51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2014


Peter Wirth and James E. Smith










     SECTION 1. A new section of the Motor Vehicle Code is enacted to read:


          A. A person shall not read or view a text message or type on a handheld mobile communication device for any purpose while driving a motor vehicle, except to summon medical or other emergency help.

          B. As used in this section:

                (1) "driving" means being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic or at a traffic light, but "driving" excludes operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of or off of an active roadway and has stopped at a location in which it can safely remain stationary;

                (2) "handheld mobile communication device" means a wireless communication device that is designed to receive and transmit text or image messages, but "handheld mobile communication device" excludes global positioning or navigation systems, devices that are physically or electronically integrated into a motor vehicle and voice-operated or hands-free devices that allow the user to write, send or read a text message without the use of a hand except to activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function; and

                (3) "text message" means a digital communication transmitted or intended to be transmitted between communication devices and includes electronic mail, an instant message, a text or image communication and a command or request to an internet site; but "text message" excludes communications through the use of a computer-aided dispatch service by law enforcement or rescue personnel."

     SECTION 2. Section 66-8-116 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 524, as amended) is amended to read:



          A. As used in the Motor Vehicle Code, "penalty assessment misdemeanor" means violation of any of the following listed sections of the NMSA 1978 for which, except as provided in Subsections D and E of this section, the listed penalty assessment is established:

COMMON NAME OF OFFENSE     SECTION VIOLATED    PENALTY                                                   ASSESSMENT

Improper display of

  registration plate          66-3-18              $ 25.00

Failure to notify of

  change of name or address   66-3-23                25.00

Lost or damaged registration,

  plate or title              66-3-24                20.00

Permitting unauthorized

  minor to drive              66-5-40                50.00

Permitting unauthorized

  person to drive             66-5-41                25.00

Failure to obey sign         66-7-104              10.00

Failure to obey signal       66-7-105              10.00

Speeding                     66-7-301

  (1) up to and including

      ten miles an hour

      over the speed limit                          15.00

  (2) from eleven up to

      and including fifteen

      miles an hour

      over the speed limit                          30.00

  (3) from sixteen up to

      and including twenty

      miles an hour over the

      speed limit                                    65.00

  (4) from twenty-one up to

      and including twenty-five

      miles an hour

      over the speed limit                          100.00

  (5) from twenty-six up to

      and including thirty

      miles an hour over the

      speed limit                                   125.00

  (6) from thirty-one up to

      and including thirty-five

      miles an hour over the

      speed limit                                   150.00

  (7) more than thirty-five

      miles an hour over the

      speed limit                                   200.00

Unfastened safety belt       66-7-372               25.00

Child not in restraint device

  or seat belt                66-7-369               25.00

Minimum speed                66-7-305               10.00

Speeding                     66-7-306               15.00

Improper starting            66-7-324               10.00

Improper backing             66-7-354               10.00

Improper lane                66-7-308               10.00

Improper lane                66-7-313               10.00

Improper lane                66-7-316               10.00

Improper lane                66-7-317               10.00

Improper lane                66-7-319              10.00

Improper passing      66-7-309 through 66-7-312    10.00

Improper passing             66-7-315               10.00

Controlled access

  violation                   66-7-320               10.00

Controlled access

  violation                   66-7-321               10.00

Improper turning             66-7-322               10.00

Improper turning             66-7-323               10.00

Improper turning             66-7-325               10.00

Following too closely        66-7-318               10.00

Failure to yield      66-7-328 through 66-7-331    10.00

Failure to yield             66-7-332               50.00

Failure to yield             66-7-332.1             25.00

Pedestrian violation         66-7-333               10.00

Pedestrian violation         66-7-340               10.00

Failure to stop       66-7-342 and 66-7-344

                      through 66-7-346             10.00

Railroad-highway grade

  crossing violation   66-7-341 and 66-7-343       150.00

Passing school bus           66-7-347              100.00

Failure to signal     66-7-325 through 66-7-327    10.00

Failure to secure load       66-7-407              100.00

Operation without oversize-

  overweight permit           66-7-413               50.00

Transport of reducible

  load with special

  permit more than six miles

  from a border crossing      66-7-413              100.00

Improper equipment           66-3-801  

                      through 66-3-851             25.00

Improper equipment           66-3-901               20.00

Improper emergency

  signal               66-3-853 through 66-3-857    10.00

Minor on motorcycle

  without helmet              66-7-356              300.00

Operation interference       66-7-357               50.00

Littering                    66-7-364              300.00

Improper parking      66-7-349 through 66-7-352

                      and 66-7-353                  5.00 

Improper parking             66-3-852                5.00

Failure to dim lights        66-3-831               10.00

Riding in or towing

  occupied house trailer      66-7-366                5.00

Improper opening of doors    66-7-367                5.00

No slow-moving vehicle

  emblem or flashing

  amber light                 66-3-887                5.00

Open container - first

  violation                   66-8-138             25.00

Texting while driving -      Section 1 of this 

    first violation         2014 act               25.00

Texting while driving -      Section 1 of this 

    second violation        2014 act               50.00.

         B. The term "penalty assessment misdemeanor" does not include a violation that has caused or contributed to the cause of an accident resulting in injury or death to a person.

         C. When an alleged violator of a penalty assessment misdemeanor elects to accept a notice to appear in lieu of a notice of penalty assessment, a fine imposed upon later conviction shall not exceed the penalty assessment established for the particular penalty assessment misdemeanor and probation imposed upon a suspended or deferred sentence shall not exceed ninety days.

         D. The penalty assessment for speeding in violation of Paragraph (4) of Subsection A of Section 66-7-301 NMSA 1978 is twice the penalty assessment established in Subsection A of this section for the equivalent miles per hour over the speed limit.

         E. Upon a second conviction for operation without a permit for excessive size or weight pursuant to Section 66-7-413 NMSA 1978, the penalty assessment shall be two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the penalty assessment shall be five hundred dollars ($500).

         F. Upon a second conviction for transport of a reducible load with a permit for excessive size or weight pursuant to Subsection N of Section 66-7-413 NMSA 1978 more than six miles from a port-of-entry facility on the border with Mexico, the penalty assessment shall be five hundred dollars ($500). Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the penalty assessment shall be one thousand dollars ($1,000)."

    SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2014.

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