In a move of interest to a Southern Nevada litigation attorney, lawmakers eye traffic light cameras
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
If you ever speed or run red lights in Las Vegas, or if you think you may require a Southern Nevada litigation attorney, listen up. There’s a bill proposed in the 80th Session of the Nevada Legislature that would allow local governments to install red light cameras to catch those breaking the traffic laws as they drive through certain intersections. Last month, the Senate Committee on Growth and Infrastructure heard Senate Bill 43 which would allow law enforcement agencies to use traffic cameras to cite drivers who fail to stop at a red light. The bill was requested by the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety. According to Las Vegas Attorney Timothy O’Reilly of the O’Reilly Law Group, “Nevada may be the newest state to allow the use of cameras to help catch motorists who run red lights if Senate Bill 43, currently going through the committee process, is signed into law. So if you accidentally run a red light or speed through an intersection in Las Vegas, you may get a traffic ticket by camera if this bill is adopted.” Currently, Nevada law only allows traffic enforcement by camera if a law enforcement officer is present, and the device must be handheld or installed in a vehicle. If the bill is passed into law, a camera mounted to a traffic light would photograph the license plate of a driver committing the infraction and a citation would be sent to the address to which the vehicle is registered. Breakdown of What Senate Bill 43 Would Do: A local government entity would be able to install cameras at a problem stoplight. The jurisdiction would be required to show just cause in order to install a camera. For example, just cause might include a high rate of crashes occurring at a specific intersection, including ones that are fatal and/or involve pedestrians, and the jurisdiction would be required to provide evidence that other measures to deter the problem had previously failed. The government entity would be required by law to have a 30-day buffer period during which a public information campaign must be undertaken, installation of warning signs around the cameras and the set-up of an appeal process for drivers caught by cameras. Law enforcement would have to send the ticket to the vehicle’s registered owner within a month. If someone other than the vehicles’ owner was driving, the owner can send an affidavit swearing the car was under the “care, custody and control” of another or that it was stolen. Any punishment issued as a result of the bill would not go on the driver’s record, would not count as a moving violation and would have a minimum cost of $50. The bill lists no maximum fine, but if the citation is ignored, the vehicle owner would be fined an additional $100. All money received from citations as a result of this bill would have to go toward paying for an automated traffic enforcement system or paying for traffic safety programs. Local governments in 23 states and the District of Columbia use red-light cameras to catch violators. In seven states, including Nevada, this enforcement is currently banned by law. If Senate Bill 43 is passed into law, Nevada would become the 25th state to use automated traffic enforcement, and it would be up to each local jurisdiction to decide whether or not to implement the technology. If you need assistance with public safety or insurance-related legal matter, contact us at O’Reilly Law Group in Las Vegas today at 702-382-2500. Visit www.oreillylawgroup.com for more information about our Las Vegas law firm.