New Mexico Emergency Vehicle Light State Statutes

new-mexicoIn New Mexico State, specific vehicles are viewed as emergency vehicles hence are allowed constitutionally to use sirens and lights in the streets. It is vital for any resident there utilizing these warning lights to be well informed on the emergency vehicle light statutes. New Mexico State statute 66.1-4.1(F) describes an emergency car as any automobile that belongs to the police, fire, municipal departments or any other state or federal law enforcement agency.

Also, ambulances and public utility enterprises are also authorized to use the warning lights only if they are cleared by the individual state departments.

New Mexico State statutes on motor vehicles and particular restriction on lambs (Statute chapter 66)

If lighted lamps or illuminating machines placed on a motor vehicle other than the conventional lighting devices project at least three hundred candlepower. The emergency light should be positioned in such a manner that no part of the concentrated intensity portion hits the roadway level. The level is where the car is placed at a distance of not less than seventy-five feet. The lighted lamps do not include headlamps, spot lamps, flashing turn signals, emergency car warning lamps or even school bus warning lamps.

An individual shall not drive or use the highway with a vehicle or any equipment with either a lamp or red light displaying device. However, if authorized or it is required by the Motor Vehicle Code, one can use the red light directly in front of the centre of the vehicle or equipment.

Flashlights are illegal except authorized on emergency vehicles, learning institutional cars, snow removal tools and highway marking devices. Otherwise, flashing red lights may be applied as warning lights on stationary and disabled vehicles. It can also be used on cars as a means of showing a turn.

A vehicle requiring fixing or repair stopping on the highway for recovery purposes can display flashing lights of any color except red. It is also applicable in cases of towing the disabled vehicle. This provision, however, does not permit the use of flashlights by the repair vehicles during the going or returning of the cars. It’s unless there is the engagement of a towing vehicle only.

Only specified vehicles are authorized to use red flashing lights visible from the front of their cars. They include departmental cars, ambulances, school buses and law enforcement agency vehicles. Vehicles approved by the Motor Vehicle Code to use visible flashlights from the front part of the vehicle can use any color except red.

Different vehicles display distinct warning colors. The cars include:

Police vehicles

New Mexico State statute 66-7-6 (C) legalizes the use of red light in police state vehicles. The red police light needs to be visible not less than five hundred feet to the front of the car. However, the statute notes that it is not a necessity to use the red warning lights in New Mexico Law Enforcement. The ordinance also has other requirements on authorized emergency vehicles:

  • The driver of a right emergency vehicle, when responding to a distress call or pursuit of a law violator is privileged to use the statute. The chief of the state police or appropriate local agency may assign emergency vehicles and revoke the designation. Vehicles are only regarded emergency vehicles not until they are designated.
  • The driver of the police car may park or halt anywhere irrespective of the Motor Vehicle Codes set.
  • They can exceed the speed limit so long as they do not endanger lives
  • Assume guidelines governing the direction of movement or specified turnings.
  • Authorized emergency vehicles include police cars, fire fighting vehicles, ambulances and any legalized emergency vehicle of the municipal department. It also includes public utilities that are permitted by New Mexico’s State police division director. It is the department that handles the public’s safety and sets regulatory measures.

These are, but among the legal obligations, police cars and vehicles are entitled to.

Fire trucks

In New Mexico, fire trucks are legalized to use red flashing lights. The New Mexico Statute 66-3-835 facilitates this. White colors can also be combined with the red color on the trucks. Occasionally, a single blue fire light can be placed at the back of the vehicle. All other obligations are well defined as in the statute chapter 66 above.

Ambulance cars

Ambulances in New Mexico use not less than a single red lighted lamp. It is under the state statute 66-3-835 (E) that it is stated. It is required by the state statute that the red light be visible at a distance, not less than five hundred feet. However, the choices of the light colors are not crucial as compared to their conspicuity. Currently, there are preferences for a fluorescent yellow and orange background. It is claimed that the colors stand a better chance of being viewed from afar. Research carried out didn’t, however, see any logic behind the claims. Other color suggestions also included the combination of fluorescent yellow-green. The yellow-green color is rather preferable to New Mexico State.

