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New Mexico State University

                  Date:  Jan 12, 2010

Email Announcement (sent to NMSU Hotline, ABCD Distribution,
Topic:   Spring 2010 Defensive Driving Classes, vehicle/cart permits, and cell phone restrictions while driving

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is pleased to provide the
2010 Defensive Driving Class Schedule (also on the EH&S homepage - EH&S expects to provide 16 defensive driving courses (32 class meetings) in 2010 at our Safety Training Facility (map). Please note the some dates are tentative and that we restrict the sign-up for most classes to 60 days in advance to allow some schedule modification.

NMSU Vehicle Operating Permits
The Defensive Driving Class (DDC) fulfills one of the NMSU Policy requirements to drive a university vehicle (car/truck/van, see policy: vehicle use policy). For the convenience of faculty, students, and staff, EH&S provides this training monthly during regular work hours and at least one evening class (two night sessions/both required) each semester. The DDC classes often fill early, so please register at least two weeks in advance to ensure a reservation. Classes typically include 35-45 persons and are open to the public. Individuals and/or departments should register via the DDC on-line registration  (on the EH&S website). Employees will need to provide a department account index number for the class and license history check.


Utility Cart Operating Permit
Under NMSU's Utility Cart Safety Program small utility vehicles, e.g. golf carts, turf vehicles and small rough terrain vehicles, may be operated on the campus and can be driven on NMSU streets.  Please be aware these carts can not legally be driven on LC streets or NM roads. Individuals operating utility carts on the campus must hold an NMSU Utility Cart Operator Permit.  The requirements for this permit from EH&S include holding a current vehicle drivers license and acknowledging responsibility for safe use of the cart.  This permit does not require the DDC course but EH&S does check driving license history, so a department account index number is needed for the license history check. Details are given in the Cart Safety Program .

Driving Cell Phone Use Restrictions (effective February 5, 2010)
All NMSU drivers should be aware of the following restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving.  Under the recent Las Cruces Ordinance which goes into effect February 5, 2010, the following actions are prohibited while driving a vehicle:
    * Sending or receiving phone calls
    * Sending or reading a text message

    * Reading, selecting or entering a number or name
    * Sending or receiving e-mails
Exceptions include:
    * Hands-free use
    * Use by law enforcement and emergency personnel while performing their duties during an emergency &
    * Emergency communication with certain offices or departmen
Fines for talking or texting on a cell phone while driving can be up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail. Similarly there are two bills pending in NM legislature to prohibit cell phone use while driving statewide and the Governor has proposed to submit his own version soon.  Details on the ordinance are linked from the Twitter insert on the Safety website at 
David Shearer, Assistant Director, Environmental Health & Safety,
PO Box 30001 / MSC-3578, Las Cruces, NM 88003,
Phone: 575-646-3327, Fax: 575-646-7898