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Friday, May 4, 2007
City Going After Truckers, Others Who Speed on I-25 and I-40
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque's traffic camera program will soon make its debut on the city's interstates.
Mayor Martin Chávez on Thursday announced plans to place two cameras on the interstates within the next few weeks to get semi-tractor trailers to slow down.
The cameras will take pictures of speeders' license plates, and citations will be mailed to them.
In the meantime, all of the police department's camera-equipped speed vans will be parked along the interstates taking pictures of speeders.
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And, since April 1, APD's traffic unit has been conducting special speed enforcement operations twice a week on the interstates during rush hours.
Chávez said the traffic crackdown on semi-trucks is related to a series of crashes in the past two months that forced police to halt traffic on interstates during rush hour. All of the accidents involved speeding semi-trucks.
"The message to our trucker friends is we love you. We want you up and down our highways," Chávez said during a Thursday news conference. "But we want you to stay within our safety limits."
Also at the news conference, city officials said they will ask the state's public regulatory commission to stop insurance companies from requiring police reports for minor accidents on busy thoroughfares.
Police Chief Ray Schultz said that, unlike other cities the size of Albuquerque, his department responds to all minor accidents.
Eventually, Schultz wants his officers to stop responding and to use their time doing other things.
When police respond to minor accidents, "all that happens is that APD, at very high wages, acts as insurance adjusters," Chávez said. "That is not their job."