Governor: Operation Lilly Nets More than 1,600 Citations For Dangerous Driving

Gov. Susana Martinez

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez and Mayor Richard J. Berry announced Monday that law enforcement issued more than 1,600 citations for dangerous driving through Operation Lilly, a coordinated effort to crack down on road rage in Albuquerque.

Mayor Richard J. Berry

Operation Lilly, named after the 4-year-old girl who was shot and killed in a road rage incident last year, was led by the New Mexico State Police and in partnership with the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Together, law enforcement officers cracked down on aggressive, distracted, and other dangerous driving behavior.

NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas

“Lilly was just 4 years old when her life was taken – all because someone lost their temper on the road,” Martinez said. “Dangerous driving is unacceptable, and we have to pull together as a community to say, ‘enough is enough.’ I’m grateful to all our law enforcement partners who participated in this campaign to make our roads safer and make it crystal clear that we will not tolerate road rage.”

Following Lilly’s death, Martinez directed the New Mexico State Police to develop a plan to help curb dangerous driving and road rage in the Albuquerque area.

The State Police partnered with APD and the county sheriff to crack down on dangerous driving Nov. 18 through the end of February. These reckless behaviors include speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely, drag racing, failing to stay in one’s own lane, and texting while driving. Officers issued 1,676 citations for reckless or dangerous driving, and made 25 arrests, including five for DWI.

“Through the critical collaboration between multiple law enforcement agencies we were able to crack down on aggressive and reckless driving behavior,” Mayor Richard J. Berry said. “As a community we have declared that we will not tolerate individuals who drive in an reckless manner, putting the lives of others at risk – and will do everything in our power to avoid another situation such as the one that took the life of little Lily Garcia. Thank you to the men and women in law enforcement who worked hard on this campaign to put an end to this behavior.”

The New Mexico Department of Transportation implemented a billboard and radio campaign to remind motorists in the area to think twice before taking actions that could harm themselves or others on the road.

“The roadways of New Mexico are safer today because of Operation Lilly,” NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas said. “The cooperation was outstanding and I cannot express my gratitude enough to all the agencies involved that made this a success. Together, we have made a difference in our state. This operation reinforces to those that choose to drive aggressive and reckless, that they will suffer the consequences.”

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