New Mexico Road Signs (A Complete Guide)

New Mexico Road Signs (A Complete Guide)

Looking for a quick but complete guide to the New Mexico road signs?


In this article, we’ll run you through the New Mexico traffic signals, traffic signs, and pavement markings. This way, you’ll be able to understand and obey each one — and in turn, you’ll be able to ace the New Mexico permit test, avoid tickets, or just be the safest driver out there. 

So without further ado, let’s begin!

New Mexico Traffic Signals

Traffic signals, also known as traffic lights, guide vehicle flow at intersections and turns. It tells you when to stop, slow down, or go. 

Here is a table showing you the meaning of each traffic signal in New Mexico. 

Steady green lightYou can pass the intersection, but you have to yield to emergency vehicles and pedestrians. If there is still crossing traffic when the light turns green, wait for them to pass before going. 
Steady green arrowYou can safely turn in the direction of the arrow. Give right-of-way to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians. 
Steady yellow lightIf you haven’t crossed the intersection yet, slow down and prepare to stop, the red light is about to turn on. 

If you are at the intersection, pass quickly. 
Flashing yellow lightSlow down and proceed with caution. 
Steady yellow arrowThe signal is going to change to red. Do not make a turn unless you are already turning. 
Steady red lightStop. Do not enter the intersection.
Flashing red lightMake a full stop before proceeding when it is safe to do so.
Steady red arrowStop. You are not allowed to turn in the direction the arrow is pointing. 

New Mexico Traffic Signs

Traffic signs have different purposes – to give a warning, to state regulations, or to inform you of nearby locations. 

Let’s take the time to look at these signs. 

Warning Signs

As you might guess, warning signs signal a potential hazard ahead. To catch drivers’ attention, these signs are often bright yellow with a diamond shape. 

If you see a warning sign, the right thing to do is to slow down and be extra alert to your surroundings. 

Here are some examples of warning signs in New Mexico.

New Mexico Road Signs

Railroad Crossing Signs

Railroad crossings are warning signs that don’t look like your regular warning signs. Some will be round, while others will have a white crossbuck shape. Still, others will have red flashing lights on them. 

Here are 2 examples of a railroad warning signs in New Mexico. 

New Mexico Road Signs

Some railroad crossings will have gates that go down whenever there is an approaching train. If the gates are going down, do not attempt to pass. Slow down and wait patiently until it goes up. 

If there are no gates and you see a warning sign, listen carefully for an approaching train. If you see a train, do not cross the railroad even if you think it’s still far away. 

Work Zone Signs

Here’s another type of warning sign. 

Work zone signs are temporarily placed in areas where there is construction or maintenance ongoing. These signs are bright orange and diamond-shaped. 

Here are some examples. 

Work zone signs

To make sure that vehicles don’t pass in work zones, there are usually barricades and cones blocking the way. In some cases, there will be flaggers that will tell you where to go. 

When passing these areas, always follow the signs or flagger’s directions. Also, always slow down and don’t go too near the barricades. 

Regulatory Signs

Regulatory signs inform you about the laws on a certain road or area. It also informs you of where you can and can’t go. 

Now, these signs are either square or rectangular and can be black, red, or white. 

Here is a table showing you some examples of regulatory signs in New Mexico. 

Sign:Visual Aid:Meaning:
Speed limitTells the maximum or minimum speed requirements of the road you’re on.

If road conditions are bad, such as snow, rain, or fog, you should reduce speed to increase safety. 
No TurningThese signs tell you that you are not allowed to turn left or right or make a U-turn. 
Lane ControlThese signs tell you where you can go. Some lane control signs will have supplementary signs.
No PassingThese signs mean you cannot pass in that specific area. Passing may be prohibited because of a hazard.
StopThis sign tells you to make a full stop behind the line. Only pass when it’s safe.
YieldThis sign means you have to yield the right-of-way to vehicles or pedestrians.
Do Not EnterYou are not allowed to enter the road ahead. These are often found on exit ramps or one-way streets.
Slow-Moving VehicleThis is placed at the back of a slow-moving vehicle that is traveling below 25 mph. If you see this sign on the rear of a car, pass safely.

Guide Signs

Finally, there are the guide signs. 

Now, in New Mexico, there are several types of guide signs. Let’s look at these. 

  • Destination signs – these are square or rectangular and are usually green. These signs inform you of nearby locations and your distance from them. You can find national parks or historical areas with these signs. 
  • Service signs – these are square or rectangular and are colored blue. It informs you of nearby services, such as lodging, gas stations, hospitals, etc. 
  • Route signs – these vary in shape and color. It will only have the number of interstate, state, city, or country roads. To know where you are, it’s best to look for the number on the map. 

New Mexico Pavement Markings

Pavement markings help you identify what lane you should be in if you need to go straight or make a turn. They also tell you where you can pass. 

Here is what each New Mexico pavement marking means: 

  • Solid white line at the end of the road – indicates the edge or side of the road.
  • White dashed lines – separate traffic going in the same direction. Passing is permitted. 
  • Solid white line between lanes – separate traffic going in the same direction. Passing is NOT allowed. 
  • Solid white line across the road – you need to stop before the line when there is a stop sign or pedestrian crossing. 
  • Yellow dashed lines – separate traffic going in opposite directions. Passing is permitted when it is safe to do so. 
  • Yellow solid line between lanes – separate traffic going in opposite directions. Passing is NOT allowed. 
  • Yellow solid line and dashed lines – passing is not permitted on the side where there is a solid line. It is permitted on the dashed-line side. 
  • Double yellow solid line – Neither side can pass. 

Reversible Lanes

To better manage traffic, New Mexico has reversible lanes — meaning the lane direction can change. 

A reversible lane will have a traffic light at the top with an “X” or an arrow. A green arrow means that you are allowed to use the lane beneath it. A red “X” means the lane is for traffic going in the opposite direction.

Since these lanes are reversible, always look at the signals to guide you if you need to leave the lane. 

Reserved Lanes

In New Mexico, there are also reserved lanes that you need to be aware of. These lanes are reserved for special use, such as for emergency vehicles, bicycles, high occupancy vehicles, or buses. 

You will know it’s a reserved lane if there is a sign posted on the side or painted on the pavement. 

Shared Center Lanes

These lanes are only for making turns. You cannot stay in this lane if you are not going to turn. 


And that concludes your complete guide to New Mexico road signs. 

There’s a lot to remember, right?

If you can’t memorize it all, don’t worry. We suggest that you just remember the different colors and shapes so that you’ll get an idea of what kind of sign it is. 

From there, you can work out what the sign means and take the steps to obey it. 

Drive safely!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *