New Mexico - Public Education Department

 

State Statutes on Pupil Tranportation

This page is under review and revision. Please refer directly to the NM State Statutes, chapters 22 and 66 and to the New Mexico Administrative Code.

ARTICLE 8
PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE

Section

22-8-26 Transportation distribution.
22-8-27 Transportation equipment.
22-8-28 Repealed.
22-8-29 Transportation distributions; reports; payments.
22-8-29.1     Calculation of transportation allocation.
22-8-29.2 Repealed.
22-8-29.3 Repealed.
22-8-29.4 Transportation distribution adjustment factor.
22-8-29.5 Repealed.
22-8-29.6 Transportation Emergency Fund.

ARTICLE 16
TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS

Section

22-16-1  State transportation division; director.
22-16-2 State transportation division; duties.
22-16-3 School bus service contracts.
22-16-4 School bus routes; limitations; exceptions; minimum requirements.
22-16-4.1 Repealed.
22-16-5 Repealed.
22-16-6 Reimbursement of parents or guardians.
22-16-7 Repealed.
22-16-8 Cattle guards on school bus routes.
22-16-9 School buses; termination of use; resale.
22-16-10 Use of state or county equipment for snow removal.
22-16-11 Regulations relative to school buses.

ARTICLE 17

EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION

Section

22-17-1 Short title.
22-17-2 Public Regulation Commission Permits.
22-17-3 State transportation director; approval.
22-17-4 Termination of permit.

OTHER LAWS RELATED

TO PUBLIC SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

22-10-3.3 Background checks.
66-1-4.16  Definitions.
65-2-126 Exemptions.
66-3-835 Special restrictions on lamps.
66-6-5   Bus registration fees.
66-5-7   Driver's license; classification; examinations.
66-5-59 Commercial driver's license required.
66-5-60 Commercial driver's license; qualifications; standards.
66-5-61 Commercial driver's license; limitations on issuance.
66-5-62 Commercial driver's license; instruction permit; application; duplicate.
66-5-63 Commercial driver's license; permit; application; duplicate.
66-5-64 Commercial driver's license; content.
66-5-65 Classifications; endorsements; restrictions.
66-5-66 Applicant record information; information exchange.
66-5-67 Expiration and renewal; staggered licensing during implementation period.
66-5-68 Disqualification.
66-5-68.1 Persons under influence of alcohol.
66-6-12 Fees for school buses.
66-7-343 Certain vehicles must stop at railroad grade crossings; exceptions.
66-7-347 Overtaking and passing school bus.
66-7-348 Special lighting equipment on school buses.

22-8-26. Transportation distribution.

A. Money in the transportation distribution of the public school fund shall be used only for the purpose of making payments to each school district for the to-and-from school transportation costs of students in grades kindergarten through twelve attending public school within the school district and of three- and four-year old children who meet the state board approved criteria and definition of developmentally disabled and for transportation of students to and from their regular attendance centers and the place where vocational education programs are being offered.

B. In the event a school district's transportation allocation exceeds the amount required to meet obligations to provide to-and-from transportation, three- and four-year-old developmentally disabled transportation and vocational education transportation, fifty percent of the remaining balance shall be deposited in the transportation emergency fund.

C. Of the excess amount retained by the district, at least twenty-five percent shall be used for to-and-from transportation-related services, excluding salaries and benefits, and up to twenty-five percent may be used for other transportation-related services, excluding salaries and benefits as defined by rule of the department.

D. In the event the sum of the proposed transportation allocations to each school district exceeds the amounts in the transportation distribution, the allocation to each school district shall be reduced in the proportion that the local school district allocation bears to the total statewide transportation distribution.

E. Local school boards, with the approval of the state transportation director, may provide additional transportation services pursuant to Section 22-16-4 NMSA 1978 to meet established program needs.

F. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of school buses to transport the general public pursuant to the Emergency Transportation Act.

 22-8-27. Transportation equipment.

 A. The state superintendent shall establish a systematic program for the purchase of necessary school bus transportation equipment.

 B. In establishing a system for the replacement of school-district-owned buses, the state superintendent shall provide for the replacement of school buses on a twelve-year cycle. School districts requiring additional buses to accommodate growth in the district or to meet other special needs may petition the state superintendent for additional buses. Under exceptional circumstances, districts may also petition the state superintendent for permission to replace buses prior to the completion of a twelve-year cycle or to utilize buses in excess of twelve years contingent upon satisfactory annual safety inspections.

C. In establishing a system for the utilization of contractor-owned buses by school districts, the state superintendent shall establish a schedule for the payment of rental fees for the use of contractor-owned buses. As with school-district-owned operations, the state superintendent shall establish procedures to ensure the systematic replacement of buses on a twelve-year replacement cycle. School districts requiring additional buses to accommodate growth in the district or to meet other special needs may petition the state superintendent for additional buses. Under exceptional circumstances, districts may also petition the state superintendent for permission to replace buses prior to the completion of a twelve-year cycle or to utilize buses in excess of twelve years contingent upon satisfactory annual safety inspections. Effective with the 1995-96 school year, no school district shall pay rental fees for any one bus for a period in excess of five years. In the event a school bus service contract is terminated, the state superintendent shall calculate the remaining number of years that a bus could be used based on a twelve-year replacement cycle and calculate a value reflecting that use. The local school district shall deduct an amount equal to that value from any remaining amount due on the contract or if no balance remains on the contract, the contractor shall reimburse the school district an amount equal to the value calculated.

