Automated Speed Enforcement: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding the Automated Speed Enforcement program.

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: How are camera locations decided?

A: The City uses a data-driven approach to determine the appropriate placement of speed safety cameras. Data includes speeding and crashes, the Vision Zero High Fatal and Injury Network (HFIN), and the Vulnerability Index. Council Districts and community feedback are also considered. Once a potential camera location is identified, there are site-specific feasibility requirements that must be considered. For example, access to power, sight distance, and ensuring there are no camera lens obstructions.

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

A: No. The units only take pictures of vehicles that are exceeding the enforcement speed.

Q: How do I know that the cameras are working correctly?

A: The Automated Speed Enforcement systems are individually tested and certified. View system test certificatesView calibration certificates. View maintenance instructions.

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

A. Prior to a fine notice 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 notice 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: You may submit an Owner’s Affidavit identifying the driver so that an Automated Speed Enforcement System Fine Notice may be sent to the driver. The Owner’s Affidavit must be notarized. Mailing instructions for the Owner’s Affidavit are also included on ZeroFatality.com.

Only the registered owner who receives the initial system fine notice may submit an owner’s affidavit nominating another person. A nominee may not nominate another person as the driver. No further nomination is allowed. The only way for a nominee to contest the infraction is by timely requesting a hearing (see below).

Q: How do I pay the citation?

TO PAY ONLINE: 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.

TO PAY BY PHONE: Please call the Albuquerque Automated Enforcement Division Customer Service Call Center toll free at (866) 247-8157 to pay by credit/debit card or ACH 24/7. Between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM (MT), Monday through Friday, a representative will assist you with a credit/debit card or ACH payment.

TO PAY BY MAIL: To pay the Violation, please fill in the return stub  on your system fine notice, and mail the return stub along with a check or money order (NO CASH) payable to AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT DIVISION. To ensure proper credit, print the Violation Number and your license plate number on your payment.

Please allow 5 days for delivery. Send payment to: AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT DIVISION,

PO Box 593095 Orlando, FL 32859-3095.

PAY IN PERSON: Payments can be made in person Monday to Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (MDT). The only acceptable forms of payment are: Cashier’s Check or Money Order only(NO CASH, NO PERSONAL CHECK, NO CREDIT or DEBIT CARDS). Make payable to: Automated Enforcement Division. You will need a copy of the violation or the violation number AND your license plate number to pay in person at One Civic Plaza, Basement, Room B2090 Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Q: How much is the citation?

A: $100. This amount is set by State law and cannot be modified. Download the payment plan request form.

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. 

You must state your intent to complete community service by the due date on the system fine notice, which is 30 days from the date of issuance of the system fine notice. After 30 days, you will no longer be eligible to request community service. Please be advised you must complete all 4 hours of community service within 90 days of issuance of the system fine notice, to have your debt be considered as paid in full. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to pay back the community with your time, you must chose the community service option at ZeroFatality.com.

Q: How do I find out more information about what community service options are available?

A: The Automated Speed Enforcement Community Service website provides information about what type of community service is available, including litter cleanup, and park maintenance. Only community service opportunities listed on the website are accepted.

Q: How do I sign up for community service?

A: You must select the community service option at ZeroFatality.com within 30 days from the date of issuance of the system fine notice. You cannot sign up directly on the Automated Speed Enforcement Community Service website without visiting ZeroFatality.com first. Please do not call to sign up for community service; you must sign up online.

Q: Can I challenge the issuance of a system fine notice?

Yes. To challenge this infraction, you may request a hearing before the due date specified on your Notice. The Hearing Request form may be obtained on ZeroFatality.com. You must request a hearing by the due date set forth in your Notice or you lose the right to appeal.

Mailing and email Instructions for the Hearing Request Form are included on the Appeal Request Form. If the infraction is not dismissed after your hearing, you must pay your fine. You have the right to appeal the hearing officer's decision.

At your hearing, the rules of evidence, the New Mexico Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Albuquerque Independent Office of Hearings Ordinance will apply.

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: 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: 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. Automated Speed Enforcement was identified in the Action Plan since safe speeds are a core principle of Vision Zero’s approach since we know from comprehensive data that humans are less likely to survive high-speed crashes.

Learn more at cabq.gov/visionzero