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News & Announcements

March 29, 2019
The City of Santa Fe Police Department Launches Operation Spring Blitz -Traffic Safety

We’ve been hearing from people all over Santa Fe about the dangerous driving habits taking place on our streets.  In the words of Police Chief Andrew Padilla, “We hear you. And we care about you.” It’s not just about driving—it’s about safety. Starting immediately, and over the next few months, our police officers will focus on traffic enforcement at locations where crashes are occurring, speeders are speeding, and where people are running red lights. The police department will be using a combination of on duty resources and overtime funds to accomplish Operation Spring Blitz. There are a series of DWI saturation patrols and DWI Checkpoints planned too!

A team of five traffic officers and five DWI officers will focus on dangerous driving: speeding, running red lights, speeding up through yellow lights, running stop signs, not wearing seatbelts, talking on cell phones, and texting while driving during the daytime and into the evening hours.  

“We want to reduce crashes and their resulting injuries, and to facilitate the safe and expedient flow of vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic in order to save lives,” said Chief Padilla in reference to Operation Spring Blitz.

A recent report by the SFPD has some definitive findings:

First, we are experiencing a significant increase in both car accidents and in fatalities from car crashes. The trend lines suggest that, unless something changes, we will continue to see steady and disturbing increases in crashes and fatalities.

Second, we have seen a steady decline in enforcement citations for the last 10 years, at the same time that crashes and fatalities have gone up.

To respond to this serious problem—a problem that costs people their lives, inflicts serious injury and damage, and makes our sidewalks and streets less livable and attractive—we need to mount a serious response: “We care about you Santa Fe”.

Just so we make it clear, the point of any enforcement effort is not to write tickets or make money. The point of any traffic enforcement effort is to get people to start driving appropriately, to have safe streets, and to gain voluntary compliance with all traffic laws.  We’re going to keep doing it until we see our streets getting safer and the driving behavior getting better.

“We need to make our streets safer. I don’t want to read about another father and son killed in a car crash. Or people injured and maimed by a reckless driver,” said Mayor Alan Webber. He continued, “My own hope is that we’ll see a dramatic reduction in speeding and seriously dangerous driving. That’s the outcome we all want.”

What about the speed vans? We are focusing on efforts with our officers right now.  Councilor Abeyta held the item off the Finance Committee’s next agenda.  We’ll be evaluating Operation Spring Blitz first, before we look at using technology.

“We care about you Santa Fe.” Please help make the streets safer. Slow down, don’t run red lights, put your phone down when you drive, and focus on getting there “safely and easily.”

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