ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – When the State Fair rolls around, the city drops speed limits in the area. It’s turned Central Avenue into speeding ticket central. The speed limit near Central and Florida is usually 35 but during the weeks of the State Fair the city knocks it down to 25. Now, just a few days into the fair and, already, it’s caught drivers off-guard.
“I wasn’t aware of that,” says Manuel Mandel. He was one of those drivers. “I’m aware of the speed limit that they posted. I believe it’s 35, but I’m not aware of any changes,” explains Mandel.
Yet, the temporary speed limit is posted. It just doesn’t stand out.
DWI Unit Officer Daren DeAguero says he’s heard it all before.
“Some of them have said they weren’t aware the state fair was in effect,” says DeAguero.
But the excuses haven’t stopped him or other DWI task force officers from writing an average of 30 tickets a day at their post on Central at Florida.
DeAguero says they’re doing it for safety.
“Because of all the people going into the fair and all the people crossing the street,” says DeAguero.
Some State Fair goers say, it’s a good thing.
“Our kids and you know, the elderly,” says Alisa Eagleman.
Others aren’t so sure.
“Yeah, they’ll slow down but, who’s to say once they pass where these cops are posted at, they’re not going to speed again,” Richard King explains.
Officers are posted up not just at Central and Florida, but around many of the streets surrounding the State Fair ground where the temporary speed limit is in effect.
The city says these temporary speed limit for the fair are no different than what they do at construction zones. They say it’s part of a national mandate that allows them to make changes in and around construction sites and major events.
It’s not just speeders around the fairgrounds, police say they’ll also be keeping an eye out for drunk drivers and jay walkers.