Farmington police step up traffic enforcement

FPD Patch

Farmington police increased their focus on traffic violations and enforcement this past weekend. Officers issued more than 140 traffic citations and made seven DWI arrests from July 31-August 2.


Among those arrests was Anthony Chee, 46 of Kirtland. Chee’s car stopped in the middle of an intersection prompted officers to contact him. His arrest early morning August 1 was his 14th in New Mexico for DWI. Officers made street racing-related arrests late that night as well. Mariesa Avalos, 20 of Kirtland, and Amorea Vigil, 18 of Farmington, caught driving at excessive speeds on East 20th Street, were arrested and charged with Racing on Highways and their cars were towed. Through investigation, it was found that Mariesa had been cited just two hours before her arrest for several traffic violations. The Farmington Police Department reminds everyone to slow down, drive responsibly, and keep our roadways safe.

Working together to reduce traffic crashes in the new year

A message from our Traffic Division

Traffic Tuesday 1

We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and share what we’ll be working on in 2018. The overall goal of our division is to make Farmington’s roadways safer for everyone, and this takes a partnership between FPD and the public. Our community has done an incredible job in this partnership by reporting suspected drunk and aggressive drivers and informing us of problem areas. KUDOS COMMUNITY! Keep up the good work.


The Slow Down Farmington Campaign launched late last year and took off across the community. It’s great to see the large number of signs displayed in yards and at businesses reminding others to take their time, not a life. Anyone who’d like a sign may pick one up at the police department or city hall. Our division will continue conducting focused traffic enforcements as we identify high-crash and other problem areas through data and citizen reports.


FPD will continue working diligently to reduce drunk driving in our community through saturation patrols, checkpoints and responding to citizen call-ins. Please remember, an individual driving drunk IS an emergency; report it by calling 911.

Something Fun:

Watch for Traffic Trivia where citizens can win prizes here on Facebook. We’ll be launching it soon in an upcoming Traffic Tuesday post.


Logo 1Slow Down Farmington SOLID TakeTimeSign


Traffic Tuesday

Why do we disclose the location of our focused traffic enforcements?

Traffic Tuesday 1

Our Traffic Division monitors activity throughout Farmington and focuses their efforts on high problem areas where speeding and crashes are common occurrences. We’ve been sharing our focused enforcements on Facebook and are frequently asked why we disclose the locations. Our goal isn’t to get out there and write as many tickets as possible, but rather to prevent traffic violations and reduce the number of crashes by being highly visible to the public. This helps to serve as a deterrent, reminding people to slow down and abide by traffic laws. In addition, it increases transparency and public participation. We want you to know about the problems we face and how we are working to solve those problems. We also need your help to make Farmington the best place to live, work, and play.

Starting today through the end of August, our Traffic Division will be focusing their efforts on East and West Main near both Walmarts. These are areas where crashes commonly occur. Please help us keep our roadways safe by observing the rules of the road and Reporting Aggressive and Drunk Driving by calling 911. #RADD #slowdown#waittotext #traffictuesday


PRESS RELEASE: Farmington Police Department to increase traffic enforcement near Sobering Center

Farmington, NM – Farmington Police Department’s Traffic Division will increase their presence near Bisti Highway during the opening of the new Sobering Center. The center was established as a partnership between the city of Farmington, Farmington Police Department, San Juan Regional Medical Center, San Juan County, the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, Presbyterian Medical Services and Totah Behavioral Health Authority to address the issue of intoxicated individuals who are on the streets.The Sobering Center is located next to the Totah Behavioral Health Authority at 1615 Ojo Court in Farmington and will open its doors to the public on Monday, March 21, 2016.

The Farmington Police Department anticipates an increase in pedestrian traffic in the area. For the safety of all citizens, FPD’s Traffic Division will be conducting heavy enforcement, to include speed control, so drivers will slow down prior to reaching the center. The increased enforcements will occur during the initial opening of the Sobering Center. In addition, the division will be monitoring the intersections of Bisti Highway and N36 and Bisti Highway and Ojo Court in regards to using the center lane to yield or merge into traffic. This is a common issue throughout Farmington and was addressed in FPD’s Traffic Tip Tuesday blog post on March 1, 2016. For more information about appropriate use of center lanes, visit FPD’s blog at

Traffic Tip Tuesday: Child seat safety

Click on infographic to download.

This week we are discussing child seat safety. Recently, the Today show did a story on car seats with children wearing jackets. As a child passenger safety advocate, I was very interested in the story and the conclusions of the reporter. Take a minute and watch this video clip, and although it may appear graphic, not in a gruesome way, it will provide an understanding of what happens to a child who is not properly restrained during a collision.