22-8-29. Transportation distributions; reports; payments.

A. Prior to November 15 of each year, each local school board of a school district shall report to the state transportation director, upon forms furnished by the state transportation director, the following information concerning the district's operation on the fortieth day of school:

(1) the number and designation of school bus routes in operation in the school district;

(2) the number of miles traveled by each school bus on each school bus route, showing the route mileage in accordance with the type of road surface traveled;

(3) the number of students transported on the fortieth day of school and adjusted for special education students on December 1;

(4) the projected number of students to be transported in the next school year;

(5) the seating capacity, age and mileage of each bus used in the district for student transportation; and

(6) the number of total miles traveled for each school district's per capita feeder routes.

B. Each local school board of a school district maintaining a school bus route shall make further reports to the state transportation director at other times specified by the state transportation director.

C. The state transportation director shall certify to the state superintendent that the allocations from the transportation distributions to each school district are based upon the transportation distribution formula established in the Public School Code. The allocations for the first six months of a school year shall be based upon the tentative transportation budget of the school district for the current fiscal year. Allocations to a school district for the remainder of the school year shall adjust the amount received by the school district so that it equals the amount the school district is entitled to receive for the entire school year based upon the November 15 report and subject to audit and verification.

D. The department shall make periodic installment payments to school districts during the school year from the transportation distributions, based upon the allocations certified by the state transportation director.

22-8-29.1. Calculation of transportation allocation.

A. As used in this section:

(1) "annual variables" means the coefficients calculated by regressing the total operational expenditures from two years prior to the current school year for each school district using the number of students transported and the numerical value of site characteristics;

(2) "base amount" means the fixed amount that is the same for all school districts;

(3) "total operational expenditures" means the sum of all to-and-from school transportation expenditures, excluding expenditures incurred in accordance with the provisions of Section 22-8-27 NMSA 1978; and

(4) "variable amount" means the sum of the product of the annual variables multiplied by each school district's numerical value of the school district's site characteristics multiplied by the number of days of operation for each school district.

B. The department shall calculate the transportation allocation for each school district.

C. The base amount is designated as product A. Product A is the constant calculated by regressing the total operations expenditures from the two years prior to the current school year for school district operations using the numerical value of site characteristics approved by the state board. The legislative education study committee and the legislative finance committee may review the site characteristics developed by the state transportation director prior to approval by the state board.

D. The variable amount is designated as product B. Product B is the predicted additional expenditures for each school district based on the regression analysis using the site characteristics as predictor variables multiplied by the number of days.

E. The allocation to each school district shall be equal to product A plus product B.

F. For the 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years, the transportation allocation for each school district shall not be less than ninety five percent or more than one hundred five percent of the prior school year's transportation expenditure.

G. The adjustment factor shall be applied to the allocation amount determined pursuant to Subsections E and F of this section.

22-8-29.2. Repealed

22-8-29.3. Repealed

22-8-29.4. Transportation distribution adjustment factor.

A. The state superintendent shall establish a transportation distribution adjustment factor. The adjustment factor shall be calculated as follows:

(1) calculate the unadjusted transportation allocation for each school district, previously designated as product A plus product B;

(2) the sum total of product A plus product B in all school districts added together equals product C; and

(3) subtract product C from the total operational transportation distribution for the current year and divide the result by product C and then add 1 in the following manner:

"[(total operational transportation distribution - C) ÷ C] + 1". The result is the transportation distribution adjustment factor.

B. As used in this section, "total operational transportation distribution" means the total legislative appropriation for the transportation distribution minus amounts included for capital outlay expenses."

22-8-29.5. Repealed.

22-8-29.6. Transportation Emergency fund.

A. The "transportation emergency fund" is created in the state treasury. Money in the fund shall not revert to the general fund at the end of any fiscal year. Money in the fund is appropriated to the department for the purpose of funding transportation emergencies. The state superintendent shall make distributions only to ensure the safety of students receiving to-and-from transportation services.

B. The state superintendent shall account for all transportation emergency distributions and shall make full reports to the governor, the legislative education study committee and the legislative finance committee of payments made.

22-10-3.3. Background checks.

A. An applicant for initial certification shall be fingerprinted and shall provide two fingerprint cards or the equivalent electronic fingerprints to the department of education to obtain the applicant's federal bureau of investigation record. Convictions of felonies or misdemeanors contained in the federal bureau of investigation record shall be used in accordance with the Criminal Offender Employment Act [28-2-1 to 28-2-6 NMSA 1978]. Other information contained in the federal bureau of investigation record, if supported by independent evidence, may form the basis for the denial, suspension or revocation of a certificate for good and just cause. Records and any related information shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed to a person not directly involved in the certification or employment decisions affecting the specific applicant. The applicant for initial certification shall pay for the cost of obtaining the federal bureau of investigation record.

