SENATE BILL 135
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Benny Shendo, Jr. And Gregory A. Baca
RELATING TO TRAFFIC LAWS; REQUIRING DRIVERS TO STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN FOR OTHER ON-TRACK EQUIPMENT IN ADDITION TO TRAINS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 66-1-4.13 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1990, Chapter 120, Section 14, as amended) is amended to read:
"66-1-4.13. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Motor Vehicle Code:
A. "odometer" means a device for recording the total mileage traveled by a vehicle from the vehicle's manufacture and for so long as the vehicle is operable on the highways;
B. "off-highway motor vehicle" means any motor vehicle operated or used exclusively off the highways of this state and that is not legally equipped for operation on the highways of this state;
C. "official printout" means any record supplied by the division or a similar agency or government entity that indicates the lienholders of record or owners of record of a vehicle or motor vehicle registered within that government's jurisdiction or indicates information about a driver's license or identification card, including traffic violation history or status;
D. "official traffic-control devices" means all signs, signals, markings and devices consistent with the Motor Vehicle Code placed or erected, by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning or guiding traffic;
E. "operational design domain" means the specific conditions under which a given automated driving system or feature of the system is designed to function;
F. "operator" means driver, as defined in Section 66-1-4.4 NMSA 1978;
G. "other on-track equipment" means any car, rolling stock or other device that alone or coupled to another device is operated on stationary rails; and
[G.] H. "owner" means a person who holds the legal title of a vehicle and may include a conservator, guardian, personal representative, executor or similar fiduciary, or, in the event that a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for conditional sale or lease with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or, in the event that a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then such conditional vendee or lessee or mortgagor."
SECTION 2. Section 66-7-341 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2003, Chapter 51, Section 8) is amended to read:
"66-7-341. RAILROAD-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING VIOLATIONS--ALL DRIVERS.--
A. A person driving a vehicle approaching a railroad-highway grade crossing shall:
(1) obey traffic control devices, crossing gates or barriers or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing;
(2) stop not more than fifty feet and not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of a crossing if:
(a) a train or other on-track equipment is moving through or blocking the crossing;
(b) a train or other on-track equipment is plainly visible and approaching the crossing within hazardous proximity to the crossing;
(c) the sound of a train's or other on-track equipment's warning signal can be heard; or
(d) a traffic control device, crossing gate, barrier or light or an enforcement official signals the driver to stop; and
(3) proceed through the railroad-highway grade crossing only if it is safe to completely pass through the entire railroad-highway grade crossing without stopping.
B. A person shall not:
(1) drive a vehicle through, around or under a crossing gate or barrier at a railroad-highway grade crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or being opened or closed;
(2) drive onto the railroad-highway grade crossing and stop; or
(3) enter a crossing if the vehicle being driven has insufficient undercarriage clearance to pass over the crossing.
C. The penalty assessment for violation of this section is included in Section 66-8-116 NMSA 1978."
SECTION 3. Section 66-7-343 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2003, Chapter 51, Section 9) is amended to read:
"66-7-343. RAILROAD-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING VIOLATIONS--CERTAIN VEHICLES REQUIRED TO ALWAYS STOP--EXCEPTIONS.--
A. Except as set forth in Subsection D of this section, a driver of a vehicle carrying passengers for hire, a school bus carrying school children or a vehicle carrying hazardous materials, radioactive or explosive substances or flammable liquids as cargo or as part of its cargo, before entering a railroad-highway grade crossing, is required to stop no more than fifty feet and no less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of the railroad.
B. While stopped, the driver shall:
(1) look and listen in both directions along the track for an approaching train or other on-track equipment and for signals indicating that a train or other on-track equipment is approaching;
(2) determine it is safe to proceed completely through the railroad-highway grade crossing before entering it; and
(3) set the vehicle in a gear sufficiently low that gears will not need to be shifted before exiting the railroad-highway grade crossing.
C. A driver shall not shift gears while in a railroad-highway grade crossing.
D. A driver of a vehicle carrying passengers for hire, a school bus carrying school children or a vehicle carrying hazardous materials, radioactive or explosive substances or flammable liquids as cargo or as part of its cargo is not required to stop at:
(1) a railroad-highway grade crossing where a police officer directs traffic to proceed;
(2) a railroad-highway grade crossing where a stop-and-go traffic light controls movement of traffic;
(3) a railroad-highway grade crossing used exclusively for industrial switching purposes, within a business district as defined in Section 66-1-4.2 NMSA 1978;
(4) a railroad-highway grade crossing where use of the railroad has been abandoned and there is a sign indicating that the railroad has been abandoned; or
(5) an industrial or spur line railroad-highway grade crossing marked with a sign reading "exempt crossing" that has been designated as exempt by appropriate state or local authorities.
E. Penalties for violation of this section are included in Section 66-8-116 NMSA 1978."
SECTION 4. Section 66-7-344 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 448) is amended to read:
"66-7-344. MOVING HEAVY EQUIPMENT AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS.--
A. No person shall operate or move any crawler-type tractor, steam shovel, derrick, roller or any equipment or structure having a normal operating speed of ten or less miles per hour or a vertical body or load clearance of less than one-half inch per foot of the distance between any two adjacent axles or in any event of less than nine inches, measured above the level surface of a roadway, upon or across any tracks at a railroad grade crossing without first complying with this section.
B. Notice of any such intended crossing shall be given to a station agent of [such] the railroad and a reasonable time [be] given to [such] the railroad to provide proper protection at [such] the crossing.
C. Before making any such crossing, the person operating or moving any such vehicle or equipment shall first stop the [same] vehicle or equipment not less than fifteen feet nor more than fifty feet from the nearest rail of [such] the railroad and, while so stopped, shall listen and look in both directions along [such] the track for any approaching train or other on-track equipment and for signals indicating the approach of a train or other on-track equipment and shall not proceed until the crossing can be made safely.
D. No such crossing shall be made when warning is given by automatic signal or crossing gates or a [flagman] flagperson or otherwise of the immediate approach of a railroad train, [or] car or other on-track equipment. If a [flagman] flagperson is provided by the railroad, movement over the crossing shall be under [his] the flagperson's direction.
E. This section [shall] does not apply to the normal movement of farm equipment in the regular course of farm operation."
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