ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – From people texting behind the wheel to other speeding cars, drivers face a lot of hazards anytime you hit the road. But UPS is recognizing an elite group for something that’s not easy,driving 25 years or more for the company without an accident.
Patrick Trujillo of Rio Rancho has been inducted into UPS’ Circle of Honor. He’s one of six New Mexico drivers inducted into the Circle of Honor for a wreck-free driving record.
“I’m going on my 26th year,” he said. “It’s a good feeling. I was really looking forward to it. It was a goal of mine to accomplish it,” he said.
“Just like in any other endeavor, like a running back in football, they benchmark a thousand yards for running back, when they accomplish it, it feels good and same with me,” Trujillo said. “I wanted to accomplish it, and now that I have, it really feels good.”
Trujillo said concentration is key. “One lapse of concentration, you can find yourself catching an edge on the road, or somebody hits the brakes in front of you,” he said.
Trujillo listed off a number of things that could quickly turn a routine road trip into something serious.
“Especially now in today’s day and age when we have cell phones, people are actually watching videos, watching movies on the road. The driver inattention nowadays is actually really bad,” he said. Weather is a factor as well. “Some drivers think that they’re Superman and can just challenge the elements, and that puts your safety at issue,” he added.
Scott Johnston, a supervisor at UPS, said, “My guys are some of the best in the country. Our safety record here in New Mexico is amazing.” Speaking about the Circle of Honor, he said, “Not everybody gets there. As we said, it’s a difficult thing, and the guys that get it truly are are the best of the best.”
The other UPS drivers inducted among the 1,445 newly-inducted drivers into the Circle of Honor include Michael Carroll, David Sanchez and Paul Valencia, all of Albuquerque; Eddie Duran of Los Alamos who works at the Santa Fe Center; and Louis Telles of La Luz who works in Alamogordo.
UPS said New Mexico is home to 29 active Circle of Honor drivers who all have a combined 835 years of accident-free driving. Gilbert Parra of Alamogordo is New Mexico’s senior senior driver, with 38 years of accident-free driving, the parcel company said.