What the video shows is an improperly secured child in a 25 mph collision. If you watch the video closely, you will notice the shoulder harness straps are very loose and the harness retainer clip is near the child’s stomach.  This is accurate with regard to how some children are secured in a child restraint. Nationally, 75 percent of all child restraints are improperly used. Loose harness straps are one example of improper use. Obviously we get concerned when we see something like this and hope we aren’t endangering our own children.

So how do I properly secure my child in a car seat? I’m glad you asked.  Here is a checklist to follow:

  • The seatbelt or LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system MUST lock the seat in place. There should be no more than one inch of movement in any direction.
  • The harness straps (those around your child) must be snug; if you can pinch harness webbing between your forefinger and thumb, it’s too loose.
  • The harness retainer clip (plastic buckle) should be at the armpit level; this keeps the harness straps from slipping over the shoulders.
  • Infant carriers MUST be installed in a reclined position (see manufacturer’s instructions) and in the rear seat away from frontal airbags.
  • Forward facing seats – check the proper belt path.
  • Remove heavy jackets and blankets before securing child in the harness. Place jacket or blanket over child to keep him or her warm.

What is FPD doing?

The Farmington Police Department has partnered with Safer New Mexico Now for many years.  This partnership involves training our officers to be child safety seat technicians. This means they are highly trained on proper use of child restraints and installation. The Farmington Police Department, Safer New Mexico Now and the Farmington Fire Department host monthly car seat fitting stations at the fire station by the mall, located at 3800 English Road in Farmington. These fitting stations are appointment only events. Call Safer New Mexico Now at 1-505-332-7707 to schedule an appointment.

The Farmington Police Department values the safety of all children, and therefore, is very aggressive on enforcing child seat laws. Below is the New Mexico Statute for child passenger restraints.

In later segments of this blog, we will have videos of how to properly secure children in various types of child restraints.

66-7-369  Child passenger restraint; enforcement.

A. A person shall not operate a passenger car, van or pickup truck in this state, except for an authorized emergency vehicle, public transportation or a school bus, unless all passengers less than eighteen years of age are properly restrained.

B. Each person less than eighteen years of age shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device or by a safety belt, unless all seating positions equipped with safety belts are occupied, as follows:

(1)   children less than one year of age shall be properly secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint device that meets federal standards, in the rear seat of a vehicle that is equipped with a rear seat.  If the vehicle is not equipped with a rear seat, the child may ride in the front seat of the vehicle if the passenger-side air bag is deactivated or if the vehicle is not equipped with a deactivation switch for the passenger-side air bag;

(2)   children one year of age through four years of age, regardless of weight, or children who weigh less than forty pounds, regardless of age, shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device that meets federal standards;

(3)   children five years of age through six years of age, regardless of weight, or children who weigh less than sixty pounds, regardless of age, shall be properly secured in either a child booster seat or an appropriate child passenger restraint device that meets federal standards; and

(4)   children seven years of age through twelve years of age shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device or by a seat belt.

C. A child is properly secured in an adult seat belt when the lap belt properly fits across the child’s thighs and hips and not the abdomen.  The shoulder strap shall cross the center of the child’s chest and not the neck, allowing the child to sit all the way back against the vehicle seat with knees bent over the seat edge.

D. Failure to be secured by a child passenger restraint device, by a child booster seat or by a safety belt as required by this section shall not in any instance constitute fault or negligence and shall not limit or apportion damages.

Snowbarger, MartinMartin Snowbarger has been a law enforcement officer for 18 years. He’s worked for the Farmington Police Department for 15 years and in Raton, NM for three years. Officer Snowbarger has been with FPD’s Traffic Division since 2003 and has been a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and Traffic Collision Reconstructionist for 11 years.

Farmington Police Department recognized for their DWI enforcement efforts

Sgt. Karst with the Farmington Police Department accepting award
Sgt. Karst with the Farmington Police Department accepting award

Farmington Police Department’s Traffic Division was recently recognized for their outstanding efforts with DWI enforcement during the annual Law Enforcement Coordinators’ Symposium. The event took place July 29 – 30 at the Sandia Resort in Albuquerque and was attended by more than 225 representatives from New Mexico law enforcement agencies that participated in ENDDWI, BKLUP, STEP, CIOT and 100 Days and Nights of Summer. The LECS provides law enforcement with education, trend analysis and best practice methods for advancing the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Division programs. Law enforcement experts from around the country presented on various topics, including DWI enforcement, distracted driving prevention, effects of alcohol and marijuana, legal updates and occupational protection. A breath alcohol testing instrument was awarded to the Farmington Police Department for their outstanding efforts with DWI enforcement. Sergeant Dave Karst accepted the award on behalf of the department. The unit was donated by Chris Stoddard with Draeger.