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NMDOT announces safety tips for drivers

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The New Mexico Department of Transportation has announced a couple of safety reminders for drivers.

Car Seat Clinics

The department’s Traffic Safety Division partners with the Safer New Mexico organization to provide infant and toddler car safety seat inspections and fittings on a monthly basis at 10 locations in the state. The department indicates that three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly.

The free events are staffed by certified technicians and funded by the department. Southern New Mexico locations are in Las Cruces, Alamogordo and Artesia and will occur next on April 20. Alamogordo and Artesia clinics are scheduled to start at 10 a.m., with the Las Cruces fittings set to begin at noon.

Appointments are required and can be made by calling Safer New Mexico Now, 800-231-6145 or 505-856-6143. Contact the organization for other specifics regarding other locations and dates. The website is safernm.org.

Construction Work Zone Safety

In 2017, New Mexico had 789 vehicle accidents in construction work areas, with 2,108 people injured and four fatalities. As construction work increases with the beginning of spring, the Transportation Department is reminding drivers of the following safety measures.

• Slow down. Speed is a contributing factor in 29% of work zone crashes.

• Plan ahead so you do not need to rush to a destination. Also, plan an alternative route to avoid construction areas. Information on work zone delays throughout the state is available at the website nmroads.com or by calling 800-432-4269.

• Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and other cars and people and equipment.

• Pay attention to signs and road crews. Move over to the shoulder or other lanes as instructed.

• Stay alert and minimize distractions. Do not use phones, eat food or apply makeup.

• Watch out for large vehicles. A large percentage of serious accidents involve large trucks or buses. Do not slow down suddenly in front of them or try to pass them in work zones.

• Be patient and stay calm.