ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Speed cameras officially enter the Albuquerque subway after the city council finally reached a vote after several delays. The city is hoping they will help curb lead footers, but some aren’t so sure it will work. If you get caught by the camera, you could get a $ 100 speeding ticket in the mail, but some locals fear this will just be a money heist.
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“We have to take action against behavior on the streets,” said councilor Ike Benton. “That’s only a small part of it.”
Approved by most city councils, the cameras will be used at intersections with the highest crash rates. This came after 97 people were killed in subway accidents in 2019 – the highest number in years – and city councils say enough is enough.
“We shouldn’t have to have things like that,” said Benton. “We have an increasingly aggressive group of people on the streets and I think we have to face that.”
With the vote on Monday there were also some changes. When someone receives a ticket from a speed camera, they still have the option to either go to a court hearing or pay the $ 100 fine, but now they also have the option to do community service instead. While he was the only councilor who voted “no” to the ordinance calling it “profit-policing”. Councilor Pat Davis says the change was his way of making things fairer for those who can’t pay.
Some locals agree. “I have the feeling that the speed cameras are more to make money than to actually help the citizens of Albuquerque,” said Monika Skiba from the region. “To me, it doesn’t seem that beneficial to the community.”
The city says the speed cameras will help ease the burden on Albuquerque police officers so they can focus on more dangerous crimes and encourage drivers to slow down. However, locals say it doesn’t really hold up your driving habits until you finally get the ticket in the mail.
“Usually you don’t know you’ve accelerated until long afterwards, so it’s not an immediate response to the action,” said Skiba. “I don’t think the speed cameras are great, but the charitable option is at least a good addition.”
Others hope the new cameras will make locals think twice about their speed. “The time it takes to get from point A to point B,” said President-in-Office of the Council, Cynthia Borrego. “Build in the time we need so that we don’t get a ticket.”
Councilor Brook Bassan says her next step is figuring out a time frame by which the community service option must be completed if people choose to do it instead of paying the fine. It’s unclear how soon we might see these cameras in town or where exactly, but the city council says the ordinance will officially go into effect in five days.