B. Local school boards shall develop policies and procedures to require background checks on an applicant who has been offered employment, a contractor or a contractor's employee with unsupervised access to students. An applicant for employment who has been initially certified within twelve months of applying for employment with a local school board shall not be required to submit to another background check if the department of education has copies of his federal bureau of investigation records on file. An applicant who has been offered employment, a contractor or a contractor's employee with unsupervised access to students shall provide two fingerprint cards or the equivalent electronic fingerprints to the local school board to obtain his federal bureau of investigation record. The applicant who has been offered employment, contractor or contractor's employee may be required to pay for the cost of obtaining a background check. At the request of a local school board, the department of education is authorized to release copies of federal bureau of investigation records that are on file with the department of education and that are not more than twelve months old. Convictions of felonies or misdemeanors contained in the federal bureau of investigation record shall be used in accordance with the Criminal Offender Employment Act [28-2-1 to 28-2-6 NMSA 1978]; provided that other information contained in the federal bureau of investigation record, if supported by independent evidence, may form the basis for the employment decisions for good and just cause. Records and any related information shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed to a person not directly involved in the employment decision affecting the specific applicant who has been offered employment, contractor or contractor's employee with unsupervised access to students.

C. The department of education shall implement the provisions of Subsection A of this section on or before July 1, 1998.

22-16-1. State transportation division; director.

A. The "state transportation division" is created within the department of education.

B. The state superintendent shall appoint a director of the state transportation division to be known as the "state transportation director".

C. The state board may delegate to the state superintendent its administrative functions relating to public school transportation.

22-16-2. State transportation division; duties.

Subject to the policies of the state board, the state transportation division of the department of education shall:

A. establish standards for school bus transportation;

B. establish standards for school bus design and operation pursuant to provisions of Section 22-16-11 NMSA 1978;

C. establish procedures pertaining to the resolution of transportation issues in areas where local school districts are engaged in school district boundary disputes;

D. enforce those regulations adopted by the state board relating to school bus transportation;

E. audit records of school bus contractors or school district-owned bus operations in accordance with regulations promulgated by the state transportation director; and

F. establish standards and certify for safety, vehicles that are defined as school buses by the Motor Vehicle Code [Chapter 66, Articles 1 to 8, except 66-7-102.1 NMSA 1978].

22-16-3. School bus service contracts.

A. A school district may provide transportation services to students through the use of school bus service contracts. School districts may enter into school bus service contracts with individual school bus owner-operators or with school bus fleet owners or with both. A school district shall not enter into any school bus fleet service contract with any person who is simultaneously employed by that school district as an individual school bus owner-operator.

B. All contracts entered into by a school district to provide school bus service to students attending public school within the school district shall be approved by the local school board. The contracts shall be in writing on forms approved by the state board.

C. In addition to approving the form of the contract, the state board shall, by regulation, establish the parameters of school bus service contracts to include recognition of fuel costs, operation and maintenance costs and employee salary and benefits costs. In entering into school bus service contracts, school districts shall give preference to in-state service providers and the use of multiple providers. Upon request, the department shall provide assistance to local school districts in the negotiation and award of school bus service contracts.

D. A school district may enter into a school bus service contract for a term not to exceed five years. A school bus service contract may provide, at the expiration of the term of the contract, for annual renewal of the school bus service contract on the same terms and conditions at the option of the local school board.

E. In the event a contract with a school bus operator is terminated, the buses owned by the operator that are used pursuant to his school bus service contract shall be appraised by three qualified appraisers appointed by the local school board and approved by the state transportation director. The operator succeeding to the contract shall purchase, with the approval of the operator whose contract was terminated, all of the buses owned by the former operator at their appraised value.

22-16-4. School bus routes; limitations; exceptions; minimum requirements.

A. Bus routes shall be established by the local school district.

B. Except as provided in Subsections C and D of this section, no school bus route shall be maintained for distances less than:

(1) one mile one way for students in grades kindergarten through six;

(2) one and one-half miles one way for students in grades seven through nine; and

(3) two miles one way for students in grades ten through twelve.

C. In school districts having hazardous walking conditions as determined by the local school board and confirmed by the state transportation director, students of any grade may be transported a lesser distance than that provided in Subsection B of this section. General standards for determining hazardous walking conditions shall be established by the state transportation division of the department of education with the approval of the state board, but the standards shall be flexibly and not rigidly applied by the local school board and the state transportation director to prevent accidents and help ensure student safety.

D. Exceptional children whose handicaps require transportation and three- and four-year-old children who meet the state board approved criteria and definition of developmentally disabled may be transported a lesser distance than that provided in Subsection B of this section.

22-16-6. Reimbursement of parents or guardians.

