Chapter 18 – Other “Vehicles”

by | Dec 29, 2020 | Vehicle Procedures Manual | 0 comments

1:10 PM

Section A.  Mopeds
Section B.  Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (Segways)
Section C.  Neighborhood Electric Cars
Section D.  Bicycles
Section E.  Motorized Bicycles
Section F.  Airplanes
Section G. Autonomous Vehicles
Section H. Amphibious Vehicle

Section A.  Mopeds

Revised November 30, 2017

Moped defined (§66-1-4.11(E))

A moped is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission and a motor having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, that is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles an hour on level ground, at sea level.

A moped driver must be licensed (§§ 66-5-2 and 66-3-1101)

The driver of a moped on a highway in New Mexico is required to hold a valid driver’s license or permit.

Motor Vehicle Code Not Applicable to Mopeds (§§ 66-3-1(A)(8) and 66-3-1101(C))

None of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code relating to motor vehicles or motorcycles apply to mopeds, except that:

  • mopeds are required to comply with those motor vehicle safety standards deemed necessary and prescribed by the Director of the Motor Vehicle Division; and
  • moped drivers are required to hold a valid driver’s license or permit.

The Motor Vehicle Division is neither required nor authorized to title or register mopeds.

Section B.  Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (Segways)

Revised November 30, 2017

Definition (§66-1-4.5(A))

An electric personal assistive mobility device (Segway) is a self-balancing device having two non-tandem wheels designed to transport a single person by means of an electric propulsion system with an average power of one horsepower and with a maximum speed on a paved level surface of less than 20 miles per hour when powered solely by its propulsion system and while being ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds.

Equipment (§66-3-1102)

An electric personal assistive mobility device (Segway) shall be equipped with

  • front, rear and side reflectors;
  • a braking system that enables the operator to bring the device to a controlled stop; and
  • if operated at any time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, a lamp that emits a white light that sufficiently illuminates the area in front of the device.

An operator of a Segway traveling on a sidewalk, roadway or bicycle path has the rights and duties of a pedestrian; shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians; and shall yield the right of way to pedestrians.

No other provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code shall apply to electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Not subject to registration and title provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code (§66-3-1(A)(9))

The Motor Vehicle Division is neither required nor authorized to title or register electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Section C.  Neighborhood Electric Cars

Revised November 30, 2017

Neighborhood Electric Cars defined (§66-1-4.12(B))

A neighborhood electric car is a  four-wheeled electric motor vehicle that has a maximum speed of more than 20 miles per hour but less than 25 miles per hour and complies with the federal “low-speed vehicle” standards specified in 49 CFR 571.500.

Neighborhood Electric Cars subject to provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code (§66-3-1)

Neighborhood Electric Cars are motor vehicles and are subject to the registration and Certificate of Title provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code.

Where Neighborhood Electric Cars may be operated (§§ 66-3-1103(B), (C) and (D))

Neighborhood Electric Cars may be driven by an individual with a valid driver’s license on any street with a posted maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.

Local authorities and the Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of neighborhood electric cars on any roads under their jurisdiction if they determine that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

Required equipment (§66-3-1103(A))

A neighborhood electric car must be equipped with head lamps, stop lamps, front and rear turn signal lamps, tail lamps, reflex reflectors, a parking brake, at least one interior and one exterior rear view mirror, a windshield, windshield wipers, a speedometer, an odometer, braking for each wheel, seat belts and a vehicle identification number.

Exemption from some Motor Vehicle Code provisions (§66-3-1103(E))

Neighborhood Electric Cars are exempt from: (1) the emblems or flashing lights requirement for slow-moving vehicles (§66-3-887); (2) any requirement for vehicle emission inspections; and (3) the minimum (45cc) motor displacement requirement of §66-7-405(A).

Section D.  Bicycles

Revised November 30, 2017

Bicycle defined (§66-1-4.2(A))

A bicycle is a device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, except scooters and similar devices.

Traffic laws apply to bicycles (§66-3-702)

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as noted below.

Ridng bicycles on roads or bicycle paths (§66-3-705)

  1. Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
  2. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
  3. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, no bicycle shall be operated on any roadway in a manner that would create a public safety hazard.

??Lamps and other equipment (§66-3-707)

  1. Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the division which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
  2. No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.
  3. Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the brake wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

The Motor Vehicle Division is neither required nor authorized to title or register bicycles.

Section E.  Motorized Bicycles

Revised November 30, 2017

Motorized Bicycles are not considered to be mopeds or motorcycles.

By current MVD practice, motorized bicycles are considered to be bicycles (not mopeds or motorcycles) and are not subject to the titling and registration requirements of the Motor Vehicle Code.

Section F.  Airplanes

Revised November 30, 2017

Registration of aircraft

Registration of aircraft is governed by the Aircraft Registration Act (§§ 64-4-1 through 64-4-15)?

Aircraft are registered by the

NM Department of Transportation, Aviation Division
1550 Pacheco Street
P.O. Box 1149
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1149
Telephone (505) 244-1788

Section G. Autonomous Vehicles

Created November 30, 2017

Autonomous Vehicle defined

According to Wikipedia, an autonomous vehicle (also known as a driverless car, self-driving car or robotic car) is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Many such systems are evolving, but as of 2017 no cars permitted on public roads were fully autonomous.

Autonomous Vehicles legislation

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Nevada was the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous vehicles in 2011. Since then (as of September 2017), 20 other states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont) and Washington D.C. have passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles.

No statutory authority in New Mexico

There is no statutory authority at this time to title or register autonomous vehicles for use on New Mexico roads or highways.

Section H. Amphibious Vehicles

Created November 30, 2017

An amphibious vehicle is both a motor vehicle and a vessel

An amphibious vehicle is essentially both a car and a boat at the same time. Amphibious vehicles are capable of being operated on water as vessels and on roads as either “on-highway” or “off-highway” motor vehicles.

An amphibious vehicle will be titled as a vehicle in Tapestry, but due to its special capabilities, it may be registered as a vehicle and as a vessel at the same time.

All statutory and regulatory requirements apply

All statutory and regulatory requirements for both vessel and vehicle registrations apply. However, the vehicle and vessel registrations are only required to be maintained while the vehicle is being used in the capacity of vehicle or vessel, and the issuance and expiration dates of the two registrations can and often will be different.

For example, a customer registers their amphibious vehicle as a vessel in May, but does not intend to remove it from the water and use it as an off-highway motor vehicle until late September. The customer will not be required to update their vehicle registration until they are ready to start driving it.

The opposite is also true. A customer may maintain motor vehicle insurance and registration, but allow their vessel registration to lapse, so long as they do not operate the amphibious vehicle as a vessel. When they are ready to operate it as a vessel, they’ll need to renew their vessel registration.