Traffic crashes data for 2019 and 2020. Courtesy LAPD
Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. David Boe conducts traffic enforcement on Diamond Drive close to the Golf Course. Photo Courtesy LAPD
The Los Alamos Police Department has noticed an increase in speeding concerns from the Los Alamos community over the last month. These concerns have come in a variety of forms to include; social media posts, emails, phone calls, and citizens utilizing our crime-tip submission tool on the LAPD website.
Our Department wants to take the opportunity to assure the public these concerns are being addressed and it is an area of focus for traffic safety in our community. Extra patrols have been communicated to each shift Sergeant who is responsible for ensuring their units respond to areas of concern.
Between the March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, LAPD officers have made 768 traffic stops and written 578 citations. This is down from the same time period in 2019 where we made 1,120 traffic stops and wrote 902 citations. There are several factors for this related to the Covid-19 pandemic, however we are still enforcing traffic laws to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Traffic counts are lower due to the partial closures of Los Alamos National Laboratory, school closures between March and May, and other closures. A recent study of traffic counts on Trinity Drive revealed it is seeing about 50 percent of the normal traffic compared to previous years.
Traffic crashes have declined compared to the previous year, (see chart above). However, we understand with fewer vehicles on the roadway it may provide more opportunities for speeding due to the lack of congestion. In addition, there are more children and families out walking, jogging, and crossing the road than previous years. We want to urge motorists to slow down and assist us in our efforts for speed reduction. It is important to remember that speed limits may not even be the “safe speed”, especially when you add more pedestrians and cyclists. When you drive in a neighborhood with grades, curves, parked vehicles, etc. it creates hazards that should require a prudent driver to reduce their speed. Los Alamos County has a specific ordinance to address this issue called the “Basic Speed Rule”.
No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. Consistent with the foregoing, every person shall drive at a safe and appropriate speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding street, and when special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
We want the public to assist us in keeping the above rule in mind. LAPD is also working with Traffic & Streets to deploy speed monitoring devices in problem areas. We have also sent letters to certain neighborhoods asking for help in speed reduction. We believe if we work with our citizens we can continue to keep Los Alamos safe.
There is a Transportation Board zoom meeting scheduled for this Thursday, August 6 at 5:30 p.m. Commander Oliver Morris will attend the meeting to hear any public comment on traffic concerns.
Please click the link below to join the webinar for the meeting: