New Mexico’s Smart Roadside Program used to identify problem trucks and truck drivers receives Innovations in American Government Award

February 10, 2014


From the Santa Fe New Mexican (by GUSSIE FAUNTLEROY), 2/8/14:

It was clearly an idea whose time had come. For decades, the state Motor Transportation Police Division relied on the instincts of inspection officers to identify high-risk commercial vehicles on New Mexico’s roads. That meant frequent screening stops, an increasingly difficult task with fewer inspectors and an ever-larger traffic volume.

New Mexico’s response to this dilemma, the Smart Roadside Inspection Program, has proven so effective that it recently earned national recognition.

The Smart Roadside program was one of five initiatives to receive this year’s Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The winning programs were selected from more than 600 nominations from around the country.

“These [award winners] demonstrate the many ways innovative leaders build engaged, healthy and safe communities through public sector innovation,” Ash Center officials said.

Begun in 2009, the statewide Smart Roadside program uses strategically positioned roadside sensors to automatically collect data from passing trucks. Sophisticated software then helps identify high-risk commercial vehicles. Research by the Ash Center determined the program has contributed to a significant increase in total revenue collected at the Lordsburg Point of Entry, while physical inspections have decreased.

The Motor Transportation Police Division is part of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.


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