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December 16, 2019
Santa Fe Police Department Moves forward with Technology

Santa Fe Police Department Moves forward with Technology

Assist to make our Streets Safer

 

Santa Fe, NM – At tomorrow’s Public Safety Committee Meeting (12/17/2019) the Santa Fe Police Department will be presenting the request for approval of a Professional Services Agreement for the Santa Fe Operations Program that will bring technology back to the City of Santa Fe to assist with speed enforcement.  During the meeting an amendment to the STOP Ordinance will be introduced to amend the amounts for the fines so that first and subsequent fines will be $50, while school zone and construction zone fines will be $100.

Here is a link to the Public Safety Committee Agenda and Packet Material

https://www.santafenm.gov/media/files/police/PSCommittee/2019/PSC%20Dec19%20Packet.pdf

“Public safety is the highest priority of the Santa Fe Police Department. The essential purpose of the STOP Program is to promote safety on our streets by targeting city roadways which have high reports of speeding and/or traffic related crashes,” said Police Chief Padilla. “By using technology, we can use our officers to be utilized in other public safety issues around the City of Santa Fe.”

The City of Santa Fe STOP program was established and active from 2008-2014.  During this time data supports that crash rates decreased in our community. 

The recommendation to reinitiate the STOP program with the deployment of speed cameras was made by Resolution No. 2017-62 introduced by Councilor Signe Lindell, Councilor Mike Harris, Former Councilor Ronald Trujillo, and Councilor Peter Ives.  In September 2019 the Police Department presented the results of a Request for Proposals to solicit a new vendor for the program, along with technology options available through the vendor.  

The cameras are intended to promote safety, and do not generate a profit. They have a similar effect to putting police on 24 hour patrol in specific areas. Speed camera devices create awareness about safe driving.  The tool encourages motorists to slow down or to face a fee for a violation.  The funds derived from the fees pay for the management of the program and allow the program to be self-sufficient financially. 

During this year the Santa Fe Police Department conducted Operation Spring Blitz, Back to School Blitz, and the Fall Blitz. The Police Department saw a reduction in crashes at some locations; however crashes or speeding problems continue to be a problem within the city. The Santa Fe Police Department’s traffic enforcement efforts continued with Selective Traffic Enforcement, Click it or Ticket, 100 Days and Nights of Summer, as well as ENDWI saturation patrols.

These blitzes are helpful and effective, but cannot be maintained on a 24/7 basis as they are manpower intensive and are primarily maintained on an overtime basis.

Chief Padilla said, “We will continue to conduct blitz operations and enforcement efforts in our City, but need other tools, like cameras to help us keep Santa Fe streets safe.” 

The Santa Fe Police Department is recommending that the STOP Program return with four transportable speed safety cameras and two STOP vehicles.

Across the country and here in Santa Fe, speed safety cameras change the way people drive. They serve as a deterrent to reckless and irresponsible driving.  The result is less speeding, fewer crashes and a reduced number of fatalities. Overall the speed cameras promoted safer roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed 13 international studies and found a reduction of injury crashes from speeding by 20-25 percent.

What do people need to know about their rights if they get a notice from the system?

The owner of the violator vehicle receives a notice (not citation) of the speeding violation.  The owner can respond by paying the established fine or requesting a hearing.  If there is not a response within the established deadline, a late fee is assessed.  If this is not responded to, the violation is sent to a collection agency. The notice is not a citation where a failure to appear / failure to pay fines warrant can be assessed. Since this is a civil action, a court cannot suspend the owner/violator’s driver’s license.

Contact: Andrew Padilla, 505.955.5102, [bot protected email address]

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