New Mexico Move Over Laws

Neglecting to move over for oncoming or stationary authorized vehicles results in a $117 fine in New Mexico.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 12, 2023
Under New Mexico’s state laws, a $117 fine will be issued to any drivers failing to move over or slow down when they pass emergency or maintenance vehicles on the road.
From legal mandates to national holidays, there has been a decades-long movement to protect emergency responders, maintenance workers, and any authorized personnel whose role requires them to support roadside passengers in the event of an accident.
The terms of the laws vary between the 50 states, which is why learning the parameters of New Mexico’s state laws as a resident is essential to driving safely. With the expertise of the
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What are the move over laws in New Mexico?

The move over law in New Mexico calls for drivers who see lights, vests, or reflectors to take note of the surrounding traffic, slow down, and safely move over to a non-adjacent lane.
Under ​​New Mexico Statutes Chapter 66, New Mexico drivers are required to:
  • Give emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights and/or sirens the right of way
  • If possible, pull over to the side of the road until the vehicle has passed
  • Drive in a non-adjacent lane to stationary authorized vehicles
  • Reasonably reduce their speed according to the traffic conditions
  • Slow down and prepare to stop when moving to a non-adjacent lane isn’t possible
New Mexico’s law also states that drivers of authorized vehicles aren’t exempt from driving with due regard for the safety of everyone on the roadway.

What is considered an emergency vehicle in New Mexico?

Move over laws in New Mexico apply to:
  • Police vehicles
  • Fire trucks
  • Ambulances
  • Construction and maintenance vehicles
  • Tow trucks

Penalties for violating New Mexico’s move over laws

If you neglect to slow down or create a safe distance between your car and an emergency vehicle in New Mexico, you can receive a fine of $117.
To avoid the fine, and the possibility of causing bodily injury as a result of a moving violation, it’s essential to stay alert on the road and follow the state's requirements.

Can violating move over laws raise your insurance?

With any traffic conviction in New Mexico, you’ll most likely pay the $117 fine, and the guilty plea will be transmitted directly to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. That stain on your official driving record has a high probability of raising your insurance premium.
Driving safely is paramount to protecting others, yourself, and your car when you’re on the road, which is why insurance companies factor in your proven ability to follow the rules when it comes to your coverage rates. Make sure to drive mindfully and avoid any instances that can drive up your monthly insurance payments.
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Why are there move over laws?

There’s only so much that emergency personnel and state-authorized workers can do to protect themselves from being struck by oncoming vehicles when they’re onsite at a roadside accident. That’s why move over laws are imperative to maintaining their safety.
Tragic stories of fatal accidents from all over the map have inspired the implementation of move over laws since the 2000s, but one event in particular made things personal for residents of New Mexico.
Tow trucks weren’t initially included in New Mexico’s move over law when it was established in 2005, but after the death of Bobby Unruh, who was killed by an 18-wheeler while performing recovery work after an accident in 2017, they were finally included.
Linda Unruh, Unruh’s mother and the owner of All-Rite Towing & Repair Inc., has become an avid proponent of protecting tow truck drivers. According to the
New Mexico Trucking Association
, tow truck drivers die in roadside accidents every six days on average in the United States. 

How to find cheap insurance after a traffic conviction

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