prevent that, they say they’d be transparent about where the vans are, possibly with posted signs and a list of locations on the city’s website.
City Councilor Lan Sena said they’re open to hearing more ideas from the public. “If not the mobile speed enforcement, what other methods can you bring to us to think about,” Sena explained.
Officials said money from the citations would go back into funding the program. State law requires half of what’s leftover to go back to the state, and the remainder would come back to Albuquerque – possibly for other traffic safety efforts.
People still have time to weigh in at three input sessions in August:
- Thursday, August 5, 2021: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Zoom, Register online.
- Thursday, August 12, 2021: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Central & Unser Public Library
- Tuesday, August 17, 2021: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Palo Duro Senior Center
The city will be asking what people think the citation cost should be, based on the speed and location. State law limits the price to $100 or less, and the city is weighing the option of letting people pay it through doing community service.
City council is expected to start considering proposed legislation sponsored by councilors Lan Sena, Isaac Benton, Klarissa Pena, and Brook Bassan next month.