The following are the basic traffic safety laws drivers must follow in Nevada.
Aggressive driving in Nevada is defined as the following: Within one mile, if a driver exceeds the posted speed limit by 10 or more miles per hour and commits two moving violations such as failure to obey traffic control device, passing on the right off of paved roadway, following too closely, lane change violation, failure to yield right of way and creating an immediate hazard for another vehicle or person. In 2007, Nevada increased penalties for subsequent offenses.
There are up to 3,500 distraction-related crashes in Nevada every year, and more than 50 deaths in a recent five year-period were caused by distracted driving. As of October 1, 2011, it is prohibited to use a handheld cell phone while driving in Nevada. As of January 1, 2012, fines of up to $250 can be given to motorists driving while talking or texting on a handheld cell phone.
Child Passenger Safety
Child restraints are required for children that are under the age of 6 and under 60 pounds; adult safety belts are not permissible, and the maximum fine for a first offense is $500.
Nevada does have a per se law for drugs and does conduct drug evaluation classification and drug recognition expert training programs for law enforcement.
A first-time offense penalty includes: an education course on the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances within a specified time frame, a jail sentence ranging from 2 days to 6 months or 48-96 hours of community service, and a fine ranging from $400-$1,000. A driver’s license will be revoked under the state’s Administrative Licensing Suspension law for 90 days for a first offense if the driver has a blood or breath alcohol concentration level of .08% or higher. If the concentration of blood alcohol is greater than 0.18 the person must attend a program of treatment for the abuse of alcohol or drugs. (The penalties are outlined in NRS 484C.400.) The state does have open container and repeat offender laws. There are no laws for vehicle and license sanctions and the use of ignition interlocks is at the discretion of the judge.
Graduated Driver’s License
Under Nevada’s Graduated Driver’s License law, a learner’s permit can be granted at age 15 and six months, with a minimum duration of six months. The intermediate license can be granted at age 16 with six months and 50 hours of supervised driving are required—ten of them at night. There can be no non-family member passengers under age 18 for the first six months during this stage. Drivers under 18 may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are going to or from a scheduled event, such as work or a school event.
Nevada does have a universal helmet law for motorcycle riders that was passed in 1972.
The length of the license renewal process in Nevada is every four years. For drivers over 70 years of age renewing their license by mail, a medical report is required. A report is not required for drivers who renew in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.
Move Over Law
In Nevada, it’s the law that when you see an emergency vehicle operating with emergency lights (including tow trucks), you must follow these rules:
- Decrease your vehicle speed. By doing so, it allows you to be prepared for the unexpected.
- Be prepared to stop. Emergency personnel sometimes have to stop traffic for the safety of all motorists.
- Drive in the lane not adjacent to the emergency vehicle. If there are two lanes going the same direction, safely move over to the lane not adjacent to the emergency vehicle if safe to do so.
- And of course, always proceed with caution. Emergency personnel are out there to help, let’s help them.
Nevada has several laws in place to ensure the safe passage of drivers and pedestrians on streets and highways. Pedestrians must use provided crosswalks and sidewalks. Drivers must yield the right of way, slowing or stopping if necessary, to pedestrians crossing within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the highway on which the driver is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite side of the highway as to be in danger.
Nevada traffic safety laws now include increased penalties for drivers that cause harm to pedestrians and bicyclists and a law requiring motorists to safely move from the right hand lane or pass a bicyclist with at least three feet of space for safety.
Scene of a Crash
Unfortunately, crashes are way too common. Here are some things to keep in mind should you ever be involved in a crash:
- Immediately stop your vehicle at the scene. This helps protect you and your property.
- Move it out of the way. In a non-injury crash, if your vehicle is obstructing traffic, safely move it to the emergency shoulder, parking lot, or area close to the where the collision occurred.
- Contact emergency personnel. 911 is for an immediate life-threatening emergency. 311 is the non-emergency line, but still indicates a need for emergency personnel to respond.
Nevada is a secondary seat belt law state, which means police officers must observe another moving, non-moving, or mechanical violation before they can initiate a traffic enforcement stop for someone not wearing a safety belt, except for those under six years of age. The maximum fine for a first offense is $25. Including administrative fees, the fine can add up to approximately $70 for a first ticket.
Speed limits on rural interstates for both cars and trucks is 75 mph; 65 mph for cars and trucks on urban interstates and 70 mph for cars and trucks on other limited access roads. Red light cameras or other speed-detecting devices are prohibited unless hand-held by an officer or installed in a law enforcement vehicle.