The Chapala government began phasing in the operation of the municipal traffic department this week with a start-up corps of ten officers, a patrol truck and two four-wheel all-terrain motorcycles at its disposal.
Chapala Mayor Javier Degollado and Transito Chief Reynaldo Martínez Villanueva presided at ceremony held Monday, October 30 to launch the new department that will eventually take over most local traffic control duties in place of the regional branch of Jalisco’s Secretaria de Movilidad (SeMov).
Since the municipal government has not yet drawn up a formal agreement with the state, Chapala’s new traffic cops lack legal teeth to issue tickets or impose fines for violations. For the time being they are limited to giving verbal warnings to motorists detected breaking the rules of the road.
In addition, the Chapala city council must enact and publish a municipal traffic code conforming to Jalisco law, including identical fees and fines. The mayor expects this to be accomplished by year’s end.
After the transition is completed, SeMov will maintain jurisdiction along state highways connecting Chapala to Guadalajara, Jocotepec and Mezcala.
According to Degollado, the main objectives of shifting authority to the local government are to increase manpower for greater vigilance of local thoroughfares, boost enforcement of traffic regulations, reduce the incidence of accidents and better educate the public on mobility safety issues.
He also anticipates the installation of a Transito office in San Antonio Tlayacapan that will be equipped and authorized to issue Jalisco driver’s permits.