3 new speed cameras; NM sixth-worst in traffic deaths - Albuquerque Journal

3 new speed cameras; NM sixth-worst in traffic deaths


This month the city went live with three more automated speed enforcement cameras, on Lead at Cornell, on Coal at Cornell and on Unser at Tower. The three new cameras started issuing tickets June 10 and are in addition to the three on east- and westbound Gibson at Carlisle and westbound Montgomery between Wyoming and Eubank, which started issuing citations May 25.

Rebecca Atkins, public information officer with the Albuquerque Police Department, says in a news release that from May 25 to June 13, the six cameras issued 2,584 citations, which carry a $100 fine or four hours of community service.

She adds that four more camera locations are in the works.

POLICE DON’T IMPOUND FOR NO REGISTRATION: Daniel Rodriguez emails that in the June 6 column “on the part where people were given tickets for ‘no proof of registration’ the police officer did not impound the vehicle. I always (operated) with the understanding that everybody has to have proof of registration and insurance otherwise the vehicle would be impounded, then the person would have to show proof before the vehicle could be released.”

Atkins explains that’s incorrect – unless the driver is arrested and there’s not a passenger who can take the keys. “The only reason we would impound a vehicle is due to a physical arrest, if we are unable to release it to anyone else in the vehicle, if a driver is operating with no insurance or operating without a license.”

BUT THEY DO CHECK IF IT IS STOLEN: And Virginia Damron adds “thank you for explaining that having no license plate is against state statute. But do the officers run the VIN in the stolen car database when they pull over such a vehicle? It seems to me they don’t, they couldn’t be. Sometimes people can’t afford to renew registration, but at least the VIN should match their plate.

“To me this looks like officers don’t run the VIN as a matter of procedure, criminals know it, and prefer the ‘no plate’ ticket to the ‘false plate’ ticket. I think many of the plateless cars are stolen; some cars are also running under stolen plates. Car theft is so bad in this city, it seems that running the VIN should be the first step.”

It is. Atkins says officers “will run the VIN if there is no plate.”

NM NO. 6 IN ROAD DEATHS: If you had any doubt it’s dangerous out there, a study by 1-800-Injured puts New Mexico as sixth-worst in the nation when it comes to dying in a traffic wreck.

The study factored in the number of motor vehicle fatalities in each state against their population for 2020. In New Mexico, the 398 traffic fatalities out of 2,117,522 population put the roadway death rate here per 100,000 residents at 18.80. (Mississippi was the most dangerous with 752 deaths/25.39 per 100,000; Massachusetts was the safest with 343 deaths/4.88 per 100,000).

Donn asks if that makes our roads more deadly than the pandemic? The data has the coronavirus miles ahead. Compared to the 398 traffic deaths in 2020, the state Department of Health reports there were 2,477 deaths in which COVID-19 was the leading cause. Even with the horrible increase in traffic deaths in 2021, 479 total, the 3,378 coronavirus deaths were far higher. This year through May there have been 178 traffic deaths, and to date there have been 2,028 coronavirus deaths.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.


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