A local school board may, subject to regulations adopted by the state board, provide per capita or per mile reimbursement to a parent or guardian in cases where regular school bus transportation is impractical because of distance, road conditions or sparseness of population or in cases where the local school board has authorized a parent to receive reimbursement for travel costs incurred by having a child attend a school outside the child's attendance zone.

22-16-8. Cattle guards on school bus routes.

The board of county commissioners of each county shall construct cattleguards where privately owned fences intersect school bus routes in the county when consent is obtained from each owner of real property upon which the cattleguards are to be constructed. The cost of constructing the cattleguards shall be paid out of the county road fund as other county road expenses are paid.

22-16-9. School buses; termination of use; resale.

A. When a school bus is being operated for purposes other than to actually transport students to and from school or on school activity trips, all markings indicating "school bus" shall be covered or removed.

B. When a school bus is sold to be used exclusively for purposes other than the transportation of students, all school bus identification shall be removed. In addition, unless the motor vehicle is painted a different color than that prescribed by the state board for school buses, a series of diagonal black stripes shall be painted on the rear of the motor vehicle. The stripes shall be at least three feet long, four inches wide, and shall be spaced not more than ten inches apart.

C. The provisions of this section shall apply to any school bus that is operated on any public street or highway, except for the purpose of taking it to a place to be painted or moving it to a place of storage.

22-16-10. Use of state or county equipment for snow removal.

The state or any county may, in order to provide for the public health, safety and welfare, use its road equipment for snow removal on any school bus route.

22-16-11. Regulations relative to school buses.

A. The state transportation director, appointed as provided in Section 22-16-1 NMSA 1978, shall adopt and enforce regulations adopted by the state board not inconsistent with the Motor Vehicle Code [Articles 1 to 8 of Chapter 66, except 66-7-102.1] to govern the design and operation of all school buses, used for the transportation of school children, when owned and operated by any school district or privately owned and operated under contract with any school district in this state, and the regulations shall by reference be made a part of any such contract with a school district. Every school district, its officers and employees and every person employed under contract by a school district shall be subject to the regulations.

B. Any officer or employee of any school district who violates any of the regulations or fails to include obligation to comply with the regulations in any contract executed by him on behalf of a school district is guilty of misconduct and subject to removal from office or employment. Any person operating a school bus, under contract with a school district, who fails to comply with any of the regulations is guilty of breach of contract, and the contract may be canceled after notice and hearing by the state transportation director acting in conjunction with the responsible officers of the school district.

C. Any driver of a school bus who fails to comply with any of the regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor.

22-17-1. Short title.

Sections 1 through 4 [22-17-1 to 22-17-4 NMSA 1978] of this act may be cited as the "Emergency Transportation Act".

22-17-2. Public Regulation Commission Permits.

A. Subject to the Emergency Transportation Act the public regulation commission may approve a permit application of a school district operating its own school buses or of an independent school bus operator who operates school buses under contract with a school district, for the operation of such buses for general public transportation if the commission determines that:

(1) the school district operating its own school buses or the independent school bus operator has complied with laws, regulations and other requirements governing transportation of the general public;

(2) existing public or private transportation systems will not be adversely affected by the use of school buses for general public transportation; and

(3) a public transportation emergency exists within the proposed area of operation necessitating the use of school buses for general public transportation.

B. Notice of approval or denial of the permit application shall be submitted to the state transportation director of the state transportation division of the department of education and to the applicant within ten days of final determination by the public regulation commission.

C. As used in the Emergency Transportation Act, "public transportation emergency" includes an event:

(1) that is open to the public;

(2) that, if in a class A county, is expected to attract over fifty thousand visitors and residents;

(3) that has such insurance or surety as is necessary to insure against all losses and damages proximately caused by or resulting from the negligent operation, maintenance or use of school buses or for loss of or damage to property of others; and

(4) for which school buses are needed to transport the public to the event because:

(a) existing public transportation systems cannot adequately and timely transport the public to the event;

(b) private transportation systems are unavailable or prohibitively expensive; or

(c) the event and the surrounding area are likely to suffer economic hardship if school buses are not utilized pursuant to the Emergency Transportation Act.

22-17-3. State transportation director; approval.

A. Upon the receipt of approval of the permit application from the state corporation commission, the state transportation director may grant a permit to operate school buses for general public transportation to a school district that operates its own school buses or to the independent school bus operator who operates school buses under contract with a school district, if he determines:

(1) that school bus service to students will not be adversely affected by issuing the permit;

(2) that the operation of such buses for general public transportation service by the district or the independent operator will not provide unnecessary duplication of a general public transportation service by school buses of another school district or independent school bus operator contracting with another district; and

(3) that there has been compliance with the rules and regulations of the state transportation director issued pursuant to the Emergency Transportation Act [22-17-1 to 22-17-4 NMSA 1978].

 B. The state transportation director, subject to the approval of the state superintendent of public instruction, shall by regulation provide for application fees, forms and permit procedures pursuant to the Emergency Transportation Act.

