Breathalyzer operations on a permanent basis are part of the new Mobility and Road laws being put into effect across the country. In May, the new laws were published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) giving every state six months to begin implementing the new regulations.
Patricia Mercado, president of the mobility commission of the Senate of the Republic, explained that as of May 18, Mexico’s states have 180 days for the creation of the National Mobility System, which will be made up of the secretariats of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development, of Communications and Transportation, Economy and representatives of the states who will lay the foundations to issue the applicable guidelines in their states based on the new General Law of Mobility and Road Safety.
Across Mexico, mandatory driver’s exams, speed limit compliance, and the wearing of helmets for motorcyclists will also become law. The new General Law on Mobility and Road Safety also requires permanent breathalyzer operations that will test motorists, motorcyclists, and public transport drivers.
All states and their municipalities will be obliged to carry out breathalyzer operations that will prohibit people to drive with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.25 milligrams per liter of exhaled air or 0.05 blood alcohol limit.
For motorcycle drivers, they will not be able to drive if they exceed 0.02 blood alcohol, and only zero blood alcohol for public transport drivers. Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear a helmet that complies with the Official Mexican Standard.
Speed limits on all primary and secondary roads will be monitored. There will be approved speed limits of 80 km/h in central lanes of controlled-access avenues, 50 km/h on primary roads, and 30 km/h on secondary roads.
The new law will also make talking on a cell phone or any other electronic or communication device illegal. In addition, there would be penalties for those who carry children under 12 years of age in the front seat and without a seat belt.
Bernardo Baranda, Latin American Director of the Institute for Transport and Development Policies, highlighted that the new General Law of Mobility and Road Safety lays the foundation for public policies and the protection of pedestrians.
“Not just thinking that this law is for road safety, but we are also trying to promote more sustainable modes such as public transport, walking, cycling, etc.,” he said.
Mexico City Senator Xochitl Gálvez said that cities must update to a model in which safe spaces for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles are privileged.
“There are many rural roads where people walk on the road because there is no space for pedestrians and here comes the most important issue of this law. How do we tell users that the car is no longer the king of the street since all the people who use a car believe that the street belongs to them. That must change,” she said.