The police department in Farmington, New Mexico will be the first department in the State of New Mexico to implement a new technology that will prevent officers from using their on-board laptop while behind the wheel. According to one local New Mexico news source, the department is considering a plan where the on-board computer will be disabled at 20 miles per hour and shuts down completely at 25 miles per hour.
According to the article, vehicle crashes account for roughly 40% of all police officer fatalities, and they have been the single largest cause of death for police officers since the mid-1990s. A spokeswoman for the police department told reporters that the department is taking a “proactive approach,” and “instead of waiting for something to happen, a tragic accident, we would rather implement it now.”
This technology has been in use in the private sector for a number of years, but this is the first police department in New Mexico to use it to regulate police officers’ driving habits.
Distracted Driving in General
Car accidents caused by distracted driving are a problem that is not limited to police officers. In fact, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of serious and fatal auto accidents in New Mexico and across the United States. To help combat the temptations drivers feel to “multitask” while on the road, the New Mexico legislature has enacted several laws to prevent and discourage distracted driving.
For example, it is illegal for any person to text and drive in New Mexico. If someone is found to be texting while driving, they can be fined $25 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. Perhaps more important than the monetary fine is what the law does for those injured as a result of a distracted driver.
Since the law specifically prohibits texting while driving, those injured by a texting driver will have an easier time recovering from the distracted driver under the legal theory of “negligence per se.” Negligence per se is a doctrine that accident victims can use to help them recover financially for their injuries. In order for the doctrine to apply, the defendant must have been in violation of a criminal law or traffic ordinance at the time of the accident. If this is the case, the accident victim can bypass some of the elements normally required in a personal injury lawsuit. To learn more, contact a dedicated New Mexico personal injury attorney with questions.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of distracted driving accident in the State of New Mexico, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, various legal theories may apply. To learn more, call one of the skilled personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE and set up a free consultation. Calling is always free and will not result in an obligation to continue forward with your case.
More Blog Posts:
Three Killed in Accident Between Two Semi-Trucks and a Tourist Bus, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 11, 2015.
New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband’s DUI Stop Drunk, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.