Automated Speed Enforcement: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding the Automated Speed Enforcement program.

Everyone deserves to be safe while traveling our roadways in Albuquerque. Driving the speed limit is one way to help people get from point a to point b safely. Speed increases both the likelihood of a crash and the severity of the crash.

Automated speed enforcement is an effective tool to make roads safer and enforce posted speed limits. Automated speed enforcement programs have been shown to reduce vehicle speeds, crashes, injuries and fatalities. Automated enforcement does not require traffic stops, and can improve safety for all road users in a neutral manner.

Beginning May 25, 2022, vehicles speeding through automated enforcement areas will receive a $100 ticket citation. Sample citation.

Warnings are no longer issued for vehicles speeding through automated speed enforcement areas.

Scam Alert

The City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department will never contact an individual requesting money or payments for automated speed enforcement over the phone. Please disregard these calls and messages. If you believe you have been contacted by someone who is impersonating an officer, please call 242-COPS to report. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is automated speed enforcement?

A: Automated speed enforcement units are mobile and fixed radar devices equipped with cameras to monitor excessive speed in a particular area. The devices are designed to keep our communities safer by issuing citations to speeders who endanger pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. Other cities in New Mexico and across the United States have used similar technology with positive results.

Q: How does automated speed monitoring equipment work?

A: Mobile and fixed units will be placed in various areas of the City, based on crash and traffic data. The mobile units can be moved as needed to address trends and demographics. Radar in these units is activated when a vehicle exceeds the set enforcement speed, which triggers a camera to capture images of the car and license plate and for the unit to measure the speed of the offending driver.

Q: What is the difference between automated speed enforcement and red light cameras?

A: Mobile and fixed automated speed enforcement units will be placed in areas known for high-speed driving and high numbers of injury and fatality crashes. Whereas red light cameras were stationary, positioned at intersections, and captured red light violations, automated speed enforcement units capture speeding violations. Moreover, automated speed enforcement units can be mobile or fixed and placed where there is need in order to meet the goal of making Albuquerque a safer City for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

Q: Do the cameras take a picture of every vehicle that drives by?

A: No. The units do not capture information of images of passing vehicles that are not exceeding the enforcement speed.

Q: Who reviews my fine notice before it is mailed?

A. Prior to a violation being issued, the Albuquerque Police Department will review all footage provided from the automated speed enforcement cameras as provided by the vendor. If the Albuquerque Police Department determines that a violation has occurred, the officer shall cause a fine to be delivered to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Q: Where will the fine notice be mailed?

A: The fine notice will be sent to the address of the registered owner or nominee determined by records with:

  • The Department of Motor Vehicles;
  • The Albuquerque Police Department Records;
  • The Bernalillo Metropolitan Court;
  • Documents reasonably relied on by police officers; and
  • Information provided in the Owner’s Affidavit.

Q: What if someone else speeds in my car?

A: If another driver is operating a vehicle that is registered to you and is found to have a violation, you can identify the responsible individual with an owner’s affidavit. Note that if that individual defaults on their fine, you will be responsible for it.

Q: What is considered a default?

A: A registered owner is in default if they do not timely respond to the fine notice (i.e. failure to pay the fine, request a hearing, nominate a driver, or request and complete community service).

Q: What happens if I default?

A: An Automated Speed Enforcement fine notice is a civil violation, much like a parking ticket. In the event of a default, the City will enforce debt collections. This is not a criminal violation; therefore, a default does not result in a bench warrant, points on a driver’s license, or affect car insurance rates.

Q: Who conducts an Automated Speed Enforcement hearing?

A: The City Clerk’s Office will administer Automated Speed Enforcement hearings. The hearing officers are appointed by the presiding judge of the civil division of the district court and the hearings will adhere to the Independent Office of Hearing Ordinance.

Q: Will the cameras replace officers?

A: No. With the use of automated speed enforcement cameras, there will be less direct interaction between law enforcement and speeders, however police officers will still stop offenders when they witness speeding or reckless driving behaviors. Automated speed enforcement will allow police officers to focus more on responding to violent crime.

Q: Will automated speed enforcement target over-policed communities?

