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Nevada’s Jaywalking Laws and Why They Matter

Posted on August 15, 2018 in Firm News

Being a pedestrian in the Las Vegas area can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 residents lost their lives in pedestrian accidents in 2013. Busy roads, negligent drivers, and poor urban planning may all play a role in these tragedies.

Oftentimes, a driver is to blame for any injuries a pedestrian may incur. In other instances, however, a pedestrian may carry some of the responsibility for an accident, especially when jaywalking plays a role. A knowledge of the laws in Nevada is essential to keeping safe and avoiding liability in a potential pedestrian accident. If you are in an accident, you should seek advice from your local Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers.

What Is Jaywalking?

Crossing without a crosswalk or traffic signal is a dangerous practice that can lead to serious injury or death. In recent years, the Las Vegas police have taken greater strides to control the amount of jaywalking that occurs within the city limits. Jaywalkers throughout Las Vegas can expect to incur heavy fines if caught in the act – but that doesn’t seem to slow many people down. However, it’s essential for all pedestrians to use caution when they’re out on the town, and that starts with knowing the rules that apply to walkers in the area.

Nevada Statute 484B.287 sets forth certain rules and regulations that apply to pedestrians in Las Vegas and beyond. This statute states that any pedestrian who uses a crosswalk or uses appropriate signage at an intersection has the right of way. As such, all vehicles must stop for them when they’re crossing the street. The only exception to this rule is when a pedestrian runs out into the street unexpectedly, without giving motorists enough time to recognize their action and brake.

Further, pedestrians must yield to cars and other traffic when they don’t cross at an appropriate intersection. Unfortunately, some areas around Las Vegas leave little option for pedestrians, but to cross whenever it’s safe, without a crosswalk.

Jaywalking occurs under Nevada law when a pedestrian has access to a crosswalk or an intersection for safe passage, but fails to use it. This is a fineable offense in Las Vegas and the rest of the state. It carries a $160 fine, so pedestrians should think carefully and find a way to avoid it whenever possible.

Best Practices for Pedestrians

Pedestrians would do well to observe some basic tips when crossing the street, especially when no sidewalk is available. These include:

  • Use extreme caution: Avoid crossing multi-lane roads without intersections whenever possible. If a crosswalk exists further up the street, use it.
  • Always assume that drivers cannot see.
  • Never attempt to make vehicles stop: Always wait for a wide traffic gap to cross.
  • Cross in a well-lit area when traveling at night.
  • Use common sense when crossing the street: If a safer mode of getting to a destination exists – such as an intersection with a traffic signal – use it, even if it means extra walking.

Pedestrians should also be careful about walking under the influence of alcohol. This carries many of the same dangers as driving drunk – people experience delayed reaction time, decreased depth perception, and other serious side effects. Impaired pedestrians should consider hailing a cab, rather than attempting to walk in busy or high traffic areas.

Being a safe pedestrian is often a matter of using common sense and behaving in a responsible manner. Though it’s impossible to account for the actions of everyone on the road, pedestrians can account for themselves. Know the laws that govern jaywalking in the state, and always use caution when crossing Las Vegas’ busy roadways. Pedestrians who incur an injury while jaywalking may be wholly or partially liable for an accident, leaving them little room for legal recourse.

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