2018 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
Section 66-3-849 - Certain vehicles to carry flares or other warning devices.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-3-849 (2018)
66-3-849. Certain vehicles to carry flares or other warning devices.

On every bus, truck, truck tractor, road tractor and every driven vehicle in driveaway-towaway operation, of a width greater than eighty inches, except buses operating wholly within a municipality, there shall be:

A. one of the following combinations of warning devices:

(1) three flares or liquid-burning pot torches and three fusees and two red cloth flags; or

(2) three red electric lanterns, two red cloth flags and three fusees; or

(3) three red emergency reflectors, two red cloth flags and three fusees;

(4) flares or pot torches, fusees, oil lanterns or any signal produced by a flame, shall not be carried on motor vehicles used in the transportation of explosives, flammable liquids or flammable compressed gases in cargo tanks, or in any motor vehicle using flammable compressed gases as a motor fuel; but in lieu of such flares and fusees, three electrical lanterns or three red emergency reflectors shall be carried; and

(5) the protective devices used shall comply with the requirements of Subsections A through F of this section;

B. flares or pot torches which shall be adequate and reliable and shall comply with the requirements approved by the director;

C. red electric lanterns which shall be adequate, reliable, equipped with a battery or batteries within each unit, and shall comply with the requirements approved by the director;

D. red emergency reflectors, each of which shall conform in all respects with the following requirements:

(1) each reflector shall be composed of at least two reflecting elements or surfaces, front and back; the reflecting elements, front and back, shall be approximately parallel;

(2) if the reflector or the reflecting elements are so designed or constructed that the reflecting surfaces would be adversely affected by dust, soot, or other foreign matter, or contact with other parts of the reflector or its container, then such reflecting surfaces shall be adequately sealed within the body of the reflector;

(3) every reflector shall be so constructed that, when the reflector is properly placed, every reflecting element or surface is in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the roadway surface. Reflectors which are collapsible shall be provided with means for locking the reflector elements or surfaces in the required position; such locking means shall be readily capable of adjustment without the use of tools or special equipment;

(4) every reflector shall be of such weight and dimensions as to remain stationary when subjected to a forty mile-per-hour wind when properly placed on any clean, dry, paved road surface. The reflector shall be so constructed as to withstand reasonable shocks without breakage; and

(5) each set of reflectors and the reflecting elements or surfaces incorporated therein shall be adequately protected by enclosure in a box, or other adequate container especially designed and constructed so that the reflectors may be readily extracted for use;

E. fusees which shall be adequate, reliable, capable of burning at least fifteen minutes, and shall be equal to the specifications of the Bureau of Explosives, 30 Vesey Street, New York 7, New York, dated December 15, 1944, and be so marked; and

F. red cloth flags which shall be not less than twelve inches square, with standards adequate to maintain the flags in an upright position.

History: 1953 Comp., § 64-3-849, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 155.


Cross references. — For general definitions applicable to this section, see 66-1-4 to 66-1-4.20 NMSA 1978.

For duty to display lights on parked vehicle, see 66-3-825 NMSA 1978.

For emergency signals generally, see 66-3-853 to 66-3-857 NMSA 1978.

Signals must be placed at least 100 feet from vehicle. — Court should instruct the jury that signals shall be placed at least 100 feet in front of and to the rear of disabled vehicles and that the distance is left to the discretion of the driver whenever the vehicle is stopped in any manner when the distance of 100 feet is not ample warning. Zanolini v. Ferguson-Steere Motor Co., 1954-NMSC-012, 58 N.M. 96, 265 P.2d 983.

Negligence per se for lack of equipment. — Failure to equip a truck with flares, fusees and flags and to put such devices out when a truck becomes disabled on the highway is negligence per se. Trefzer v. Stiles, 1952-NMSC-044, 56 N.M. 296, 243 P.2d 605.

Negligence per se to park truck on paving at night. — Defendants, through their agent, were negligent per se by parking truck partially on paving at night without immediately putting out warning flares as required by law, ample room being available for parking safely off the pavement. Hisaw v. Hendrix, 1950-NMSC-015, 54 N.M. 119, 215 P.2d 598.

Stopping truck on highway and backing up unsafely is negligence per se. — Where driver stopped truck without displaying flares, on main portion of highway at point where it was not impracticable to have parked off the pavement, and backed truck up without observing whether it could be done with safety, the violation of statutory provisions constituted negligence per se. Chandler v. Battenfield, 1951-NMSC-054, 55 N.M. 361, 233 P.2d 1047.

Reflector can be used in place of fusee or lantern. — Section 64-20-53, 1953 Comp. (similar to Section 66-3-853 NMSA 1978) means that the placing of a red emergency reflector may be used in place of a lighted fusee and a lighted red electric lantern. Terrel v. Lowdermilk, 1964-NMSC-073, 74 N.M. 135, 391 P.2d 419.

Proof of defective battery not proof of improper lighting. — Fact that truck was equipped with a defective battery after an accident does not necessarily mean that the proper lights were not burning on the truck or that the battery was defective prior to an emergency stop. Terrel v. Lowdermilk, 1964-NMSC-073, 74 N.M. 135, 391 P.2d 419.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — Negligence or contributory negligence of driver or occupant of motor vehicle parked or stopped on highway without flares, 67 A.L.R.2d 12.

60A C.J.S. Motor Vehicles § 335.

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