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Mayor Keller Signs Mobile Speed Enforcement Legislation to Reduce Dangerous Driving on Albuquerque Streets

Mobile technology will be placed in high-risk areas, provide unbiased enforcement

October 15, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller signed Ordinance 21-69 into law, approving the use of automated speed enforcement technology to address dangerous driving behavior. Speeding is one of the most widespread safety concerns in Albuquerque, and has led to tragedies for families across the city. Mobile speed enforcement devices will be placed in high-risk areas where excessive speeding and fatalities are common. Mobile speed enforcement emerged as a key recommendation from both Vision Zero and Mayor Keller’s Metro Crime Initiative and will increase public safety while freeing up police officers to focus on violent crime.

"Too many Albuquerque families have been the victims of senseless tragedies due to reckless speeding on our streets. We’re serious about addressing this problem, and the use of speed enforcement technologies is an important step toward making our streets safer, in an equitable way,” said Mayor Keller. “Today, we’re putting speeders on notice that they can’t continue to endanger others without consequences. Our community came together to craft a solution as we crack down on one of our biggest public safety concerns, and we look forward to putting it to use to keep our streets safe.”

Following recommendations from the Vision Zero Action Plan, the City launched the initial legislative process and a series of community input sessions over the summer to craft a policy for the use speed enforcement technologies. Reducing speeds is a critical component of the Vision Zero Action Plan, which lays out a framework for the road to zero traffic fatalities by the year 2040. Mobile speed enforcement will complement ongoing traffic engineering, law enforcement, and education initiatives that the City is already undertaking to create safer streets for all.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilor Brook Bassan, Councilor Isaac Benton, Councilor Klarissa Peña, and Councilor Lan Sena, passed city council with an 8-1 vote earlier this month.

Crucial equity considerations include placing multilingual signs nears the devices to serve as a notice and a deterrent to speeders; issuing tickets as a civil citation like a parking ticket rather than a criminal citation; and giving speeders the option of paying the ticket or completing community service. The technology will serve as an unbiased enforcement mechanism. The automated enforcement technology will reduce police interactions when they are not needed, and allow APD officers to focus on violent crime rather than measuring speeds in-person.

“Speeding has been a major concern in our collective districts, this ordinance has come out of our collaborative effort,” saidCouncilor Peña.  “We will now have a tool to address this issue and improve public safety.”

“I've been a longtime proponent of bringing back automated enforcement to our streets. Automated speed enforcement will be effective in making streets safer and improving the effectiveness of APD's Traffic Unit,” said Councilor Isaac Benton.

“Excessive speeding is a considerable problem throughout all areas in Albuquerque. Until the Albuquerque Police Department is fully staffed and able to enforce all violent and non-violent crimes successfully, we must do everything we can to make our City streets safer,” said Councilor Brooke Bassan. “As people begin to understand reckless driving is unacceptable, they will drive slower, and we will become safer together while enabling our police department to protect us more.”

“Council used community outreach to incorporate how the mobile speed enforcement ordinance will be enforced and implemented, giving the opportunity to use data to address the placement,” said Councilor Lan Sena. “Passing the ordinance is the first step and an added tool to utilize innovative ways to address the speeding our City has been experiencing while allowing police officers to focus more of their time on violent crime.”

“We hope this will keep our city safe, and hold people accountable for breaking the speed limit,” said Mori Sanchez, family member of Erika Chavez. “We are grateful this legislation has passed. If it saves one life, it’s doing its job.”

“Fighting careless and dangerous driving is a top priority for APD,” said Chief Harold Medina. “Speeding has been an ongoing issue and it’s tragically taken lives. Hopefully with the assistance of mobile speed enforcement, speeders will think twice about driving carelessly on city streets.”

Traffic crashes in Albuquerque have increased at a notable rate, with a particularly concerning rise in pedestrian fatalities which have increased by a factor of four since 2010. Traffic safety is an essential component of overall public safety. Automated technologies and other speed mitigation tactics are all part of the holistic effort to build healthy, safe communities throughout the city.