On Wednesday, March 7, the Los Lunas Police Department (LLPD) issued a press release reminding area residents of both the illegality and dangers associated with driving and texting.
In their statement, they reminded area residents that texting and driving has long been illegal in New Mexico, except in the rare situation in which you either requesting emergency or medical help. Using any handheld mobile device to either read or send texts while driving is forbidden in all other situations.
The terminology "text message" is defined by lawmakers to include any electronic communication between one party and another. Thus, anyone sending an instant or electronic mail message may also be charged with texting and driving. Anyone who conducts an internet search or transmits photos to someone else while behind the wheel driving may also be found guilty of this crime.
State law defines driving as anyone who is physically in control of a car on a roadway. In this case, LLPD warns that it doesn't matter whether you are actively driving, stopped at a traffic light, in rush hour traffic or at stop sign. Texting is illegal no matter what the circumstance may be. They do note, however, that texting once you're pulled over in a safe place on the side of the road is lawful.
As part of the LLPD's release, they note that any motorist stopped for texting and driving has the potential of being fined $250 if it's their first offense. Any subsequent violations of this state law carry a $50 fine. Additional penalties may apply if you're accused of driving recklessly on top of the texting and driving offense.
Each year, thousands of motorists endanger both their lives and those of others when they text and drive while behind the wheel. If you've suffered serious injuries after having been struck by a distracted motorist, then a Los Lunas attorney can advise your right to recover medical costs in your case.