2018 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 7 - Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety
Section 66-7-322 - Required position and method of turning at intersections.
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:
A. both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway;
B. at any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn, except where left-turn provisions are made, shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line thereof and by passing to the right of such center line where it enters the intersection and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the center line of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection;
C. upon a roadway with two or more lanes for through traffic in each direction, where a center lane has been provided by distinctive pavement markings for the use of vehicles turning left from both directions, no vehicle shall turn left from any other lane. A vehicle shall not be driven in this center lane for the purpose of overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction. Any maneuver other than a left turn from this center lane will be deemed a violation of this section;
D. at any intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the roadways, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any such intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection, as nearly as practicable, in the left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered; and
E. local authorities in their respective jurisdictions may cause markers, buttons or signs to be placed within or adjacent to intersections and thereby require and direct that a different course from that specified in this section be traveled by vehicles turning at an intersection, and when markers, buttons or signs are so placed no driver of a vehicle shall turn a vehicle at an intersection other than as directed and required by the markers, buttons or signs.
History: 1941 Comp., § 68-2421, enacted by Laws 1953, ch. 139, § 76; 1953 Comp., § 64-18-21; Laws 1965, ch. 108, § 1; recompiled as 1953 Comp., § 64-7-322, by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 426.
Cross references. — For the penalty assessment for violation, see 66-8-116 NMSA 1978.
Left turns. — Subsection B of Section 66-7-322 NMSA 1978 does not specify a particular lane that a driver, who makes a left turn, must end up in once the turn is completed and permits the driver discretion to choose a lane after completion of a turn. State v. Almeida, 2011-NMCA-050, 149 N.M. 651, 253 P.3d 941, cert. denied, 2011-NMCERT-005, 150 N.M. 666, 265 P.3d 717.
Where defendant was stopped by police for making a left turn without ending up in the left most lane of the roadway defendant turned into, the traffic stop was without a reasonable basis in law. State v. Almeida, 2011-NMCA-050, 149 N.M. 651, 253 P.3d 941, cert. denied, 2011-NMCERT-005, 150 N.M. 666, 265 P.3d 717.
Subsection D was not intended to apply to collision between two vehicles where both are making a left turn, one following the other, and therefore was not applicable to the question of contributory negligence in such a situation. Kight v. Butscher, 1977-NMCA-037, 90 N.M. 386, 564 P.2d 189, cert. denied, 90 N.M. 636, 567 P.2d 485.
Right to assume obedience to laws. — A motorcycle rider has a right to assume that an approaching automobile will obey the law in making a left turn. Greenfield v. Bruskas, 1937-NMSC-028, 41 N.M. 346, 68 P.2d 921.
Driver was negligent per se in making right turn, since the right turn was not made as near as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the highway. Sapp v. Atlas Bldg. Prods. Co., 1957-NMSC-021, 62 N.M. 239, 308 P.2d 213.
Failure to yield right-of-way to oncoming traffic negligence per se. — Where appellees' vehicle was some 40 to 50 feet east of the intersection, traveling 25 to 30 miles per hour, as the left turn was started, appellant was legally bound to look and see westbound traffic so near the intersection and yield the right-of-way. She admittedly failed to do so, and a violation of these statutory standards of conduct was negligence per se. Danz v. Kennon, 1957-NMSC-090, 63 N.M. 274, 317 P.2d 321.
Violation of this and other provisions negligence per se. — An automobile driver who turned left at a street intersection and failed to pass the center of the intersection before turning, and failed to look to see if she could turn across the lane of traffic with safety, violated various traffic control provisions and was negligent per se. Her negligence was the proximate cause of a collision. Greenfield v. Bruskas, 1937-NMSC-028, 41 N.M. 346, 68 P.2d 921.
Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic §§ 256, 257, 259.
Sudden or unsignaled stop or slowing of motor vehicle as negligence, 29 A.L.R.2d 5.
Duty of motor vehicle driver approaching place where children are playing or gathered, 30 A.L.R.2d 5.
Liability for accident arising from failure of motorist to give signal for left turn at intersection as against motor vehicle proceeding in same direction, 39 A.L.R.2d 15.
Liability for accident arising from failure of motorist to give signal for left turn at intersection, as against oncoming or intercepting motor vehicle, 39 A.L.R.2d 65.
Failure of motorist to give signal for left turn between intersections, liability for accident arising from, 39 A.L.R.2d 103.
What amounts to reckless driving of motor vehicle within statute making such a criminal offense, 52 A.L.R.2d 1337.
What is street or highway intersection within traffic rules, 7 A.L.R.3d 1204.
Liability of motorist who left key in ignition for damage or injury caused by stranger operating the vehicle, 45 A.L.R.3d 787.
Liability arising from collision of automobile making U-turn and another vehicle, 53 A.L.R.4th 849.
Liability for personal injury or property damage caused by unauthorized use of automobile which has been parked with keys removed from ignition, 70 A.L.R.4th 276.
60A C.J.S. Motor Vehicles §§ 365 to 368.