New Mexico Traffic Safety Act
Quoted from New Mexico
Statutes Annotated, 1978
66-7-501. Short title.
Sections 66-7-501 through 66-7-511 NMSA 1978 may be cited as the "Traffic Safety Act."
66-7-502. Legislative intent.
- The legislature declares that there should be accurate information about the causes of traffic accidents which result in fatalities and in serious injuries on the highways of this state.
- Special accident-investigation units have made valuable discoveries of the incidence of driver intoxication and of mechanical defects in motor vehicle accidents. The legislature intends to promote and encourage the work of accident-investigation units.
As used in the Traffic Safety Act [66-7-501 to 66-7-511 NMSA 1978]:
- "bureau" means the traffic safety bureau of the department;
- "chief" means the administrative head of the bureau;
- "committee" means the advisory committee to the bureau; and
- "department" means the state highway and transportation department.
66-7-504. Bureau; creation; administrative head.
- There is created within the department the "traffic safety bureau". The chief shall receive no additional salary because of his activity as chief of the bureau.
- The department shall employ such personnel and hire such consultants as are required to carry out the provisions of the Traffic Safety Act [66-7-501 to 66-7-511 NMSA 1978].
66-7-505. Advisory committee; creation; members; terms.
- There is created a five-member advisory committee to the bureau. The chief is, ex officio, the chairman and a voting member of the committee. The governor shall appoint three members, to terms coterminous with his tenure, who shall have the following qualifications:
- one member who is representative of the law enforcement agencies of this state;
- one member who is representative of the school bus transportation function of the state department of public education; and
- one member who is representative of the motor transportation division of the taxation and revenue department.
- Appointees who are public officers or public employees shall be compensated for attendance at meetings according to the Per Diem and Mileage Act [10-8-1 to 10-8-7 NMSA 1978]. Appointees who are not public officers or employees shall be compensated for attendance at meetings in commensurate amount.
66-7-506. Bureau; functions; powers; duties.
The bureau shall have the following powers and duties:
- organize, plan and conduct a statewide program of activities designed to prevent accidents and to reduce the incidence of DWI in New Mexico;
- coordinate activities and programs of the departments, divisions and agencies of this state now engaged in promoting traffic safety;
- provide accident prevention information and publicity to all appropriate media of information and develop other means of public information;
- cooperate with all public and private agencies and organizations interested in the promotion of traffic safety and accident prevention;
- serve as a clearinghouse for all traffic safety materials and information used throughout this state;
- cooperate in promoting research, special studies and analysis of problems concerning the safety and welfare of the citizens of New Mexico;
- cooperate fully with national safety organizations in bringing about greater effectiveness in nationwide accident prevention activities and programs;
- make studies and suitable recommendations, through the director and the secretary of highway and transportation, to the legislature concerning safety regulations and laws;
- prepare and submit each year a written report to the governor concerning the activities of the bureau and activities concerning assistance to local organizations and officials;
- institute and administer a statewide motorcycle training program funded as provided for in Section 66-10-10 NMSA 1978;
- institute and administer an accident prevention course for elderly drivers as provided for in Section 59A-32-14 NMSA 1978;
- cooperate with the state department of public education to develop a regulatory framework for instructional and administrative processes, including licensure requirements for instructors, and a curriculum for instruction in defensive driving with a DWI education and prevention component to be offered statewide in secondary schools as an elective;
- institute and administer a DWI prevention and education program for elementary and secondary school students, funded as provided for in Section 66-5-35 NMSA 1978; and
- include at least two hours of DWI prevention and education training in all driver education courses approved by the bureau.
66-7-506.1. DWI prevention and education program; organ donation.
DWI prevention and education programs for instruction permits and driver's licenses shall include information on organ donation and the provisions of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act [24-6A-1 to 24-6A-15 NMSA 1978].
66-7-507. Approval of accident-investigation programs; privacy of victims.
- The bureau is authorized to conduct a study into the practices and procedures of accident-investigation units functioning in this state to determine whether such practices and procedures are aiding the citizens of this state in the discovery of the causes of motor vehicle accidents. If, at the conclusion of a study made of a particular unit, the bureau determines that the practices and procedures of such unit are of a beneficial nature, it shall designate the unit as an "approved accident-investigation unit" and shall send notice of this designation to such public agencies as it may determine.
- Any unit designated as an approved accident-investigation unit shall receive, upon its request, assistance and data from any department, division, board, bureau, commission or other agency of the state, or of any political subdivision of the state, or any public or private hospital, which will enable the unit to carry out its investigation relating to accidents and accident causes. The privacy of accident victims shall be protected in any disclosure to the unit, by using the method of case numbers rather than identification by name.
66-7-508. Confidentiality of records.
All records of an approved accident-investigation unit shall be confidential and shall not be available to any person other than a member or employee of the unit. A member or employee of the approved unit charged with the custody of the records and reports shall not be required to produce these records or reports or evidence of anything contained in them in any legal action or other proceedings.
66-7-509. Annual reports.
An approved accident-investigation unit shall make an annual report to the bureau, the governor and the legislature not later than January 1 of the calendar year following such designation of approval, and this report shall contain the unit's findings and recommendations as to the formulation of effective methods and means to reduce motor vehicle accidents within New Mexico.
66-7-510. Bureau; information request.
The chief, with the approval of the director, may request all information pertinent to the traffic safety program of the bureau in the performance of its duties and functions, and this information shall be furnished by any officer, agent or employee of the state.
66-7-511. Acceptance of gifts; function of advisory committee.
- The bureau, with the approval of the governor, may accept on behalf of the state any gift, grant or money given to the bureau for any and all purposes specified in the Traffic Safety Act [66-7-501 to 66-7-511 NMSA 1978]. Any special grant shall be held by the state treasurer in a special fund and shall be expended in accordance with the terms of the gift or grant upon proper voucher and warrant drawn by the director of [or] his designated agent.
- The advisory committee, upon the call of the chairman, shall convene and shall undertake the study and evaluation of all applications for federal grants pertaining to traffic safety programs or affairs. The advisory committee shall make its findings and recommendations available to the chief in the form of minutes or written report. Whereupon the committee shall adjourn, awaiting the call of the chair.
66-7-512. Traffic safety education and enforcement fund created.
- There is created in the state treasury the "traffic safety education and enforcement fund". The fund shall be invested in accordance with the provisions of Section 6-10-10 NMSA 1978 and all income earned on the fund shall be credited to the fund.
- The traffic safety education and enforcement fund shall be used to institute and promote a statewide program of traffic safety through education and enforcement to reduce serious and fatal traffic accidents and to provide for the purchase of equipment and support services as are necessary to establish and maintain the program.
- No less than fifty percent of the money deposited in the traffic safety education and enforcement fund shall be allocated to the law enforcement agency that issued the citation, provided the agency has submitted a traffic safety program plan that is approved by the traffic safety bureau of the state highway and transportation department. Law enforcement agencies shall use the money allocated from the fund to purchase equipment, including equipment for making fingerprint impressions of all persons arrested for or convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, and support services as are necessary to establish and maintain a traffic safety program.
- No less than twenty percent of the money deposited in the traffic safety education and enforcement fund shall be allocated to institute and promote traffic safety education programs.
- The balance of the money deposited in the traffic safety education and enforcement fund shall be allocated to existing traffic safety programs.
- The traffic safety bureau of the state highway and transportation department shall adopt all rules, regulations and policies necessary to administer a statewide traffic program.
- All money credited to the traffic safety education and enforcement fund shall be appropriated to the traffic safety bureau of the state highway and transportation department for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.
Last updated 11/07/00