Tow trucks

Not all tow trucks are authorized to use warning lights. It is under the New Mexico state statute 66-3-835 (D). The statute allows tow trucks to activate its lights during the retrieving of a vehicle or any other task. The lights must be switched off immediately after completing of the mission. However, the cars are not designated any specific color. Furthermore, use of red lights by tow trucks is prohibited.

Utility vehicles

It may include cars such as power trucks. These types of vehicles are also allowed to use warning lights. The state statute 66-3-835 (D) gives such vehicles this privilege. The trucks in the event of performing their specified duty are expected to activate their warning lights. The color may vary so long as it is not a red flashing light. Once the task at hand is completed, utility vehicle drivers are required to switch off the flashing lights.

Pilot vehicles

Such vehicles in New Mexico are required to use amber lightings. It is inclusive of all escort, pilot and flag vehicles. Such cars enable giving of directions to large cars carrying oversized loads. The governing stipulations expect that these cars use a minimum of two rotating, strobe or illuminating amber lights. The positioning of the lights should be mounting them on top of the vehicle and should not be more than eight inches apart. Also, the amber lighting is required to be undoubtedly visible at a length of one thousand feet at daytime during sunny hours.

Construction vehicles

new-mexico-state-flagConstruction works close to busy highways, or country roads are considered dangerous if pedestrians or motorists don’t notice them. Flashing lights, fluorescent cones and flagmen alert passersby that they are nearing the construction spot. The construction vehicles use amber lightings that are installed on the cabs, bumpers and grilles. They also have interior light bars which have flashback shields that are attached to the windows. These will enable proper viewing of the heavy vehicles and the construction point. The cars include excavators, bulldozers, and cement mixers among others. Furthermore, the vehicles require constant flashing strobe lights and reversible alarms to alert passersby and even workers. It will enable them to know where the specific construction vehicles are and their working spots. All these features and possibilities are specified in the New Mexico State statute 66-3-835 (D).

Security vehicles

They also fall under the state statute 66-3-835. The vehicles are fitted with flashing amber lights that are meant to alert persons that a particular job is undergoing. They have excellent flashing lights and somewhat a few cones to warn individuals of their undertaking. The lights illuminate primary areas of work and act as protectors to the workers themselves. Furthermore, the vehicles can also be used to cool and sort chaos that may arise at their specified job locations.

Volunteer firefighter vehicles

Vehicles that tend to respond to emerging issues such as fire occurrences are required to have an emergency light with a somewhat temporary mount setup. The set up can either be outside or even inside your car. If a vehicle has an already installed configuration, they can further make advancements to facilitate accommodation of the new one. Such cars can have takedown lights or lack it. If in the event your car requires this modification, an Eagle Eye Visor Light is most preferred. It is straightforward in its attachment to the vehicle as it only uses clips. Some other visor lights may come in pairs.

Dash and Deck Lights are ordinary for vehicles that have temporary interior lights. The lights are of high intensity and performance that are easily mountable and demountable. A vehicle is therefore in a flash turned into a firefighting car in an instant. Vehicles of this kind are legalized to operate as passing firefighting cars under the New Mexico Statute 66-3-835.

Generally, the different vehicles listed above have a range of colors mainly red and amber lighting among other combinations. The red color deals with indicating critical situations that need attention urgently from other vehicles and passersby.

For more information about what lights may be available to you, we suggest calling your State Highway Patrol office at: 505-827-9300

*Please note that these numbers are what we are currently able to find and the numbers may have changed since this listing.


Disclaimer: The emergency vehicle light state statute guide was created by Extreme Tactical Dynamics as a guide and reference. We make no claim to the accuracy or validity of this guide. This guide was written to the best of our knowledge and has been provided to our customers as a courtesy ONLY! The information in this guide is our interpretation of the law as we have read it. We cannot be held responsible for any errors as this is only our interpretation of the law and the laws are constantly changing. We cannot be held liable or responsible for any errors and recommend that our customers refer to their local authorities to confirm the particular statue that governs their use of emergency vehicle lights.