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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

2012 GHSA Annual Meeting Awards program cover 2012 Award Descriptions
PDF icon [1.1 MB, 10 pgs.]

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, media, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2012 Winner: New Mexico Smart Roadside Inspection Program

All 2012 Highway Safety Award Winners

New Mexico Department of Public Safety Motor Transportation Division Police logo

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety, Motor Transportation Police Division’s (NM DPS MTPD’s) Smart Roadside Inspection Program (Smart Roadside) is a datadriven strategy that uses technology to revolutionize the delivery of commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE).

Truck safety screening methods today remain largely unchanged from those employed 50 years ago, relying heavily on the instincts of frontline inspection officers. However, a limited number of law enforcement officers simply can’t keep up with the relentless growth of transportation volume. And forcing vehicles to stop in for screening interferes with the flow of commerce.

Smart Roadside began in 2009 to overcome the constraints imposed by limited resources and inefficient screening methods while maximizing the cost effectiveness of federal and state funds. Intelligent roadside sensors positioned strategically along New Mexico roadways automatically collect data from passing trucks, without creating transportation slowdowns or stoppages. Software aggregates this data and scrutinizes identified trucks against remote state and federal databases to automatically produce alert flags for enforcement operations.

The program has brought instant economic gains to the State of New Mexico. By identifying high-risk trucks through Smart Roadside, a high percentage of needless CVE inspections have been eliminated. Smart Roadside dashboards provide realtime performance and trend analyses that help MTPD focus resources appropriately. Environmental benefits include fuel savings for the industry and emission reduction from idling during physical inspections.

In 2011, Smart Roadside generated more than 4.7 million alerts on trucks traveling through New Mexico that may pose a risk to highway safety. By analyzing this data against userdefined screening rules, MTPD Major Ron Cordova was able to effectively reallocate resources throughout New Mexico at any of the Smart Roadside screening sites during specific day and times.

The program has been an interagency operation since its inception. NM DPS MTPD has partnered with the New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department, New Mexico DOT, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), New Mexico Motor Trucking Association, and technology provider Intelligent Imaging Systems. Approximately $3 million of program funding was provided by the New Mexico DOT and Department of Taxation & Revenue for 2011. FMCSA’s CVISN Program contributed approximately $1 million.

The success of New Mexico’s Smart Roadside Inspection Program in removing unsafe trucks from the road network and saving lives has inspired more than a dozen different CVE agencies across North America to adopt the same model to support their roadside operations and commercial vehicle management.

To learn more, contact Major Ron Cordova at 505-476-2452 or