Speeding Tickets in New Mexico
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in New Mexico
New Mexico Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
Drivers, under any circumstance, are not allowed to drive faster than seventy-five (75) miles per hour. The speed limit for residential and business zones is thirty (30) miles per hour. The speed limit in school zones is fifteen (15) miles per hour when children are going to and leaving from school. In construction and safety zones, the speed limit is whatever is posted on the speed limit signs in that zone. Speed should always be controlled by the driver to avoid a collision, protect workers in construction or safety zones, and comply with the duty of all persons to exercise reasonableness and due care.
The speed limit may be changed in an area after an engineering survey and traffic investigation have been performed and a report about the reasonable speed that should be allowed is filed.
The state or local authority may create speed zones. These speed zones must be marked with signs that have flashing yellow lights.
Any changes of speed limits in construction zones must be clearly marked and posted.
The board of county commissioners of a county may alter, or lower, the speed limit of a county road within that county as long as the alteration is reasonable under the conditions of the road after an engineering survey and traffic investigation, the alteration is approved by the state transportation commission, and the county posts speed limit signs before enforcing the speed limit.
People are prohibited from driving at such slow speeds that will inhibit the reasonable progress of traffic except for when such reduced speed is required for safe operation of a vehicle or to be in compliance with the law. If the transportation commission or a local county, after an engineering survey or traffic investigation, determines that slow traffic regularly slows the reasonable flow of traffic, that governing body may establish a minimum speed limit for that area.
At the request of an authority, or upon its own initiative, the transportation commission or local authority may conduct an engineering survey to determine the maximum safe speed of a bridge or other similar structure that is part of a road or highway. If the permissible speed for that structure is lower than the permissible speed limit for that road, the city or county will post signs for what the safe speed is for that structure. If those signs are posted, it is unlawful to drive in excess of the posted speed on that structure.
If the driver of a vehicle wishes to pass/overtake another vehicle travelling in the same direction, the overtaking vehicle should pass the other vehicle on the left. The overtaking vehicle should not return to the right until the overtaking vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. It is the duty of the overtaken vehicle to give way to the overtaking vehicle. The overtaken vehicle should not increase its speed until it is fully passed.
Reckless driving is driving with careless and willful disregard and without caution of the safety of others while, at the same time, endangering all persons and property.
Absolute Speed Limits in New Mexico
An absolute speed limit is a speed limit where, if a driver is caught speeding, the driver is presumed to have been speeding. This applies even if the driver was driving only one mile per hour in excess of the speed limit. To show that a driver was speeding, the state must show that the driver was driving in excess of the posted speed limit and that a faster speed than the speed posted was not allowed at the time or place where the driver was caught.
The maximum speed limit allowed on any road, or highway, in the state of New Mexico is seventy-five (75) miles per hour. However, there are some other speed regulations for certain areas. There is a fifteen (15) mile per hour limit in school zones, which applies when the school zone is properly posted and when children are going to or leaving from school. Also, there is a thirty (30) mile per hour limit in residential and business zones. Any speed limit posted in a construction zone, or other designated safety zone, where speeding fines are doubled are also absolute speed limits. No certain speed is given for all construction or safety zones because the posted speed limit in that zone might differ depending on the type of road on which the construction is happening. For example, whether there is construction on a stretch of highway versus construction on part of a residential road.
The secretary of highway and transportation can alter the speed limits in certain areas. This can be done if the original speed limit is determined to be unreasonable, whether faster or slower, for that road given the conditions of the road. To do this, the secretary must conduct an engineering survey and traffic investigation and file a report that shows that the speed conditions for that road are unreasonable. Most interstate routes in New Mexico have speed limits of seventy-five (75) miles per hour, but some highways have reduced speed limits of sixty-five (65) or seventy (70) miles per hour. Although most highways do not have speed limits lower than sixty-five (65) miles per hour, a few have speed limits as low as fifty-five (55) miles per hour. Fifty-five (55) miles per hour is the lowest speed limit on a highway route in New Mexico.
Presumed Speed Limits in New Mexico
New Mexico is an absolute speed limit state, and does not recognize presumed speed limits. In an absolute speed limit state, a driver is presumed to have been speeding if the driver is driving in excess of the posted speed limit at all. This applies even if the driver was driving only one mile per hour over the posted speed limit.
In a presumed speed limit state, a driver who was caught speeding can defend him or herself by claiming that it was reasonable for him or her to exceed the speed limit. The driver must be able to show that it was reasonable for him or her to exceed the posted speed limit as a result of the conditions of the road. In a presumed speed limit state, a driver is presumed to have been speeding, but the driver is given an opportunity to reverse that presumption by claiming that it was reasonable, and the conditions of the road were right, for the driver to exceed the speed limit. Here the state must show that the driver was speeding, and that the driver was driving at an unreasonable rate given the conditions of the road. An example of a reason one might give for exceeding the speed limit might be to get a sick person to a hospital. This example will not work every time. It is only an example that may or may not rebut the presumption of speeding.