Governor urges suicide prevention at Taos bridge

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez wants the state Department of Transportation to do more to prevent suicides at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos.

One of the first things the department plans to do is install 10 telephones at or on the bridge that will be answered by the New Mexico Crisis Access Hotline. After a bidding process, installation could begin as soon as October.

The governor says the phones will be a step in the right direction.

State officials say studies have shown success rates with installing phones on high bridges elsewhere. For example, the mid-Hudson bridge in New York has had phones connected to a suicide hotline for two decades. Officials there say more than 50 people have used the phones and have been persuaded to reconsider their actions.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.