Monday, June 5, 2023

Commentary: No Management is Mismanagement


Commentary by Mike Neas, Placitas.
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I read the Commentaries, It’s Not a Horse Problem, it’s a Human Problem and Horses Aren’t Reckless, but NM 165 Drivers Are in the Feb. 17th Signpost. While I don’t dispute the driving habits of some Placitans and many New Mexicans, I feel the need to point out that an overwhelming majority of vehicle/horse collisions on NM 165 and on Sandoval County roads do not involve speeding or alcohol. Both commentaries insist that there is a people problem, but they are offering personal opinions and no facts in their efforts to identify the people problem. I will identify a few here.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) is responsible for the safety of the traveling public on State roads. As stakeholders related to problems of horses on the roads the NMDOT is and always has been missing in action. The Bernalillo Public Schools (BPS) Board of Education is responsible in part for the safety of the traveling school children going to and from school on county roads and Hwy. 165. A recent Inspection of Public Records Act request asking for any documentation generated by BPS expressing concern for the safety of the children and their families related to horses on the roads received a no documents related response. The insurance companies that have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims for human injuries and totaled vehicles are also M I A stakeholders that should be involved in the solutions to unmanaged horses on the roads.

The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is often times the first response to vehicle/horse collisions. They manage the carnage, see to the collision victims and write the incident reports. They see most of these crashes involving unmanaged horses. And most of these happen between mile markers 5 and 10 on Hwy. 165 and on Sandoval County roads within 1 ½ miles north of Hwy. 165. The SCSO has recommended an ordinance that addresses feeding of horses on and near the roads. This is in various versions of draft now. This should help to keep horses off of the roads. 

We do have a people problem and it involves the proper management of large mammals. It’s time for the managers to manage. 


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