Just over two weeks after the city of Albuquerque’s mobile speed enforcement device (aka speed camera) on Lead at Cornell started issuing $100 tickets, vandals removed the camera box. Resident Joseph Aguirre says he drove by Monday and noticed the camera was gone but the “base and mounting pole were still there with a wire dangling.”
When he walked over Tuesday to get a closer look, he says “everything (was) gone – except for some screws on the ground that appeared to have secured the base.”
It used to be thieves took everything that wasn’t nailed (or screwed) down – no more.
Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Rebecca Atkins says the Lead camera was stolen and the city removed its pole and base as well as the camera setup on Coal to prevent any additional vandalism.
The camera vendor, NovoaGlobal, picks up the tab for any damages or vandalism to the devices, she adds.
Meanwhile, Lead/Coal speeders are only getting a short reprieve, not a free pass.
Atkins says the department is looking at better options for securing the devices to deter vandals and clock speeders, like the existing city poles used to mount speed cameras on the Gibson and Montgomery medians.
The city currently has two cameras on east- and westbound Gibson at Carlisle, one on westbound Montgomery between Wyoming and Eubank, and one on Unser at Tower.
In addition to the Lead and Coal cameras, four more are in the works. They self-calibrate daily and are set to record violations at 5 mph over the posted limit in school and work zones and 10 mph otherwise.
Tickets are civil, not criminal, go to the vehicle owner and do not go against your license or insurance. Recipients can pay their ticket, do four hours of community service, schedule a hearing to fight it or deal with a collection agency.
FYI, from June 10 to June 14, the Lead camera recorded 557 vehicles traveling at least 11 miles over the posted 30 mph speed limit.
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.