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New Mexico Passes Law Keeping Trucks out of Left Lane

Legal Team

In a significant move aimed at improving traffic flow and safety on highways, New Mexico has recently passed a groundbreaking law that restricts trucks from using the left lane. This legislation has garnered attention from both residents and the broader transportation community, sparking discussions about its potential impact and implications for road safety.

New Mexico semi truck

Key Points of the Law

The governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 102 into law in April of this year, which focuses on prohibiting semi-trucks from using the left lane on highways with two lanes or more. Instead, trucks are required to remain in the right lane, allowing faster-moving vehicles to use the left lane for passing. The law comes as a response to concerns raised by drivers regarding road safety and congestion.

Reasons Behind the Law

The law addresses several important issues that have long been a point of contention among drivers and transportation authorities:

Traffic Flow

One of the primary reasons for implementing this law is to ensure a smoother flow of traffic on highways. Trucks traveling at slower speeds in the left lane can lead to congestion and disrupt the overall rhythm.

Reduced Accidents

By restricting semi-trucks to the right lane, the law aims to minimize accidents caused by lane changing and merging. With fewer lane changes, the risk of truck accidents is expected to decrease.

Improved Visibility

Trucks, especially large commercial vehicles, can obstruct the view of drivers behind them. Allowing faster vehicles to use the left lane for passing enhances visibility and reduces the potential for accidents.

Challenges and Considerations

While the law holds promise, there are certain challenges and considerations that have been raised:


Ensuring that trucks comply with the lane restriction can be a logistical challenge. Effective enforcement mechanisms will be crucial to the success of the law.

Driver Education

Educating both truck drivers and the general public about the new law is essential to ensure its smooth implementation and adherence.

Unintended Consequences

As with any new regulation, there is a possibility of unintended consequences. It is important to monitor the effects of the law over time and make adjustments if necessary.

Penalties for Violating New Mexico’s Left Lane Law

Truck drivers who violate New Mexico’s new law by driving in the left lane of a multiple-lane highway will face fines. The first two violations are $250 and then increased to $500 for each subsequent offense.

Who Is Liable if an Accident Occurs When a Truck Is Illegally Driving in the Left Lane?

If a truck was illegally driving in the left lane in violation of SB 102, it could play a significant role in determining liability for an accident. Driving in the wrong lane can be considered negligence or a breach of duty, which could make the truck driver or trucking company liable for the accident. However, New Mexico follows a pure comparative negligence system. This means that even if the truck driver’s illegal lane usage is a factor in the accident, other parties involved in the collision may also share some degree of fault. Each party’s level of negligence will be assessed, and liability may be apportioned accordingly. For legal guidance, contact our Albuquerque truck accident lawyer.

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