Seat Belts

New Mexico requires all occupants in a vehicle that was manufactured with seat belts to wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. Any law enforcement officer has a right to pull over any vehicle whose occupant is not complying with the seat belt law. Any driver caught violating this law may face a fine of up to $25 and up to 2 points on driving records.

Child Car Seat Laws

Child car seat laws vary depending on a child’s age as explained below:

  • Any child younger than 1 year old must ride in an approved rear-facing safety seat at the back seat of the vehicle. If the vehicle is manufactured without back seats, the child can ride on the front seat.
  • Any child between 1 year and 5 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds, must ride in an approved safety seat.
  • Any child between 5 years old and 6 years old and weighing less than 60 pounds must ride in a booster seat or any appropriate car seat.
  • Any child between 6 years old and 12 years old must ride is a booster seat, appropriate car seat or wear a seat belt.

If you are looking for a child car seat, you can purchase one online. Before making your order, consider your child’s age, weight and height.

Penalties

If you are caught violating child car seat laws, you will face a fine of up to $25, 2 points of your driving record and other additional fines.

Safety Seat Fitting Locations

New Mexico has several child safety seat fitting locations that can help you select the proper safety seat for your child. You can schedule an appointment with their experts to learn more on how to select a proper safety seat. For more information on child safety seat laws or child safety seats, contact the Traffic Safety Bureau at (800) 541-7952 or (505) 827-0427. You can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Cell Phones and Texting

All drivers with intermediate license or learner’s permit are not allowed to use cell phones while driving. They are also banned from texting while driving.

Headlights

You must turn on your vehicle’s headlights 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise. Headlights must also be turned on whenever the weather can’t allow you to see past 500 feet.

Helmets

Any motorcycle rider younger than 18 years old must wear a helmet while riding. The law also requires all riders of motorcycles, regardless of age, to wear protective eye gears while riding unless the motorcycle has a windshield.

Reporting Drunk Drivers

If you suspect that a driver is driving under the influence, contact the law enforcement officers. You can do so by dialing #DWI or (877) DWI HALT on your phone. Be sure to provide the vehicle’s license plate number, description, current location and travel direction. If the situation needs an emergency attention, call 911.

Unattended Children

There is no state-wide law that address issues of leaving children unattended in a vehicle. It is common sense that leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, especially during harsh weather conditions, is risking the health and safety of that child. So if you suspect unattended child in a vehicle and you think the child is in danger, report to the law enforcement officers immediately.