- Station Info
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 12:28pm
Doña Ana County (KDBC) — Last week, Mexican customs officials dramatically reduced the availability of lanes at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry for transit by used vehicle exporters.
The southbound lanes, which used to be open from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., now have been closed to such traffic except from 9:00 a.m.-noon.
This resulted in a chokepoint at the port of entry and a backup of traffic that extended for nearly three miles.
In addition to virtual gridlock, the traffic congestion created serious safety risks to vehicles and pedestrians alike.
After prompt consultations with officials on both sides of the border, Governor Martinez directed the Motor Transportation Police and the New Mexico State Police to mobilize to the area and take all reasonable steps to alleviate the traffic congestion and enforce commercial vehicle laws.
Pursuant to the state’s caravan permitting requirements, Motor Transportation Police have begun assisting the vehicle exporters through the border crossing process by verifying that the exporters possess all required documents.
This measure has helped provide an orderly and safe export process, while alleviating the miles of backup on State Road 136 for southbound traffic entering Mexico via the Santa Teresa Port.
If motorists do not have documentation showing compliance with the caravan permit, Motor Transportation Police have been issuing such documentation on site. The fee for the permit is $10.00 dollars.
Any additional towed vehicles require an added fee of $7.00 dollars per vehicle. The hours of permitting are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Officers have been directing traffic off the primary roadway to a network of side streets and nearby parking lots where Motor Transportation Police are conducting a further review of vehicle export documents.
New Mexico State Police have been augmenting Motor Transportation Police with increased manpower and patrols in the area.
This has helped to ensure that traffic flow remains fluid, thereby maximizing the safety of the traveling public as well as local residents.
Enforcement activity during the first three days of this operation have yielded the following results:
197 vehicle exports crossed border
$1,988.00 in caravan permit fees collected
5 citations (1 no drivers license, 1 speeding, 1 child restraint, 1 suspended driver’s license, and 1 no insurance)
One motorist assist
On Monday 7/14/2014:
403 vehicle exports crossed border
11 commercial motor vehicle exports crossed border
$4,025.00 in caravan permit fees collected
1 arrest on a failure to appear warrant
1 citation for driving the wrong way on a one way
1 citation for driving on a suspended license
On Tuesday 7/15/2014:
439 vehicle exports crossed border
$4,449.00 in caravan permit fees collected
1 warrant arrest for failure to appear
1 driving wrong way
1 driving under suspended license
1 no insurance