Analysis

Synopsis:

 Senate Bill 325 (SB 325) provides for the process for the collection of damages by the Department of Transportation for destruction of property. 

Analysis:

 Senate Bill 325 (SB 325) clarifies that public highways include roads as well as streets and that the structures on the highway, street or road include other traffic control or safety devices in addition to bridges, culverts, signs or signposts in Section 67-7-10 NMSA 1978. It extends the prohibition on maintaining a fence across a public road and liability for damages to include these terms.

SB 325 authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) on behalf of the state or by the county or municipality, whichever has control of the subject highway, street road and designated structures, to pursue damages and associated claims for the types of violations in Section 67-7-10 NMSA 1978 either by settlement or by lawsuit. It allows the DOT, the county or municipality to settle, without first obtaining a judgement, and to include a contract for collection of such damages. It the damages are collected through a lawsuit, SB 325 allows the judgment to be satisfied by attaching and holding the vehicle, truck, tractor, or engine to satisfy the judgement.  It directs that proceeds from a settlement be deposited into the respective governmental entity’s fund for the construction and improvement of highways, streets, roads and relevant structures as enumerated in this act.

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