2017 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 3 - Registration Laws; Security Interests; Anti-Theft Provisions; Bicycles; Equipment; Unsafe Vehicles; Off-Highway Motor Vehicles; Other Vehicles
Part 11 - OFF-HIGHWAY MOTOR VEHICLES
Section 66-3-1018 - Department; powers and duties.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-3-1018 (2017)

66-3-1018. Department; powers and duties.

A. The department shall cooperate with appropriate federal agencies, public and private organizations and corporations and local government units to implement the provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.

B. The department:

(1) shall accept and evaluate all applications for approval and certification of an off-highway motor vehicle safety training organization and approve and certify those that meet the minimum criteria;

(2) shall notify the division of the off-highway motor vehicle safety training organizations that have received approval and certification;

(3) shall establish and revise as appropriate minimum criteria to approve and certify an off-highway motor vehicle safety training organization. The criteria shall include requirements for curriculum and materials for:

(a) training instructors to teach off-highway motor vehicle safety;

(b) training the public about off-highway motor vehicle safety and age-appropriate size-fit use of off-highway motor vehicles; and

(c) teaching responsible use of off-highway motor vehicles with respect to environmental considerations, private property restrictions, agricultural and rural lifestyles and cultural considerations, off-highway motor vehicle operating laws and prohibitions against operating off-highway motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

(4) shall implement a state off-highway motor vehicle safety training and certification program;

(5) shall adopt and promulgate rules regarding the:

(a) age-appropriate size-fit use of all-terrain vehicles or recreational off-highway motor vehicles;

(b) acceptance or accreditation of instruction or safety courses provided by other states; and

(c) standards covering the specifications of eye protection and safety helmets;

(6) may recommend, with public participation and input, off-highway motor vehicle park, facility and trail locations to the state, county, tribal or local governing body or private entity that owns or administers the land upon which the park, facility or trail is located. The department shall establish criteria to recommend locations that include consideration of off-highway motor vehicle operating laws and effects on:

(a) wildlife and the environment;

(b) adjacent state, county, federal, tribal and private property;

(c) other recreational and nonrecreational uses on the same or adjacent lands; and

(d) archaeological, cultural and historic resources and customs;

(7) shall recommend restoration or, if deemed necessary, closure of off-highway motor vehicle tracks or trails to the state, county, tribal or local governing body or private entity that owns or administers the land upon which the tracks or trails are located if they pose significant or irreversible environmental damage, a danger to users or a public nuisance as determined by the department. The department shall consider the construction of alternative tracks or trails as part of the closure process;

(8) shall accept and evaluate all applications for grants from the fund for implementation of the provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act. The department shall establish criteria for grants from the fund that include consideration of the:

(a) applicant's financial and legal status;

(b) applicant's management plan, including specific measures to avoid or minimize environmental damage to public and private lands and danger to users and spectators;

(c) operating budget for the park, trail, facility or staging area;

(d) availability of matching funds; and

(e) public participation and input;

(9) shall certify tour guides;

(10) shall prepare a management plan that accomplishes the purposes of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act in a cost-effective manner and relies on existing agencies' available funding with specific qualifications for program implementation, which shall include joint powers agreements with the department of public safety and other law enforcement agencies for law enforcement and other agencies as appropriate for carrying out the provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act;

(11) shall develop and implement an overall enforcement strategy for the entire state that includes:

(a) cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to provide training and educational materials related to off-highway motor vehicle use;

(b) coordination efforts related to off-highway motor vehicle use with participating law enforcement agencies;

(c) developing strategies for addressing and mininizing impacts on farmers and ranchers in rural agricultural areas, on hunters and anglers and on non-motorized recreationalists by off-highway motor vehicle use; and

(d) using law enforcement DUI-type "blitzes" in heavily used areas, staging areas or other problem areas;

(12) shall develop and implement an overall educational strategy for the entire state that:

(a) incorporates materials developed by the United States department of agriculture forest service program that teaches trail etiquette and respect for natural resources;

(b) includes the development of New Mexico-specific written, video or other educational materials and educational programs that address the impact of off-highway motor vehicles on traditional living culture, agricultural land and private property; and

(c) includes the development and maintenance of a web site containing rules and regulations, safety information and educational material relating to resource protection and the impact of off-highway motor vehicles on traditional living culture, agricultural land and historical sites;

(13) shall develop an overall strategy for phased implementation of an information system to track information, such as use patterns, injury data, ecological data, natural resource data and data relating to the impact of off-highway motor vehicles on traditional living culture and on agricultural land. The strategy shall include:

(a) identification and implementation of appropriate data collecting mechanisms, such as a toll-free number or a web-based data collecting process; and

(b) development of an information system program capable of interfacing with existing government and private databases or other information systems;

(14) may implement noise enforcement by the testing of sound levels of off-highway motor vehicles at the time of registration and equip law enforcement officers with sound meters for field testing of sound levels;

(15) may contract with government or quasi-government agencies to conduct analysis of the impact of off-highway motor vehicle use on forests, rangeland and other natural resources and use the data obtained to make recommendations to the appropriate land management agency;

(16) shall review the definition of "off-highway motor vehicle" as needed to include new classes of off-highway motor vehicles as they become available in the marketplace;

(17) shall, in cooperation with the division, determine the size, composition, attachment mechanism, letter or number height and other properties of off-highway motor vehicle identification. This identification may be a traditional license plate, stick-on lettering as used for boat identification or another form of identification that is visible and readable;

(18) shall present its semiannual plans and progress to the advisory board for the board's input and response; and

(19) may collaborate with the appropriate land agencies to develop criteria for signage relating to off-road motor vehicle use, including the size, visibility, graphics and frequency of signage.

History: Laws 2005, ch. 325, 20; 2009, ch. 53, 10.

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