SENATE BILL 248
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES; ENACTING THE UNSAFE USE OF PUBLIC ROADWAYS AND SPACES ACT; DEFINING TERMS; PRESCRIBING PENALTIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Unsafe Use of Public Roadways and Spaces Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Unsafe Use of Public Roadways and Spaces Act:
A. "limited public forum within a public parking lot" means a pedestrian walkway not within vehicular aisles or parking spaces of a parking lot;
B. "limited public forum within a right of way" means:
(1) a paved median greater than thirty-six inches in width; and
(2) a paved or unpaved pedestrian walkway immediately adjacent to traffic or turning lanes, including a curb;
C. "median" means any area within a traveled roadway, including a bordering curb, that is elevated or otherwise physically separated from traffic lanes or turning lanes and that is intended to create a physical separation between lanes of traffic, regardless of direction;
D. "nonpublic forum within a public parking lot" means vehicular aisles and parking spaces in a parking lot;
E. "nonpublic forum within a right of way" means traffic lanes, turn lanes, on-street parking spaces within a roadway and medians thirty-six inches or less in width;
F. "pedestrian walkway" means a sidewalk, path, trail or other area intended for use by pedestrians;
G. "public roadway" means a publicly owned street, road, highway or other traveled route intended for vehicular traffic;
H. "right of way" means the entirety of a public roadway, including the traveled surface, sidewalks, trails, medians and other adjoining spaces separating the traveled roadway from adjoining properties;
I. "solicit" and "solicitation" means a request by a person through words, signs or actions for donations of money or other items of value, appeals for support of persons, policies or projects and offers to sell products or services;
J. "solicitor" means a person who engages in solicitation; and
K. "traditional public forum" means a pedestrian area within a right of way that is not a limited public forum within a right of way, a limited public forum within a public parking lot, a nonpublic forum within a public parking lot or a nonpublic forum within a right of way.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] SOLICITATION REGULATIONS.--
A. Solicitation is allowed in all traditional public forums.
B. Solicitation is allowed in all limited public forums within a right of way and limited public forums within a public parking lot; provided that it is unlawful to solicit from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise.
C. It is unlawful to solicit in a nonpublic forum within a right of way and in a nonpublic forum within a public parking lot.
D. It is unlawful for an occupant of a vehicle to offer money or another item of value to a solicitor who is in violation of the provisions of this section.
E. A person who violates this section is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] AGGRESSIVE SOLICITATION.--
A. It is unlawful for a solicitor to:
(1) come closer than three feet to the person solicited unless the person solicited indicates an intention to make a donation, make a purchase or otherwise communicates with the solicitor;
(2) block or otherwise impede the entrance to any structure or vehicle;
(3) continue to solicit from or follow behind, ahead or alongside a solicited person after the solicited person has declined the solicitation by words or actions; or
(4) threaten a person by word or gesture or direct abusive language at a solicited person.
B. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 5. SEVERABILITY.--If any part or application of the Unsafe Use of Public Roadways and Spaces Act is held invalid, the remainder or its application to other situations or persons shall not be affected.
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