APD traffic stops, tickets way down

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Good news if you’re a bad driver in Albuquerque.

APD data shows officers are pulling fewer people over and handing out fewer tickets these days.

In January 2009, APD initiated 12,644 traffic stops, up from 9,832 the January before.

But every year since, that number’s decreased. This January, APD officers pulled over 6,494 drivers, a drop of nearly 49 percent over five years.

Traffic tickets appear to be trending the same way. According to a chart on the city’s website, moving citations issued declined dramatically over the span from January 2012 to June 2013. Data from earlier or more recent time periods was not immediately made available by either APD or the mayor’s office.

Drivers KRQE News 13 spoke to Thursday say they haven’t seen people driving better.

“I don’t see any reason that people’s obeying of traffic laws would’ve increased,” said Lori Taylor.

” Hopefully the decrease is because people are finally obeying [traffic laws],” said Nichole Garcia. “But I haven’t experienced that.”

News 13 asked APD’s union for its take.

“I’m not surprised at all,” said Shaun Willoughby, APOA’s vice president. “I think it’s very systemic to not having enough police officers on the streets.”

APD is dealing with a serious shortage of officers right now. Willoughby says manpower and morale play a big role in the decline in traffic stops and tickets.

“They don’t have the ability to stop this car or that car for moving violations because they’re constantly humping from call to call to call,” Willoughby said.

A Thursday call to an APD spokesperson to get the department’s take on the decline in tickets and stops wasn’t returned.

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