Sheriff's Deputies to distribute Glow Sticks to Santuario walkers
Every year on Good Friday thousands of people converge onto roadways in Santa Fe County to walk to Chimayo in observance of the Easter holiday. Many pilgrims walk along heavily trafficked roads such as NM 502, 503 and U.S. 84/285.
According to Sheriff Robert A. Garcia sheriff’s deputies will increase patrols and their overall presence beginning at noon Thursday, April 13, 2017 when the majority of walkers start their trek to Chimayo. The enhanced law enforcement efforts by sheriff’s deputies include DWI checkpoints and enhanced traffic enforcement patrols. Deputies will also patrol the Santuario area on foot and on bicycles.
On Thursday evening sheriff’s deputies will begin distributing glow-in-the-dark sticks to walkers beginning at 6:00 p.m. at various locations, including:
- U.S. 84/285 at south Tesuque exit 168
- U.S. 84/285 at State Road 503
- NM 106 and NM 76 intersection
Distribution of the glow sticks is a public safety measure, which helps to make walkers more visible to motorists at night.
Sheriff Garcia encourages walkers to take extra precautions to be more visible along the roadways, especially if they are walking at night. Walkers can purchase reflective tape and apply it to clothing or wear reflective safety vests over clothing.
Sheriff’s deputies will be assisted by other area law enforcement agencies, including the New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe Police Department, Pojoaque Tribal Police Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, during the 2017 Santuario Pilgrimage.
Motorists are reminded to reduce speeds and drive as far away from the road shoulder as possible. “It’s very important that people driving cars pay attention to their speed and keep an eye on the road for those people walking along the roadway,” Sheriff Garcia said.
The following are safety tips for walkers:
- Wear bright clothing, especially if you are walking at night
- Dress in layered clothing
- Take a flashlight and water
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Walk on the east side of concreate road barriers
- Don’t cross onto the roadway
- Do not walk in highway medians
- Walk in groups of at least three or more for safety reasons
- Don’t Drink and Drive
- Call 911 for emergencies