 C. A permit issued under this section shall be valid for one year and shall be annually renewed upon payment of a reasonable application fee to the state transportation division and certification by the state corporation commission of the permittee's compliance with all applicable laws. Notice of renewal of the permit shall be delivered by the state transportation division to the state corporation commission and the local school board concerned.

 22-17-4. Termination of permit.

 A permit issued pursuant to the Emergency Transportation Act [22-17-1 to 22-17-4 NMSA 1978] shall be terminated by the state transportation director upon thirty days' written notice to the holder of the permit, if the state transportation director receives written notice from:

 A. the state corporation commission that it has determined that a public transportation emergency in the area in which the permittee provides general public transportation no longer exists, or that public or private transportation systems are being adversely affected in such area; or

 B. the local school board that such board has determined that school bus service to students is being adversely affected by providing general public transportation under the permit.

66-1-4.16. Definitions.

As used in the Motor Vehicle Code:

A. "safety glazing materials" means glazing materials so constructed, treated or combined with other materials as to reduce substantially, in comparison with ordinary sheet glass or plate glass, the likelihood of injury to persons by objects from exterior sources or by these safety glazing materials when they are cracked and broken;

B. "safety zone" means the area or space officially set apart within a highway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and which is protected or is so marked or indicated by adequate signs as to be plainly visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone;

C. "school bus" means any motor vehicle operating under the authority of the state board of education or private school or parochial school interests that is used to transport children, students or teachers to and from schools or to and from any school activity, but not including any vehicle:

(1) operated by a common carrier, subject to and meeting all requirements of the state corporation commission but not used exclusively for the transportation of pupils;

(2) operated solely by a government-owned transit authority, if the transit authority meets all safety requirements of the state corporation commission but is not used exclusively for the transportation of pupils; or

(3) operated as a per capita feeder as defined in Section 22-16-6 NMSA 1978;

D. "seal" means the official seal of the taxation and revenue department as designated by the secretary;

E. "secretary" means the secretary of taxation and revenue, and, except for the purposes of Sections 66-2-3, 66-2-3.1 and 66-2-12 NMSA 1978, also includes the deputy secretary and any division director delegated by the secretary;

F. "semitrailer" means any vehicle without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that some significant part of its weight and that of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle;

G. "sidewalk" means that portion of street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians;

H. "slow-moving vehicle" means any vehicle that is ordinarily moved, operated or driven at a speed less than twenty-five miles per hour;

I. "solid tire" means every tire of rubber or other resilient material that does not depend upon compressed air for the support of the load;

J. "special mobile equipment" means every vehicle not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property and incidentally operated or moved over the highways, including but not limited to farm tractors, road construction or maintenance machinery, ditch-digging apparatus, well-boring apparatus and concrete mixers;

K. "specially-constructed vehicle" means every vehicle of a type required to be registered under the Motor Vehicle Code not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles and not materially altered from its original construction;

L. "state" means any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia or any province of the Dominion of Canada;

M. "state highway" means any public highway that has been designated as a state highway by the legislature, the state highway commission or the secretary of highway and transportation;

N. "stop", when required, means complete cessation from movement;

O. "stop, stopping or standing", when prohibited, means any stopping or standing of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control sign or signal;

P. "street" or "highway" means every way or place generally open to the use of the public as a matter of right for the purpose of vehicular travel, even though it may be temporarily closed or restricted for the purpose of construction, maintenance, repair or reconstruction;

Q. "subsequent offender" means a person who was previously a first offender and who again, under state law, federal law or municipal ordinance, has been adjudicated guilty of the charge of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug which rendered him incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle, regardless of whether the person's sentence was suspended or deferred; and

R. "suspension" means that a person's driver's license and privilege to drive a motor vehicle on the public highways are temporarily withdrawn.

65-2-126. Exemptions.

A. Neither the Motor Carrier Act [this article] nor any provisions of that act shall apply or be construed to apply to any of the following:

(1) school buses as defined in Section 66-1-4.16 NMSA 1978, or the use of those vehicles under a permit pursuant to Sections 22-17-1 through 22-17-4 NMSA 1978, provided that the vehicles shall, notwithstanding the provisions of this section, be subject to all applicable school bus safety provisions as established by the state transportation director pursuant to Sections 22-16-2 and 66-7-365 NMSA 1978;

(2) United States mail carriers operating star routes, when not engaged in other business as common carriers or contract carriers of property or persons;

(3) hearses, funeral coaches or any other motor vehicle belonging to or operated by any funeral service practitioner or assistant funeral service practitioner licensed pursuant to Sections 61-32-1 through 61-32-24 NMSA 1978, in connection with his business;

(4) any municipal bus system;

(5) private carriers; or

(6) common or contract motor carriers of property or persons operating within the limits of a municipality or incorporated village and within a radius of five miles from the center of a municipality of this state of less than one hundred thousand population according to the last preceding federal decennial census.

