Distracted driving and drowsy driving are two of the leading causes of fatal New Mexico truck accidents. Truck drivers spend countless hours on the road and can become easily tired or distracted after a long shift. This creates a serious danger not just for other motorists, but also for those who routinely find themselves working along the edge of the road.
In 1996, New Mexico lawmakers passed the first version of the state’s “Move Over” law, which was designed to protect emergency workers from the hazards of routinely working near the road’s edge. At the time, lawmakers noticed an increase in New Mexico roadside traffic accidents, especially those involving police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.
Thus, under New Mexico Statutes Section 66-7-332, a motorist who is approaching a stationary “authorized emergency vehicle” from behind must take certain precautions when passing the vehicle. Specifically, the passing motorist must change lanes as to not drive in the lane immediately adjacent to the lane in which the emergency vehicle is stopped. The driver must also slow down to a “reasonable and prudent” speed and proceed with caution.