New Mexico Statutes Chapter 66. Motor Vehicles § 66-7-375. Use of a handheld mobile communication device while driving a commercial motor vehicle

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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