56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023


George K. Muñoz










     SECTION 1. A new section of the Motor Vehicle Code, Section 66-7-376 NMSA 1978, is enacted to read:


          A. Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following requirements, in addition to all consistent requirements within the Motor Vehicle Code, shall apply:

                (1) a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane;

                (2) a vehicle shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety and then given a signal, not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle, of the driver's intention to change lanes;

                (3) upon a roadway that is divided into three lanes, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except:

                     (a) when overtaking and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and the center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance;

                     (b) in preparation for a left turn; or

                     (c) where the center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding and is signposted to give notice of the allocation;

                (4) a vehicle shall not be driven in the left lane of a roadway except when overtaking and passing another vehicle; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not prohibit driving in the left lane when traffic conditions, flow or road configuration, such as the potential of merging traffic, require the use of the left lane to maintain safe traffic conditions; and provided further that this paragraph shall not prohibit driving in the left lane of a roadway within the city limits of a municipality or upon a county road as long as such roadway is not part of the national system of interstate and defense highways; and

                (5) official signs may be erected directing slow-moving traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such sign.

          B. A two-way left-turn lane is a lane near the center of the highway set aside for use by vehicles making left turns in both directions from or into the roadway. Two-way left-turn lanes shall be designated by distinctive roadway markings consisting of parallel double yellow lines, interior line dashed and exterior line solid, on each side of the lane. A vehicle shall not be driven in a designated two-way left-turn lane except when preparing for or making a left turn from or into a roadway. Vehicles turning left from the roadway shall not be driven in the two-way left-turn lane for more than two hundred feet while preparing for and making the turn. A vehicle turning left onto the roadway may utilize the two-way left-turn lane as a staging area by stopping and waiting for traffic proceeding in the same direction to clear before merging into the adjacent lanes of travel. A left turn shall not be made from any other lane where a two-way left-turn lane has been designated; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit driving across a two-way left-turn lane when moving from a service drive onto such marked roadway."

     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 and the Boat Act, "penalty assessment misdemeanor" means violation of any of the following listed sections of the NMSA 1978 for which, except as provided in Subsections D through F of this section, the listed penalty assessment is established:

COMMON NAME OF OFFENSE     SECTION VIOLATED     PENALTY                                                  ASSESSMENT

Vehicles subject to

  registration                66-3-1               $ 50.00

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              25.00

Horseless carriage

  registration                66-3-27                25.00

Transfer of registration

  and title                   66-3-103               25.00

Expiration of dealer

  plates                      66-3-403               25.00

Special registration

  plates                      66-3-409, 66-3-412.1,

                             66-3-413, 66-3-415,

                             66-3-417, 66-3-419,

                             66-3-421, 66-3-422,

                             66-3-424.4, 66-3-424.5,

                             66-3-424.7, 66-3-424.9,

                             66-3-424.13, 66-3-424.16

                             and 66-3-424.28        75.00

Bicycle laws                 66-3-701


                             66-3-707               50.00

No license display           66-5-16                25.00

Failure to change

  address or name on

  license                     66-5-22                25.00

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               25.00

Failure to obey signal       66-7-105               25.00

Pedestrian signs and

  signals                     66-7-106


                             66-7-108               25.00

Speeding                     66-7-301

  (1) up to and including

      ten miles an hour

      over the speed limit                           25.00

  (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               25.00

Speeding                     66-7-306               25.00

Improper starting            66-7-324               25.00

Improper backing             66-7-354               25.00

Improper lane                66-7-308               25.00

Improper lane                66-7-313               25.00

Improper lane                66-7-316               25.00

Improper lane                66-7-317               25.00

Improper lane                66-7-319             25.00

Improper passing             66-7-309


                             66-7-312               25.00

Improper passing             66-7-315               25.00

Controlled access

  violation                   66-7-320               25.00

Controlled access

  violation                   66-7-321               25.00

Improper turning             66-7-322               25.00

Improper turning             66-7-323               25.00

Improper turning             66-7-325               25.00

Following too closely        66-7-318               25.00

Failure to yield             66-7-328


                             66-7-331               25.00

Failure to yield             66-7-332               50.00

Failure to yield             66-7-332.1             25.00

Pedestrian violation         66-7-333                  



Failure to stop              66-7-342

                             and 66-7-344


                             66-7-346               25.00

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


                             66-7-327               25.00

Riding on motorcycles        66-7-355              100.00

Video screens in

  automobiles                 66-7-358               25.00

Driving on mountain

  highways                    66-7-359               25.00

Coasting prohibited          66-7-360               25.00

Animals on highway at

  night                       66-7-363               50.00

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

Driving while license


  suspended                   66-5-39.2              25.00

Improper equipment        66-3-801



                             and 66-3-842


                             66-3-851               50.00

Improper equipment           66-3-901               50.00

Improper emergency

  signal                      66-3-853


                             66-3-857               25.00

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



                             and 66-7-353           25.00 

Improper parking             66-3-852               25.00

Riding in or towing

  occupied house trailer      66-7-366               25.00

Improper opening of doors    66-7-367               25.00

No slow-moving vehicle

  emblem or flashing

  amber light                 66-3-887               25.00

Open container-first

  violation                   66-8-138               25.00

Texting while driving-

  (1) first violation         66-7-374               25.00

  (2) second and subsequent

  violation                                          50.00

Using a handheld mobile

  communication device

  while driving a     

  commercial motor vehicle    66-7-375

  (1) first violation                                25.00

  (2) second and subsequent

  violation                                          50.00

Improper use of travel lane  66-7-376               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 (5) 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, 2023.

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