B. Exempt from the provisions of Sections 65-2-96 through 65-2-99 NMSA 1978 except as otherwise provided in this section shall be persons operating motor vehicles engaged in the transportation of materials mixed or unmixed for plant mix bituminous-treated base, base course, cement- or lime-treated subgrade, cold mix asphalt, treated base, plant mix bituminous pavement, hot recycled bituminous pavement, open-grade friction course, slurry seal, bituminous surface treatment, asphalt-rubber crack sealant and aggregates of sand, gravel, rock, crushed rock, rock ballast or dirt, treated or untreated, not transported in tank or tank-type vehicles, obtained or produced on the job and transported over irregular routes under unscheduled service. Persons operating motor vehicles engaged in the transportation of the materials provided for in this subsection shall be deemed to have statewide authority for the transportation of those materials. A minimum tariff for the transportation of the materials provided for in this subsection shall be set by the commission as provided by law. This exemption shall not apply to the transportation of asphalt petroleum and petroleum products and any commodities in bulk by tank vehicle.

C. Motor vehicles, regularly used to convey children to and from schools or school activities, that comply with the safety requirements prescribed by law may, upon application of the vehicle owner and an eleemosynary organization, and in the discretion of the commission, be granted a permit for a single trip. Application for a single trip permit shall be in a form prescribed by the commission and shall state the time, purpose, origin and destination of the trip for which the permit is requested and the name, purpose and status of any organization sponsoring the trip. Single-trip permits authorized by this subsection may be issued for a fee not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) to be determined by the commission, shall not be subject to tariff-filing requirements and shall be issued only upon the determination of the commission that no certified or permitted common or contract carrier service is available for the trip described in the application for permit.

66-3-835. Special restrictions on lamps.

A. Lighted lamps or illuminating devices upon a motor vehicle other than headlamps, spot lamps, auxiliary lamps, flashing turn signals, emergency vehicle warning lamps and school bus warning lamps, which project a beam of light of an intensity greater than three hundred candlepower shall be directed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam strikes the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than seventy-five feet from the vehicle.

B. No person shall drive or move, upon any highway, any vehicle or equipment with a lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center of the vehicle or equipment. This section does not apply to any vehicle upon which a red light visible from the front is expressly authorized or required by the Motor Vehicle Code.

C. Flashing lights are prohibited except as provided in Subsection D of this section and except on authorized emergency vehicles, school buses, snow-removal equipment and highway-marking equipment. Flashing red lights may be used as warning lights on disabled or parked vehicles and on any vehicle as a means of indicating a turn.

D. Tow cars standing on highways for the purpose of removing, and actually engaged in removing, disabled vehicles, and while engaged in towing any disabled vehicle, may display flashing lights. This shall not be construed as permitting the use of flashing lights by tow cars in going to or returning from the location of disabled vehicles unless actually engaged in towing a disabled vehicle.

E. Only fire department vehicles, law enforcement agency vehicles, ambulances and school buses shall display flashing red lights visible from the front of the vehicle. All other vehicles authorized by the Motor Vehicle Code to display flashing lights visible from the front of the vehicle may use any other color of light that is visible.

66-6-5. Bus registration fees.

All buses shall pay the registration fees provided in Section 66-6-4 NMSA 1978 except for school buses and buses operated by religious or nonprofit charitable organizations for the express purpose of the organization, for which the annual registration fee is five dollars ($5.00). In addition to other registration fees imposed by this section, beginning July 1, 1994, there is imposed at the time of registration an annual tire recycling fee of twenty-five cents ($.25) per wheel that is in contact with the ground on each vehicle subject to a registration fee pursuant to this section.

66-5-7. Driver's license; classification; examinations.

A. The division, upon issuing a driver's license, shall indicate on the license the type or general class of vehicles the licensee may drive. The division shall establish such qualifications, after public hearings, as it deems reasonably necessary for the safe operation of various types, sizes or combinations of vehicles and shall appropriately examine each applicant to determine his qualifications according to the type or general class of license for which he has applied.

B. The division, in issuing the driver's license for certain types or general classes of vehicles, may waive any on-the-road examination for applicants except as provided in Section 66-5-6 NMSA 1978. The division may certify certain employers, governmental agencies or other appropriate organizations to train and test all applicants for the type or general class of licenses if the training and testing meet the standards established by the director.

66-5-59. Commercial driver's license required.

A. No person may drive a commercial motor vehicle unless the person holds and is in immediate possession of a commercial driver's license and applicable endorsements valid for the vehicle the person is driving, except when driving under a commercial driver's instruction permit and accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver's license valid for the vehicle being driven.

B. No person may drive a commercial motor vehicle while the person's driving privilege is suspended, revoked or canceled, or while subject to a disqualification, or in violation of an out-of-service order.

C. No person who is a resident of this state for at least thirty days may drive a commercial motor vehicle under the authority of a commercial driver's license issued by another jurisdiction.

66-5-60. Commercial driver's license; qualifications; standards.

A. The division may not issue a commercial driver's license to a person unless that person is a resident of New Mexico and has passed a knowledge and skills test for driving a commercial motor vehicle and for related endorsements and has satisfied any other requirements of the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License Act [66-5-52 to 66-5-70 NMSA 1978].

