Texting while driving now banned statewide in New Mexico
Albuquerque (KTSM) — On Sunday, Governor Susana Martinez signed legislation prohibiting texting while driving in New Mexico.
Senate Bill 19 bans texting while operating a motor vehicle, except when summoning medical or other emergency help.
"We know that texting while driving is a lethal distraction," said Governor Martinez. "There is no text message that is worth a person's life.
According to the Governor, texting while driving is now the leading cause of death for New Mexico's teen drivers.
Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) and Representative James Smith (R-Sandia Park), passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate with broad bipartisan support.
Although several municipalities had already banned texting while driving, this law bans texting throughout the state.
New Mexico is the 42nd state to ban texting behind the wheel.
At Sunday's bill-signing event in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Department of Transportation also unveiled the latest in a series of commercials geared towards spreading the word about the dangers of texting while driving, as well as a mobile app, DNTXT.
When activated, the app silences incoming text messages, and sends an auto-reply message to the sender notifying that the user is driving and cannot respond.