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At 470 killed, traffic deaths return to the bad old days

At 470 killed, traffic deaths return to the bad old days
Written by Publishing Team

More deaths every day:

Well, the final numbers for 2021 traffic fatalities are out there, and it’s enough to make you seriously consider going reckless and never leaving home again.

Not only did 470 people die on New Mexico’s roads last year – more than one every day of the year – but we smashed the pedestrian death toll by 99.

For a simple perspective, according to data compiled by the state Department of Transportation and the University of New Mexico, annual traffic deaths have been fewer than 400 since 2007. In fact, in 2015, the number of road traffic fatalities was 298 (the lowest recorded in two decades). ) would have led you to believe we’ve come a really long way from a record high of 522 road deaths in 2004. There was hope as a country that we finally found the connection between design, technology and personal responsibility that we had on the path to safer roads.

Then 2021 happened. Much like the late 1990s (485 deaths in 95, 481 in 96, 484 in 97) and the early 2000s (464 in 2001, 488 in 2005, 484 in 2006). Pedestrian deaths are even more shocking – the recorded rise in 88 deaths in 1995 was steadily declining, to just 34 in 2010. But since then it has been increasing, breaking the record of 100 people killed on foot in Annual calendar.

But alcohol isn’t much to blame: Looking back at the last quarter century, there is a bright spot. While alcohol was a factor in 48.86% of deaths in 1996, 235 of 481 deaths, last year it played a role in 24%, 111 of 470 road traffic deaths involved alcohol.

New technology should help reduce it further: At the end of last year, President Joe Biden signed off on legal reforms that US Senator Ben Ray Logan, a National Democrat, had been championing to stop the DWI before it began.

The Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act includes a mandate that every new car be equipped with technology that detects and stops drunk driving.

Logan emphasized that delegation should have little or no cost because it would primarily involve software upgrades to existing systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has three years to make the final rules. This could include cameras and sensors that detect inattention or lane departures, even on-board alcohol detection systems. Automakers will then have two to three years to get these updates on their assembly lines.

Get the MVD booths: After including a January 10 column that the state’s Department of Automobiles is adding a third kiosk to handle vehicle registration renewals and citation payments (two at Albertsons, one at Sandia Labs credit union), reader Gary Phipps asked how many people really used them?

“What is the purpose of these services except as a potential source of additional income for a select group of businesses?” He asks for his email. “I say ‘possibility’ because I’ve never seen anyone use the kiosk installed at our local Albertsons. I see the market ‘need’ for these as small if not non-existent. … to me the online version is more user-friendly, convenient, etc., etc., from the new kiosks. Are there really that many people who enjoy spending money on a task that was and still is free?”

In the thousands.

Charlie Moore, who handles MVD information through parent agency Taxation and Revenue, says, “Since we started the program a little over a year ago, 2,716 transactions have been made at the kiosks. The vast majority are registration renewals, although there have been some payments Quote too.”

“We are always looking for ways to make it more convenient for people to do business with us, and the kiosks simply provide another channel for that,” he said. “This is a good option for people who may not be online at home or who like being able to print their new poster right away. However, the reader is right that the website is an excellent transactional option for the more popular people who have access. We’ve expanded the options there, Our online transactions have risen significantly in the past two years.”

FYI, the kiosk program offers a 5% discount to offset the $3.95 transaction fee and 2.3% credit card fee, all of which “come at no cost to the state. By partnering with the seller, we can provide even more convenience to customers who choose to take advantage of the program.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal addresses commuter issues in the metro area on Monday. accessed at 823-3858;; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

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