B. The division may authorize a person, including an agency of this or another state, an employer, a private driver-training facility or other private institution, or a department, agency or instrumentality of local government to administer the skills test specified by this section.

C. The director may waive the requirement of a state administered skills test specified in this section for a commercial driver's license applicant who complies with the other provisions of the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License Act through any pertinent rules, regulations or contractual agreements with the state department of public education, other governments or private entities.

66-5-61. Commercial driver's license; limitations on issuance.

A commercial driver's license may not be issued to a person while the person is subject to a disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle or while the person's driver's license is suspended, revoked or canceled in any state, nor may a commercial driver's license be issued to a person who has a commercial driver's license issued by any other state unless the person first surrenders all such licenses to the division. The division shall return such licenses to the issuing state for cancellation.

66-5-62. Commercial driver's license; instruction permit; application; duplicate.

A. A commercial driver's instruction permit may be issued to an individual who holds a valid driver's license.

B. The commercial driver's instruction permit may be issued for a period not to exceed six months. Only one renewal or reissuance may be granted within a two-year period. The holder of a commercial driver's instruction permit may drive a commercial motor vehicle on a highway only when accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver's license valid for the type of vehicle driven, who occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction in driving the commercial motor vehicle.

66-5-63. Commercial driver's license; permit; application; duplicate.

A. The application for a commercial driver's license or commercial driver's instruction permit shall include the following:

(1) the full name and current mailing and residential address of the person;

(2) a physical description of the person, including sex, height, weight and eye color;

(3) the person's date of birth;

(4) the person's social security number;

(5) the person's signature;

(6) a consent to release the person's driving record information; and

(7) any other information required by the department.

 B. When a licensee changes his name or residence or mailing address, an application for a duplicate license shall be made as provided in Section 66-5-20 NMSA 1978.

 66-5-64. Commercial driver's license; content.

The commercial driver's license shall be marked "commercial driver's license" or "CDL". It shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

A. the name and residential address of the person;

B. the person's color picture;

C. a physical description of the person, including sex, height, weight and eye color;

D. the person's date of birth;

E. the person's signature;

F. the class or type of commercial motor vehicle or vehicles that the person is authorized to drive, together with any endorsements or restrictions;

G. the name of this state; and

H. the dates between which the license is valid.

66-5-65. Classifications; endorsements; restrictions.

A. Commercial driver's licenses may be issued with the classifications, endorsements and restrictions enumerated in Subsections B, C and D of this section. The holder of a valid commercial driver's license may drive all vehicles in the class for which that license is issued, and all lesser classes of vehicles except motorcycles and vehicles that require an endorsement unless the proper endorsement appears on the license.

B. The following classifications shall apply to commercial driver's licenses:

(1) class A - any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight or a declared gross vehicle weight of more than twenty-six thousand pounds, if the gross vehicle weight of the vehicle being towed is in excess of ten thousand pounds;

(2) class B - any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight or a declared gross vehicle weight of more than twenty-six thousand pounds and any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of ten thousand pounds or less; and

(3) class C - any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight or a declared gross vehicle weight of twenty-six thousand pounds or less or any vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of ten thousand pounds or less:

(a) designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver; or

(b) used in the transportation of hazardous materials, which requires the vehicle to be placarded under applicable law.

C. The secretary, by regulation, may provide for classifications in addition to those set forth in Subsection B of this section.

D. The following endorsements and restrictions shall apply to commercial driver's licenses:

(1) "H" - authorizes driving a vehicle transporting hazardous material;

(2) "L" - restricts the driver to vehicles not equipped with airbrakes;

(3) "T" - authorizes driving a vehicle towing more than one trailer;

(4) "P" - authorizes driving vehicles, other than school buses, carrying passengers;

(5) "N" - authorizes driving tank vehicles;

(6) "X" - represents a combination of the hazardous materials ("H") and tank vehicle ("N") endorsements; and

(7) "S" - authorizes driving a school bus.

66-5-66. Applicant record information; information exchange.

A. Before issuing a commercial driver's license, the division shall obtain pertinent driving record information from each state where the applicant has been licensed, through a multistate data base, or from each state.

B. The taxation and revenue department shall have the authority to exchange commercial driver's license information as it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License Act [66-5-52 to 66-5-70 NMSA 1978].

66-5-67. Expiration and renewal; staggered licensing during implementation period.

A. Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, the commercial driver's license issued pursuant to the provisions of the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License Act [66-5-52 to 66-5-70 NMSA 1978] shall expire thirty days after the applicant's birthday in the fourth year after the effective date of the license.

B. The license is renewable within ninety days prior to its expiration or at an earlier date as approved by the secretary.

C. During the period from the effective date of this 1992 act through December 31, 1993, the department may establish expiration dates for commercial driver's licenses that differ from the provisions set forth in Subsection A of this section for the purpose of evening the pattern of expirations. The fee imposed under Section 66-5-44 NMSA 1978 for a commercial driver's license shall be prorated for commercial driver's licenses issued under this subsection provided that twenty-five percent of the fee shall be charged for each twelve-month period or portion thereof for which a commercial driver's license is issued.

