HOUSE TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE BILL 43
51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2013
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES; PROHIBITING MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING; PROHIBITING USE OF PERSONAL WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICES FOR THOSE UNDER EIGHTEEN; CHANGING DRIVER'S LICENSE TESTING REQUIREMENTS; PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS; ESTABLISHING PENALTY ASSESSMENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new Section 66-7-374 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"66-7-374. [NEW MATERIAL] MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING.--
A. A person shall not read, view, manually type or manually send a message on a personal wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle, except:
(1) to summon medical or other emergency help; or
(2) in the operation of an authorized law enforcement or emergency vehicle as required by the driver's official duties.
B. A person under the age of eighteen shall not use a personal wireless communications device while driving.
C. Messaging while driving shall be a primary offense.
D. As used in this section:
(1) "driving" means operating a motor vehicle on a public road, including while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or otherwise; "driving" does not include operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has been pulled over to the side of, or off, an active roadway and has stopped in a location where it can safely remain stationary;
(2) "message" means a digital communication transmitted or intended to be transmitted to a personal wireless communications device and includes electronic mail, an instant message, a text or image communication or any command or request to an internet site or any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication if the transmission, command or request is performed manually; a voice-activated command is not considered a message for the purposes of this section;
(3) "personal wireless communications device" means a device through which personal wireless services, as defined in Section 332(c)(7)(C)(i) of the federal Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(C)(i), are transmitted; "personal wireless communications device" does not include a global navigation satellite system receiver used for positioning, emergency notification or navigation purposes; and
(4) "primary offense" means an offense for which a law enforcement officer may stop a vehicle solely for the purpose of issuing a citation in the absence of another offense."
SECTION 2. Section 66-5-14 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 236, as amended by Laws 2010, Chapter 42, Section 1 and by Laws 2010, Chapter 70, Section 1) is amended to read:
"66-5-14. EXAMINATION OF APPLICANTS.--
A. The department shall examine every first-time applicant for a driver's license or a motorcycle endorsement and may examine other applicants for a driver's license or motorcycle endorsement. The examination shall include a test of the applicant's ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning and directing traffic, the applicant's knowledge of the traffic laws of this state, the applicant's knowledge of and ability to handle distracted driving circumstances and an actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle except as provided in Section 66-5-7 NMSA 1978 and any further physical and mental examination as the department finds necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle safely upon the highways.
B. Regardless of whether an applicant is examined under Subsection A of this section, the department shall test the eyesight of every applicant for a driver's license or motorcycle endorsement unless the application is for renewal of a license or endorsement and is made by mail or telephonic or electronic means.
C. The department is authorized to contract with other persons for conduct of tests of the applicant's ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control of a motor vehicle. Any such contract may be terminated by the secretary upon written notice for failure of the contractor to perform the contractor's duties to the secretary's satisfaction. Contracts under this subsection may provide for the form of notice and the length of the period, if any, between the notice and the effective date of the termination.
D. For purposes of this section, a "first-time applicant" means an applicant other than a person who:
(1) holds a currently valid driver's license issued by New Mexico or any other jurisdiction at the time of application; or
(2) does not hold a currently valid driver's license issued by New Mexico or any other jurisdiction at the time of application but who held a valid driver's license issued by New Mexico or any other jurisdiction within one year prior to the date of application if that driver's license was not revoked under any provision of the Motor Vehicle Code or suspended, canceled or revoked under the laws of any other jurisdiction for reasons similar to those for which revocation is authorized under the Motor Vehicle Code."
SECTION 3. Section 66-8-116 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 524, as amended) is amended to read:
"66-8-116. PENALTY ASSESSMENT MISDEMEANORS--
DEFINITION--SCHEDULE OF ASSESSMENTS.--
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
minor to drive 66-5-40 $ 10.00
Failure to obey sign 66-7-104 10.00
Failure to obey signal 66-7-105 10.00
(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
violation 66-7-320 10.00
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
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 10.00
Improper equipment 66-3-901 20.00
signal 66-3-853 through 66-3-857 10.00
Operation interference 66-7-357 5.00
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
Messaging while driving 66-7-374 25.00
use under eighteen 66-7-374 25.00.
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).
G. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for messaging while driving, the penalty assessment shall be fifty dollars ($50.00). A violation that occurs within five years of the previous offense is considered a repeat offense.
H. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for use of a personal wireless communications device when under the age of eighteen while driving, the penalty assessment shall be fifty dollars ($50.00). A violation that occurs within five years of the previous offense is considered a repeat offense."
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2013.