A transportation think tanks is crediting progressive enforcement policies for making New Mexico roadways safer. This week, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) named New Mexico among its ”top tier” states, based on a study of semi crashes. According to the report, serious truck accidents fell to a rate of 15.8 per 100 million miles traveled in 2009, that’s down from a rate of 24.6 per 100 million miles four years earlier. The improvement is in line with a larger trend that shows better safety performance among semis nationwide. The United States Department of Transportation reports that fatal accidents involving semis and other large trucks have fallen from 5,200 in 2005 to 3,200 in 2009. The ATRI says New Mexico’s Motor Transportation Police Department (MTPD) has succeeded by examining behavior, including aggressive tendencies, in commercial drivers and private citizens. Furthermore, the agency has analyzed officer performance in both high-visibility and low-profile enforcement strategies. It all adds up to a lower rate of fatal accidents, down from 2.04 per 100 million miles in 2005 to 1.37 per 100 million miles in 2009. Representatives of the MTPD, meanwhile, have given partial credit to new policies adopted by the trucking industry. Such policies were the subject of much discussion during recent hearings by the National Transportation Safety Board and President Barack Obama has called for mandatory trucker rest periods to keep the highways safe. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety reports that semis were involved in 1,500 traffic accidents in 2008.