Congestion in San Luis leads to planned crackdown on driving infractions
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Congestion in the downtown area could prompt the police department to begin writing tickets for a wider range of traffic violations. If they get approval from the city council next week, police will cite motorists who block intersections, cut into lines of traffic or who remove traffic control cones.
The crackdown comes amid the agricultural season when traffic traditionally becomes heavier and vehicles frequently back up in long lines along Main Street while waiting to be admitted through the Mexican port of entry at San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.
Police Sgt. Ernesto Lugo says the longer lines on Main block traffic on the cross streets and have prompted some motorists to try to cut into the Mexico-bound lanes. Cutting in line, he said, has led to altercations, including intentional vehicle ramming.
Some motorists, Lugo added, try to bypass cars ahead of them by removing traffic cones previously placed on Main to channel Mexico-bound traffic into a single lane.
“We've had trouble with people headed to Mexico,” he said. “We do the best we can to expedite the traffic, but we have no control over what happens at the port of entry” into Mexico.
The situation is prompting the city council to consider approving an ordinance allowing police to ticket motorists who cut in line, remove traffic cones or block intersections.
“We want people to know that there will be consequences for that behavior,” Lugo said. “Unfortunately, we learn faster when we are hit in the pocketbook than through public education.”
Lugo said congestion sometimes is so heavy in the afternoons and on weekends that the police department must dedicate all officers who are on shift to traffic control.
The police department recently appeared before the San Luis City Council with a request for an amendment to city ordinances to allow for citations for intersection blocking and cutting in line. Council members say they not only want police to write tickets for those violations, but also to ticket drivers who enter Mexico by routes other than those that have been established by the city.
The ordinance change is scheduled to come before the council on Wednesday. If approved, it will take effect immediately.