2018 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 7 - Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety
Section 66-7-6 - Authorized emergency vehicles.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-7-6 (2018)
66-7-6. Authorized emergency vehicles.

A. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section subject to the conditions stated. The chief of the New Mexico state police or the appropriate local agency may designate emergency vehicles and revoke the designation. When vehicles are so designated, they are authorized emergency vehicles.

B. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

(1) park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code [66-1-1 NMSA 1978];

(2) proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as necessary for safe operation;

(3) exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or property; and

(4) disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

C. The exemptions granted to an authorized emergency vehicle apply only when the driver of the vehicle, while in motion, sounds an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as reasonably necessary and when the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle, except that an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red light visible from in front of the vehicle.

D. This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons nor does it protect the driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others.

History: 1953 Comp., § 64-7-6, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 376; 1989, ch. 318, § 22.


Cross references. — For definition of "authorized emergency vehicle", see 66-1-4.1 NMSA 1978.

The 1989 amendment, effective July 1, 1989, in Subsection A deleted "The director and" at the beginning of the second sentence and inserted "or the appropriate local agency" near the middle of that sentence.

Fire department truck responding to call for an inhalator was not a public ambulance traveling in an emergency within purview of former statute; exemption applied only on fire runs. Tiedebohl v. Springer, 1951-NMSC-044, 55 N.M. 295, 232 P.2d 694.

Standard of care stated not that of ambulance driver to passenger. — The standard of care provided by 64-15-5 1953 Comp. (similar to this section), is not the standard of care owing by an ambulance driver to his passengers. Otero v. Physicians & Surgeons Ambulance Serv., Inc., 1959-NMSC-024, 65 N.M. 319, 336 P.2d 1070.

Police vehicle showing red lights or sounding siren is an emergency vehicle and all approaching or pursued vehicles are required to stop. 1959-60 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 59-20.

Law reviews. — For note, "Municipal Assumption of Tort Liability for Damage Caused by Police Officers," see 1 N.M. L. Rev. 263 (1971).

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic § 208.

Emergency vehicles as exempt from regulations requiring obedience of traffic signs or signals, 164 A.L.R. 219, 2 A.L.R.3d 12, 2 A.L.R.3d 155, 2 A.L.R.3d 275, 3 A.L.R.3d 180, 3 A.L.R.3d 507.

Liability of operator of ambulance service for personal injuries to person being transported, 68 A.L.R.4th 14.

60 C.J.S. Motor Vehicles § 19.

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