66-5-68. Disqualification.

A. The department shall disqualify a person from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one year if the person:

(1) refuses to submit to a chemical test when requested pursuant to the provisions of the Implied Consent Act [66-8-105 to 66-8-112 NMSA 1978]; or

(2) is convicted of a violation of:

(a) driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, pursuant to Section 66-5-68.1 NMSA 1978, Section 66-8-102 NMSA 1978, an ordinance of a municipality of this state or the law of another state;

(b) leaving the scene of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle driven by the person in violation of Section 66-7-201 NMSA 1978 or an ordinance of a municipality of this state or the law of another state; or

(c) using a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of any felony.

B. The department shall disqualify a person from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than three years if any of the violations specified in Subsection A of this section occur while transporting a hazardous material required to be placarded.

C. The department shall disqualify a person from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if convicted of two or more violations of any of the offenses specified in Subsection A of this section, or any combination of those offenses, arising from two or more separate incidents, but the secretary may issue regulations establishing guidelines, including conditions, under which a disqualification for life under this subsection may be reduced to a period of not less than ten years. This subsection applies only to those offenses committed after July 1, 1989.

D. The department shall disqualify a person from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if the person uses a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of any felony involving the manufacture, distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance, or the possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled substance.

E. The department shall disqualify a person from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than sixty days if convicted of two serious traffic violations or one hundred twenty days if convicted of three serious traffic violations, if the violations were committed while driving a commercial motor vehicle, arising from separate incidents occurring within a three-year period.

F. When a person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle, any commercial driver's license held by that person is invalidated without separate proceeding of any kind and the driver is not eligible to apply for a commercial driver's license until the period of time for which the driver was disqualified has elapsed.

G. After disqualifying, suspending, revoking or canceling a commercial driver's license, the department shall, within ten days, update its records to reflect that action. After disqualifying, suspending, revoking or canceling a nonresident commercial driver's privileges, the department shall, within ten days, notify the licensing authority of the state that issued the commercial driver's license.

H. For purposes of this section, the term "convicted" includes a license revocation pursuant to the Implied Consent Act or the implied consent act of another state.

66-5-68.1. Persons under influence of alcohol.

It is unlawful for any person who has four-hundreths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in his blood but less than the level specified in Subsection C of Section 66-8-102 NMSA 1978 to drive a commercial motor vehicle within this state.

66-6-12. Fees for school buses.

A. Registration fees for school buses used solely for the purpose of transportation of school children and other school activities shall be five dollars ($5.00) a year.

B. The application for registration of a school bus shall be accompanied by the certificate of the director of transportation of the state department of public education stating that the vehicle is used solely and exclusively as a school bus. No passenger car shall be considered as a school bus for the purposes of this section.

66-7-343. Certain vehicles must stop at railroad grade crossings; exceptions.

A. The driver of any motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire, or of any school bus carrying any school child or of any vehicles carrying explosive substances or flammable liquids as a cargo or part of a cargo, before crossing at grade any track or tracks of a railroad, shall stop such vehicle within fifty feet but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train, except as hereinafter provided, and shall not proceed until he can do so safely. After stopping as required herein and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so the driver of any said vehicle shall cross only in such gear of the vehicle that there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing such crossing and the driver shall not shift gears while crossing the track or tracks.

B. No stop need be made at any crossing where a police officer or a traffic-control signal directs traffic to proceed.

C. No stop need be made at:

(1) a streetcar crossing, or railroad crossing used exclusively for industrial switching purposes, within a business district as defined in Section 66-7-1 NMSA 1978;

(2) a railroad grade crossing where a stop-and-go traffic light controls movement of traffic;

(3) an abandoned railroad grade crossing which is marked with a sign indicating that the railroad is abandoned; or

(4) an industrial or spur line railroad crossing marked with a sign reading "exempt crossing." Such "exempt crossing" signs shall be erected only by or with the consent of the appropriate state or local authority.

66-7-347. Overtaking and passing school bus.

A. The driver of a vehicle upon approaching or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the roadway, with special school bus signals in operation, for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle at least ten feet before reaching the school bus and shall not proceed until the special school bus signals are turned off, the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the driver to proceed.

B. Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear thereof a plainly visible sign containing the words "School Bus" in letters not less than eight inches in height.

C. The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled-access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

66-7-348. Special lighting equipment on school buses.

A. The director is authorized to adopt standards and specifications applicable to lighting equipment on and special warning devices to be carried by school buses consistent with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code [Articles 1 to 8 of Chapter 66, except 66-7-102.1 NMSA 1978] and supplemental thereto, except that the standards and specifications may designate and permit the use of flashing warning signal lights on school buses for the purpose of indicating when children are boarding or alighting from any school bus. Such standards and specifications shall correlate with and, so far as possible, conform to specifications approved by the society of automotive engineers.

B. It is unlawful to operate any flashing warning signal light on any school bus except when the school bus is stopped or is about to stop on a roadway for the purpose of permitting school children to board or alight from the school bus.

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