Drivers in New Mexico have a number of parking regulations and laws they need to be aware of so they do not inadvertently park in the wrong location. If you park in a zone where you are not allowed, you will face fines and you could even have your vehicle towed. One of the first things you need to learn is what the various painted colors on the curbs mean.

Pavement markings

When you see a white curb, it means you can park there for a short time and let passengers in and out of your vehicle. Red markings are typically going to indicate a fire lane, and you cannot park there at all. Yellow will likely mean that you are not allowed to park in the zone either. It often indicates that it is a loading zone, but there could be other restrictions as well. Blue indicates that the space is designated for handicapped individuals, and if you park in those areas without the right placards or plates, you can expect a fine.

Other parking rules to remember

There are a number of other rules that you will want to remember when it comes to parking in New Mexico. You are not allowed to park in an intersection, on a sidewalk or crosswalk, or in a construction area if your vehicle will block traffic. It is illegal to park within 30 feet of a traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign. You cannot park within 25 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection, and you are not allowed to park within 50 feet of a fire hydrant. This is a much longer distance than you will find in many other states.

When you park alongside a curb, your vehicle needs to be within 18 inches of it, or you could receive a ticket. You cannot park within 50 feet of a railroad crossing. If you are parking on a street that has a fire station, you need to be at least 20 feet away from the entrance when parking on the same side. If you are parking on the opposite side of the street, you will need to park at least 75 feet away from the entrance.

You must not park between a safety zone or 30 feet from the ends of the safety zone unless the local laws state that you can. Keep in mind that the local laws are going to trump the state laws, so be sure you know and understand the laws in the city or town where you live.

Never park on a bridge, an overpass, tunnel, or underpass. Never park on the wrong side of the street, or on the road side of a vehicle that is already parked. This is called double parking, and it can cause a number of problems. Not only will it slow down traffic, but it could also become a hazard.

Keep an eye out for signs and other markings. These can help to make sure you do not park in an illegal area without realizing it.

This article originally appeared on as The Guide to Colored Curb Zones in New Mexico and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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