Bicycling is popular in New Mexico. Under state law, drivers are expected to share the roads with bicyclists and to be on the lookout. Sometimes drivers of cars and other large vehicles are not respectful of bicyclists. Whether or not a bicyclist has taken safety precautions, New Mexico bike crashes and other accidents caused by a reckless driver can result in serious injuries or a fatality for the bicyclist.
New Mexico has taken steps to improve safety. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, for example, posts answers to frequently asked questions about the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code and includes some provisions relating to bicyclist safety online. Among the provisions of New Mexico’s traffic laws are that, subject to certain exceptions, every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties that are applicable to the driver of a vehicle. This measure reflects the expectation that bicycles on the road be given the same respect as larger vehicles.
There are also provisions encouraging bicyclists to not endanger themselves. For example, New Mexico law states that no person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway. Even when bicyclists are not engaging in such behavior, and when bikes have lights, bells, brakes, and other safety equipment, terrible accidents can happen. New Mexico has recently undertaken an initiative to try to reduce the number of accidents and create a more pleasant environment for people who travel by bicycle.