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New Mexico Department of Transportation has announced the designation of a new safety corridor on U.S. 285 from mile marker 2 near the Texas State Line to mile marker 20 in Loving.

Motorists will notice increased law enforcement presence from the New Mexico State Police, Loving Police Department, and Eddy County Sheriff’s Office within the safety corridor.

“The NMDOT is committed to making this road safer. The safety corridor program provides improved signage, funding for law enforcement overtime, and gives the local enforcement authorities the ability to double the fines for any moving violation,” said NMDOT Cabinet Secretary Tom Church. “NMDOT also has several infrastructure improvement projects under development for this area – and this safety corridor is an immediate step we can take to help educate and enforce safe driving.”

Motorists will see a total of 12 new signs on entering and leaving a safety corridor, as well as signs that alert drivers that there will be zero tolerance for violations in a corridor. The safety corridor segment was selected by reviewing historic crash data related to driver behavior and input from law enforcement.

“There will be strict enforcement of driving laws with zero tolerance for violations,” said NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas. “If drivers obey the speed limit and other laws, there will be fewer crashes. Almost all crashes in the area are caused by excessive speed, distracted driving and following too closely.”

“Our priority is keeping people safe on our roads and highways and the Department will continue to encourage safe driving habits,” said Franklin Garcia, Traffic Safety director. “It is so important that motorists drive safely and continue to pay attention, go the speed limit, wear a seatbelt, and obey all traffic laws.”

According to the ECSO, nine people died on the stretch of roadway last year. The deaths spurred residents and officials to search for ways to improve safety.