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Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office
Monday March 29th, 2010 :: 09:52 a.m. MDT

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Santuario Pilgrimage Safety Tips and Information - go to link below.

Santuario Pilgrimage- Safety Tips and Information

Every year on Good Friday, thousands of people walk to Chimayo in observance of the Easter holiday. Many of them walk along heavily used roads, such as NM 502 and 503 and U.S. 84 - 285. Santa Fe County Undersheriff Robert Garcia wants walkers and motorists to know that beginning about noon Thursday traffic patrols will be increased on U.S. 84-285 when the majority of walkers begin their journey. A DWI Checkpoint will take place this weekend during the Santuario walk. The increased law enforcement presence including DWI and traffic enforcement units will continue through the afternoon of Easter Sunday.

Sheriff's deputies will be assisted by State Police, Española Police Department, Rio Arriba County Sheriff's office, and tribal officers from Tesuque, Pojoaque, Nambe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Personnel from volunteer fire departments in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties also will be assisting.

Under Sheriff Garcia says deputies will hand out 3,000 glow-in-the-dark sticks to walkers beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at Camino Encantado and U.S. 84-285; the NM 503 and U.S. 84-285 intersection; and at the NM 106 and NM 76 intersection. The glow sticks make walkers more visible to motorists at night.

Walkers are being asked to use the pedestrian path and follow signs posted by New Mexico Department of Transportation. Under Sheriff Garcia suggested that walkers purchase reflective tape and apply it to clothing or wear reflective safety vests over clothing. "If you have some type of safety vest or anything that is reflective or will illuminate the body, we recommend you wear that," he said. Undersheriff Garcia also urges people making the annual walk not to smoke, or to discard cigarettes in proper containers and not to use any flammable devices. Motorists should reduce speeds and drive as far away from the road shoulder as possible "Pay attention to speed and your driving and don't drink and drive," Under Sheriff Garcia warns.

Under Sheriff Garcia also wants to provide these safety tips for walkers:
• Wear bright clothing, especially Thursday night, traditionally the busiest evening during the weeklong religious event;
• Take a flashlight and water;
• Dress warmly and in layers and wear comfortable shoes;
• Walk on the east side of the concrete barrier and don't cross onto the roadway. Walkers shouldn't use the median that divides four-lane U.S. 84-285;
• Walk in groups of at least three or more for safety reasons.
• Sign up for text alerts at www.santafesheriff.com. We will be sending out texts of important information for walkers throughout the weekend.

Address/Location
Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office
35 Camino Justicia
Santa Fe, NM 87508

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 505-986-2400

Sheriff Administration
shfconcerns@santafecounty.org
505-428-3720

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