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In their first weeks, the city’s new speed cameras clocked one driver rocketing down Montgomery at 130 mph. Another was traveling 119 mph on Gibson.
They were among thousands caught breaking the law on Albuquerque’s streets.
In all, Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Rebecca Atkins said the three speed cameras on Gibson and Montgomery have racked up more than 2,500 “approved” speeding violations since May 25 – fining the drivers $100 or requiring community service.
That’s compared to the 3,400 drivers cited for speeding by APD officers from March through May.
“From the start, this program has been about listening to folks across our city who are calling out for change on our streets,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “We’re continuing to expand this program into places where we know speeding has taken a huge toll on quality of life, and made people feel unsafe in their own neighborhoods.”
Keller said the three locations were “a direct reflection of what these communities need and have been asking for.”
Atkins said the city has already added two cameras to the Lead-Coal corridor and one along Unser. She said four more cameras are “in the works,” but did not give the locations.
When a violation is captured by the speed cameras, the company that supplied them reviews the video within 48 hours and approves it before APD does its own review and approval.
Atkins said that between May 25 and June 13, more than 95,000 drivers on Gibson were going more than 11 mph over the speed limit and 20 were going more than 60 mph over. On Montgomery, she said 14,500 were going more than 11 mph over and four going more than 60 mph over.
During that time, the highest speeds observed on Gibson were 107 and 119 mph, and 130 mph on Montgomery.
Since going live June 10, speed cameras have caught 557 drivers – out of 31,000 – going at least 11 mph over the speed limit on Lead and 73 drivers – out of 35,000 – going at least 11 mph over on Coal. The highest speeds measured on Lead, Coal and Unser were 70, 77 and 90, respectively.
With so many speeders, Atkins said the most egregious drivers are cited.
APD Lt. Nick Wheeler of the Motors Unit said “the blatant disregard for speed limits” across Albuquerque shows the importance of speed cameras.
Atkins said the department has also created an Aggressive Driving Unit of two detectives who will follow up on aggressive driving, road rage incidents, and hit-and-run crashes. She said the unit will go live next week and will be contacting registered vehicle owners, issuing criminal summons and making arrests.
“The detectives will also review data from automated speed systems to assist with live enforcement targeting the most egregious speeds,” Atkins said.
She said a link will be available by Monday for the public to submit “photos, video and any other evidence” that can assist with traffic-related investigations.