Traffic Laws and Traffic Safety

Laws You Should Know

Cell Phones & Texting

Texting, accessing the internet and hand-held cell phone use while driving are illegal in Nevada as of January 1st, 2012. (NRS 484B.165 | Quick Tip)

No Phone Zone graphic

The fines are $50 for the first offense in seven years, $100 for the second and $250 for the third and subsequent offenses. Fines are subject to doubling if the offense occurs in a work zone. Courts may assess additional administrative fees.

The first offense is not treated as a moving violation for DMV and insurance purposes. A second or subsequent offense carries 4 demerit points.

You can talk using a hands-free headset and, while making voice calls, touch the phone to “activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function on the device.”

Other exceptions include:

Move-Over Laws

Accidents

Fender bender? Move to the shoulder. If there is damage only to a vehicle or other property (no injuries), your vehicle is obstructing traffic and the vehicle can be moved safely, move the vehicle to a location that does not obstruct traffic and then return to the scene.

See NRS Chapter 484E for more about your duties following a crash. All crashes which involve injuries or damages of $750 or more must be reported to the DMV. If a police officer does not investigate the accident, all of the involved parties must file reports on DMV Form SR-1 within 10 days.

Emergency Vehicles

Move Over Graphic

Drivers in Nevada have certain duties when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle making use of flashing lights. These apply to all types of emergency vehicles including tow trucks. (NRS 484B.607)

In the absence of direction by a peace officer, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stopped emergency vehicle must:

Bicycles

# Feet for BikesMotorists passing a bicycle must move into an adjacent lane to the left, if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle. (NRS 484B.270)

Motorists may be charged with reckless driving if they are at-fault in any collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Penalties include a driver license suspension. (NRS 484B.280)

Seat Belts & Child Safety Seats

Front and rear seat occupants of almost all passenger vehicles to wear safety belts or ride in an approved child restraint system. Vehicles 1968 and newer must be equipped with lap belts. Vehicles 1970 and newer must be equipped with lap belts and shoulder belts for the front seats.
(NRS 484D.495 and 484B.157)

4 Steps for Kids

Children under age 6 and who weigh less than 60 pounds must be in an approved child restraint system (NRS 484B.157). Failure to restrain children under age 6 and weighing less than 60 pounds may result in fines, community service and or the suspension of your driver’s license. (NRS 484B.157)

Visit www.seatcheck.org for a free child safety seat inspection in your area and www.nhtsa.gov for general information. See also the the DMV Quick Tip brochures in English and Spanish.

Kids & Pets

Never leave a child age 7 or younger unattended in a vehicle if the conditions present a significant risk to the health and safety of that child unless the child is being supervised by, and within sight of, a person at least 12 years old. (NRS 202.575)

It is illegal to leave a dog or cat unattended in a vehicle during periods of extreme heat or cold. Law enforcement, firefighters and other officials may use reasonable force to rescue the animal. (NRS 574.195)

Passengers under 18 may not ride in the back of a pickup or flatbed truck. This does not apply, however, to farming and ranching activity, parades or to camper shells or slide-in campers. (NRS 484B.160)

Teen Driving Restrictions

Mom and daughter with car keys

See Nevada Teen Driving and the DMV Quick Tip.

Passengers

Drivers under 18 cannot transport any passenger under the age of 18, except for immediate family members, for the first six months after licensing.

Curfew

Drivers under 18 may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are traveling to or from a scheduled event such as work or a school event. This curfew remains in effect until age 18.

Basic Rule

Nevada has a Basic Rule for driving at reasonable and proper speeds. This means that in addition to any posted speed limits, you must consider the amount and type of traffic, weather, road conditions and other factors. The proper speed may be considerably less than the posted limit.
(NRS 484B.600)

Right on Red

You are allowed to turn right on a red light after coming to a full stop, unless otherwise posted. You must be in the extreme right-hand lane and yield to pedestrians and all traffic moving through the intersection. (NRS 484B.307 7(c))

U-Turns

U-turns are generally allowed if they can be completed safely. In business areas, you must be at an intersection or on a divided highway where an appropriate opening exists. U-turns are not allowed where prohibited by a traffic sign or signal, or if there is less than 500 feet visibility in both directions. (NRS 484B.403)

School Buses

Drivers are required to stop for school buses when students are boarding and departing and when bus is displaying its flashing red lights. On divided highways with a median or other physical barrier, traffic moving in the opposite direction does not have to stop. On all other roads, traffic in both directions must stop. (NRS 484B.353)

Driving Under the Influence

DUI .08 Logo

You cannot refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test as directed by a police officer. Blood samples can be drawn involuntarily, even on a first offense.

These are administrative penalties which are taken immediately. Courts impose additional criminal penalties upon conviction.
(NRS Chapter 484C | DMV Quick Tip)

Public Education Campaigns

DMV Quick Tips
Print-friendly information on a variety of specific safety topics.
All 9 Topics Teen Driving Bicycles Distracted Driving
Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats DUI Pedestrians Lane Departures
Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats - Spanish Roundabouts    
Printed cards are available at no cost for your community event or organization. Please contact Kevin Malone at (702) 486-1311 or kmalone@dmv.nv.gov.

Zero Fatalities

Zero Fatalities Logo

The Nevada Department of Transportation, the DMV and many other agencies are partners in this comprehensive, statewide effort to reduce fatalities on our roads. Volunteers are welcome!

Visit zerofatalitiesnv.com:

School Zones

Look Out Kids About Logo

The Look Out Kids About Coalition in Las Vegas urges you to be courteous and drive safely in and around schools.

See also Safe Routes to School.

Older Drivers

Older Driver

Decisions about a person’s ability to drive should never be based on age alone. Most older people are capable and have a lifetime of valuable driving experiences. However, changes in vision, physical fitness and reflexes may cause safety concerns. Families should help older drivers plan alternative transportation if they must stop driving.

Traffic Stops & Racial Profiling

"Racial profiling" means reliance by a peace officer upon the race, ethnicity or national origin of a person as a factor in initiating action when the race, ethnicity or national origin of the person is not part of an identifying description of a specific suspect for a specific crime. (NRS 289.820)

Nevada law requires you pull to the right and stop when signaled to do so by a police officer. There is apprehension for all involved during a routine stop. The person being pulled over is fearful of getting a ticket or because you're not sure why you were stopped; and the officer is fearful for their own personal safety with the unknowns for any given situation.

Drivers who are stopped by law enforcement officers are recommended to follow all legal instructions they receive from the officer. To assist the officer in determining that you are not a wanted fugitive, please keep your hands in sight at all times. Upon initial contact, keep your hands on the steering wheel unless instructed by the officer to do otherwise. When the officer asks for papers, let the officer know what you are intending to do, such as, "my registration is in the glove box." This allows the officer to know your intention ahead of time. If for some reason there is a firearm in the vehicle, advise the officer upon initial contact. The police don't like surprises any more than you do.

If you are stopped at night, turn on the vehicle's dome light to assist in seeing what is present in the car. Be prepared for bright lights. Police use their lights so they can see items harmful to them.

Please stay in the car unless directed by the officer to exit the car. Your cooperation will be appreciated and aid in the safety of all parties-including your own.

If, based on the above definition, you feel you are a victim of racial profiling during a routine stop, you may report your concerns to the law enforcement agency in which the officer works. You may want to have the following information available when you make your report: Date, time and location of the incident, the name of the officer involved, and a badge number if possible; any witness contact information and a copy of the citation if one was issued.