A: No. The locations of the mobile speed units will be selected based on data from the Vision Zero Action Plan. This data shows the areas across Albuquerque which have the highest numbers of traffic fatalities and injuries in conjunction with the areas with the highest prevalence of speeders.

Because the radar technology is triggered by speed, the automated speed enforcement units will be an unbiased approach to responding to speeding.

Q: How do I pay the citation?

A: You may view your violation images and video and pay your fine at ZeroFatality.com by entering your plate number and password from your citation. Please click the payment button only once. DO NOT make second attempt to pay online. 

To pay by phone, please call Automated Enforcement Division toll free at (866) 247-8157 using the pin-code from your citation to pay 24/7.

Scam Alert: The City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department will never contact an individual requesting money or payments for automated speed enforcement over the phone. Please disregard these calls and messages. If you believe you have been contacted by someone who is impersonating an officer, please call 242-COPS to report.

Q: How much is the citation?

A: $100

Q: What if I can’t pay?

A: The Automated Speed Enforcement Ordinance allows for four (4) hours of community service in lieu of payment.

Q: What does the City do with the money collected?

A: The revenue generated through Automated Speed Enforcement will be retained and distributed in accordance with the provisions of Section 3-18-17(A)(2) NMSA 1978 (2009), which requires half be remitted to the State and the other half is retained by the municipality to offset reasonable costs directly related to administering the program. Any remaining funds will be used for Vision Zero traffic safety initiatives.

Q: Does the company providing the equipment make more money if more tickets are issued?

A: No. The Automated Speed Enforcement Ordinance specifically requires that any vendor that the City contracts with have a flat fee structure and not a per citation fee structure.

Q: Do plate blockers and sprays work?

A: No. First and foremost, utilizing many of these products is illegal. Moreover, with the industrial flash technology, most of the sprays actually serve to enhance the image of a reflective surface like a license plate, making the evidence even more prosecutable.

Q: Is this more "Big Brother?"

A: Cameras have become a part of our everyday existence. If you shop at a store, use an ATM or fill up your car, you're on camera. When you choose to travel on public streets, you have a responsibility to operate in a safe and legal way. Automated traffic enforcement technology is simply one tool available to the community to ensure that citizens are driving in a safe and responsible manner for the benefit of themselves and those around them. Only violators are captured with high-resolution images and video.

Vision Zero

Q: What is Vision Zero?

A: Vision Zero is a commitment to create safer streets for all, whether walking, biking, driving, or taking transit, and regardless of age or ability. It is used around the world to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
Mayor Keller made a commitment to Vision Zero and signed an Executive Order committing the City of Albuquerque to work toward the goal of zero traffic deaths by 2040. In May 2021, the City of Albuquerque released its Vision Zero Action Plan, which lays out steps that the City, working with agency and community partners, will take to reduce traffic fatalities and make our streets safer.

Learn more at cabq.gov/visionzero

Q: Why is Vision Zero important?

Traffic safety is an important piece of our overall effort to improve public safety.

Albuquerque is among the 20 most dangerous cities for road users. In 2019, 97 people were killed on our roads. Speeding is a major factor in many injury and fatality crashes, and although most Albuquerque residents commute primarily using motor vehicles, the most vulnerable road users in our community experience the highest risk of being killed using our roadways.

We must act now to make residents safer on our roadways.

The following 6 thematic goals describe different approaches to traffic safety that Vision Zero in Albuquerque will take: Safe Speeds, Engineering + Design, Policy, Regulation + Practice, Education + Encouragement, Walking + Rolling, and Data + Transparency.

Q: What are their recommendations for safer streets?

A: Vision Zero Action Plan provides recommendations to both improve traffic safety and also to ensure that data is transparent and that equitable practices are central to building safer communities. Some of their policy recommendations include making speed limits consistent across corridors, prioritizing speed reductions in high-speed areas as well as in vulnerable communities and near schools, parks and activity centers. They also recommend that speed feedback signs be placed in areas along the High Fatal and Injury Network, particularly where crashes have most commonly involved excessive speed.

The preceding FAQ’s were developed with community input. A public hearing on rulemaking for automated speed enforcement took place on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, from 9 a.m. to Noon. Learn More