Local news recently reported that police in Gallup New Mexico tend to begin a study of New Mexico Highway 602 after two pedestrians were hit by vehicles and killed this past week. Although pedestrian deaths are not uncommon in New Mexico, this stretch of road has seen its unusual share.
Under New Mexico law, claims are allowed against the government for the defect is or negligent maintenance of roads and highways, but not for the design of them. Typically, such cases require an argument that lighting of a road falls within the maintenance category rather than design.
In a recent cases in Gallup, at least one motorist reported being unable to see the pedestrian. These cases suggest that even though the police reports may be suggestive that the driver was not at fault, there still could be a case in the event that the county, state, or municipality, is aware of the danger posed by these roads, yet does not act promptly.
As an aside, it seems puzzling that the police department is responsible for studying ways to improve lighting rather than the city planning or highway departments.