2021 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 7 - Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety
Section 66-7-347 - Overtaking and passing school bus.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-7-347 (2021)

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.

History: 1953 Comp., § 64-7-347, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 451.


Cross references. — For the definition of "school bus", see 66-1-4.16 NMSA 1978.

For the penalty assessment for violation of this section's directives, see 66-8-116 NMSA 1978.

For authority to promulgate regulations governing design and operation of school buses, see 22-16-2 and 22 16 11 NMSA 1978.

For covering and removing markings on school buses when used for other than pupil transportation or when sold, see 22-16-9 NMSA 1978.

For using buses for public transportation emergency, see 22-17-1 NMSA 1978 et seq.

Violation of section is negligence per se. — This section was enacted to protect school children boarding or alighting from a school bus from injury from oncoming motorists. Consequently, one who violates it is guilty of negligence per se. Hernandez v. Brooks, 1980-NMCA-056, 95 N.M. 670, 625 P.2d 1187, cert. quashed, 94 N.M. 675, 615 P.2d 992.

School bus itself controls traffic where no traffic-control devices. — The legislature recognized that school buses are usually required to discharge school children at places where there are no traffic controls. It seems clear that, recognizing this fact, the legislature, in order that there always be traffic controls for the safety of school children, provided that the school bus itself should control the traffic where no mechanical or electrical traffic controls are provided. Hayes v. Hagemeier, 1963-NMSC-095, 75 N.M. 70, 400 P.2d 945.

Bus signals not to protect children at traffic-controlled intersections. — It is implicit in Section 64-18-46, 1953 Comp. (similar to this section), that discharged school children shall remain off the traveled portion of the roadway and proceed off the roadway to the pedestrian crosswalk when they are discharged from the bus at a traffic-controlled intersection. Section 64-18-46, 1953 Comp., does not contemplate that the bus signals provide the protection for such discharged children in crossing the roadway at traffic-controlled intersections. Hayes v. Hagemeier, 1963-NMSC-095, 75 N.M. 70, 400 P.2d 945.

Prohibition against passing stopped bus restricted to stops on highway. — The prohibition against passing a stopped bus, set forth in Section 64-18-46, 1953 Comp. (similar to this section), is clearly restricted to stops on a highway for purpose of discharging or receiving children outside a business or residential area. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 57-235.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic § 269.

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