A. A person shall not use a handheld mobile communication device for any purpose while driving a commercial motor vehicle except to summon medical or other emergency help or unless that device is an amateur radio and the driver holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the federal communications commission. This prohibition is a separate prohibition from the prohibition on texting while driving pursuant to Section 66-7-374 NMSA 1978 .
B. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a handheld mobile communication device. Unless otherwise provided by law, the handheld mobile communication device used in the violation of the provisions of this section is not subject to search by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop made pursuant to the provisions of this section.
C. As used in this section:
(1) “commercial motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:
(a) has a gross combination weight rating of more than twenty-six thousand pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than ten thousand pounds;
(b) has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than twenty-six thousand pounds;
(c) is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver; or
(d) is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as provided in 49 CFR Part 383.5 ;
(2) “driving” means being in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or otherwise; but “driving” excludes a commercial motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of or off of an active roadway and has stopped at a location in which it can safely remain stationary;
(3) “handheld mobile communication device” means a wireless communication device that is designed to receive and transmit text, voice or image messages; provided, however, that “handheld mobile communication device” excludes global positioning or navigation systems; citizen band radios with a handheld microphone operated by a single button or lever; devices that are physically or electronically integrated into a commercial motor vehicle; and voice-operated or hands-free devices that allow the user to compose, send or read a text message or talk without the use of a hand, except to activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function; and
(4) “text message” means a digital communication transmitted or intended to be transmitted between communication devices and includes electronic mail, an instant message, a text or image communication and a command or request to an internet site; but “text message” excludes communications through the use of a computer-aided dispatch service by law enforcement or rescue personnel.
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