The Nevada Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety (NVACTS) recently released their Annual Report, which outlined the following five traffic safety policy priorities to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries that were deemed the most important based on a review of current traffic safety issues:
- Road Safety Cameras (RSCs) – Automated Traffic Enforcement. This policy priority is to eliminate the current Nevada Revised Statue (NRS) that limits local agencies’ ability to use RSCs. The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC Washoe) is considering a bill draft request (BDR) for use of RSCs specifically in school zones. There could be an opportunity to combine these proposals. Another consideration is to install RSCs specifically on school bus mast arms.
- Higher Fines in School Zones. This policy priority recommends strengthening NRS to specify higher fines and/or points in school zones, similar to work zones (NRS 484B.130) and pedestrian safety zones (NRS 484B.135).
- Primary Seat Belt Law (PBL). This policy priority is to create a PBL for Nevada, which would allow law enforcement to stop and ticket a driver or passenger for not wearing their seat belt. Nevada currently has a secondary seat belt law, meaning a ticket can be given if a vehicle is pulled over for another reason. At this time, 37 states have a PBL in place (only 13 do not, including Nevada).
- Graduated Driver License (GDL) Additions. Changes to the GDL include extending the GDL through 20 years of age, or for all new drivers; installing a three-stage intermediate GDL for six to 12 months; and requiring additional training after a permit is earned. Defensive driving courses (NRS 483.727) approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may provide a more structured curriculum for driver training than logging hours with parents. A statewide driver education program could be established in the future.
- Roadside Drug Impairment Testing. Roadside drug impairment testing requires an oral fluid sample as the standard for roadside screening. An oral fluid test screens for opioids and other types of drugs, not a specific drug, but allows for screening for substances beyond alcohol. The test results in more initial information that would lead to more informed decisions for arrest, adjudication, and treatment.