New Mexico Traffic Rule 2024 Update: Understanding the Right Turn on Red Rule

The “right turn on red” rule is a common traffic law across the United States, including New Mexico. This rule permits drivers to make a right turn at a red light after coming to a complete stop and yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles with the right of way. Understanding these traffic rules is crucial to ensure everyone’s safety on the road.

History of Right Turn on Red in New Mexico

New Mexico has allowed right turns on red for many years. However, the 2024 update to the state’s traffic regulations introduced significant changes impacting this specific rule. These updates were motivated by factors such as:

  • Increased traffic congestion in certain areas
  • A rise in pedestrian-involved accidents at intersections
  • The need to align with modernized traffic safety standards

The 2024 New Mexico Right Turn on Red Update

The most important things to know about the 2024 update to New Mexico’s right turn on red rule are:

  • Restrictions: Specific intersections or zones may now have “No Turn on Red” signs clearly posted. Drivers must obey these restrictions.
  • Complete Stop: Drivers are always required to come to a complete stop before proceeding with a right turn on red.
  • Yielding: Pedestrians in crosswalks and vehicles with the right of way must be given priority. This includes bicycles and motorcycles.
  • Visibility: Drivers must ensure they have full visibility of the intersection and oncoming traffic before initiating their turn.
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How to Execute a Safe Right Turn on Red

  1. Approach and Stop: Bring your vehicle to a complete stop behind the white stop line or crosswalk.
  2. Check for Signs: Look for any “No Turn on Red” signs.
  3. Yield: Make sure there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk or any vehicles approaching that interfere with your ability to safely turn.
  4. Turn: When it’s safe, proceed with your right turn, maintaining a safe speed.

Penalties for Violating the Right Turn on Red Rule

Violating New Mexico’s traffic law regarding right turns on red can result in:

  • Fines: You may be issued a traffic ticket with substantial fines.
  • Driver’s License Points: Points may be added to your driver’s license, which can lead to suspension.
  • Insurance Increases: Your insurance company may increase your premiums due to the violation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: Can I make a right turn on red from any lane?
  • A: No, you typically must be in the rightmost lane to make a legal right turn on red.
  • Q: Do I have to stop on a right turn on red if there’s no other traffic?
  • A: Yes, the law mandates a complete stop, even if no traffic seems present.
  • Q: What if I am turning right onto a one-way street?
  • A: You may still need to stop and yield before turning depending on signage and traffic.


The 2024 update to New Mexico’s Right Turn on Red rule aims to improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these changes and any posted restrictions. Remember, always come to a complete stop, yield to the right of way, and exercise caution when making a right turn on red. By driving responsibly, we help make our roads safer for everyone.

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