Motorcyclists and bicyclists ride to the Capitol for HB 109 | KOB 4
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Motorcyclists and bicyclists ride to the Capitol for HB 109

Kai Porter
February 16, 2019 06:07 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. - Saturday was the 16th annual Bike Day at the state Capitol, an event organized by the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization.

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"There's been a lot of high profile cases in the Albuquerque area and throughout the state, where careless driving was really the cause of the accident or the injuries to the victims," said Raymond Gallegos, chairman of the New Mexico Motorcyclist Rights Organization. "Currently, the fines do not meet what happens to these families or victims."

Careless driving is a traffic code misdemeanor, carrying a maximum of 90 days imprisonment or a $300 fine. 

If HB 109 becomes law, careless driving involving death or great bodily harm would become a regular misdemeanor. The penalty would increase to nearly a year behind bars or a $1,000 fine. 

Supporters believe the bill will send a strong message to careless drivers and hopefully save lives. 

"It's the change the driver's opinions and to get their attention," Gallegos said. "They need to know that when they are charged with careless driving, there's going to be penalties that are pretty stiff. One thousand dollars is a lot of money to some people." 

Track this bill during the legislative session

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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