New Mexico Motorcycle Helmet Law
Chapter 66. Motor Vehicles. Article 7. Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety. Part 4. Traffic Laws Generally. Section 66-7-356. Mandatory Use of Protective Helmets. :“A. No person under the age of eighteen shall operate a motorcycle unless he is wearing a safety helmet securely fastened on his head in a normal manner as headgear and meeting the standards specified by the director. . . . No person shall carry any passenger under the age of eighteen on any motorcycle unless the passenger is wearing a securely fastened safety helmet, . . . .”
If you have info about the amount of fine for violating New Mexico’s helmet law, please e-mail it to us.
Chapter 66. Motor Vehicles. Article 7. Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety. Part 4. Traffic Laws Generally. Section 66-7-356. Mandatory Use of Protective Helmets. :“. . . The director shall adopt rules and regulations establishing standards covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefor and shall establish and maintain a list of approved helmets meeting the standards and specifications of the director. . . .”
“Provision valid exercise of power of parens patriae. — Requiring minors to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle would perhaps be a valid exercise of the power of parens patriae and would enable the state to protect youths whose judgment might not yet allow them to exercise their individual freedom judiciously with regard to their own safety.” 1969 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 69-14.
“Authority to approve safety helmets not violative of due process. — The delegation to the commissioner of motor vehicles (now director of the motor vehicle division) of the power to determine what type of helmet should be worn under an ordinance mandating the wearing of approved safety helmets by motorcycle operators did not deprive the appellee of due process nor did the fact that the state commissioner of motor vehicles adopted the standards determined by the testing of a third person make such testing unreasonable.” City of Albuquerque v. Jones, 87 N.M. 486, 535 P.2d 1337 (1975).
“Ordinance requiring wearing of helmet appropriate exercise of police power. — A city ordinance which requires the operator of a motorcycle to wear an approved safety helmet is an appropriate exercise of the city’s police power and therefore is constitutional.” City of Albuquerque v. Jones , 87 N.M. 486, 535 P.2d 1337 (1975)..
Feb 3, 2003 – SB 239 – State Sen. Allen “Frankenstein” Hurt (R-Waterflow and a physician!) introduced SB 239, which would force the harvesting of organs for some bikers declared brain dead as the result of an accident if not wearing a helmet. We just spoke to his office and apparently Hurt has awoken from his moral coma and will be dropping the bill due to public outcry and, since already being brain dead himself, perhaps Hurt didn’t like idea of his own bitter medicine.
June 21, 2001 – Resolution 2051-2001 – Signed into effect. If an accident occurs between a motorcycle or bicycle rider and another vehicle, and the rider is not wearing appropriate protective headgear, and as a result head or spinal cord injuries occur the operator of the other vehicle should be held harmless for the head and spinal cord injuries.
Mar 15, 2001 SB 153 – Gov. Gary Johnson signs handlebar repeal effective 7/1/01. New Mexico is the 5th state to repeal or amend such a law in addition to AZ, IA, OR and WA.
If you know of any current activity regarding efforts to remove or otherwise amend New Mexico’s helmet law, in the Legislature or the Courts, please e-mail that information to us so we can update this site.