HOV lanes in Las Vegas no longer have peak and off-peak hours. Peak hours were marked on signs which appeared at intervals along U.S. 95. Outside of Peak Hours, anyone could use the HOV lane without worrying about getting a ticket. This changed under Project Neon, and starting June 21, 2019, Nevada Highway Patrol has begun enforcing 24/7 HOV lane use and giving tickets to violators.
Prior to Project Neon, on I-15 NB and SB, south of the Spaghetti Bowl were two marked Express Lanes, which were the two left-most lanes. These were intended to allow motorists not exiting at Spring Mountain, Flamingo, Tropicana, Russell Road and 215, to drive through, without interacting with exiting traffic at those interchanges. The idea was that if you got into the Express lane, you’d stay there until after those exits, although it never really worked that way.
The Express Lanes are now gone. The leftmost lane is now an HOV lane. The other lane is now a general-purpose lane. HOV lanes also connect I-15 and U.S. 95 going in both directions. All marked HOV lanes are now active constantly and Nevada Highway Patrol is targeting HOV lane violations.
Will I get a ticket for using HOV lanes?
Most likely YES, if you aren’t driving an HOV vehicle. At this point, if you do not have 2 or more occupants in your vehicle, you may not use the HOV lanes at any time. And if caught doing so, you will be given a citation.
Vehicles allowed to use HOV lanes:
- Vehicles with two or more occupants (mannequins don’t count…it’s been tried)
- Emergency and Law Enforcement vehicles
Vehicles not allowed in HOV lanes:
- Vehicles of any kind with one occupant (this includes electric and hybrid vehicles)
- Trucks with more than 2 axles
NHP issued 31 tickets for HOV lane violations by 2 PM on June 21, 2019, the first day of enforcement of the new HOV lanes. The penalty to pay out the HOV ticket is $250.00. Additionally, NHP will continue to target enforcement of HOV violations for the entire month of July 2019. The next question is how much will I have to pay? This is where things get interesting.
Las Vegas City Council Disagrees with HOV Lane enforcement
The HOV lane designations and times of operation are set by the State of Nevada Department of Transportation (NVDOT). Las Vegas City Council, however, has a strong disagreement with the concept of HOV lanes, and has spoken clearly, that within Las Vegas city limits, the courts will not enforce HOV lane violations. Councilman Stavros Anthony said, “It’s not fair to dedicate a road that the taxpayers pay for to a certain group of people. HOV enforcement does not anything to reduce accidents and injuries.” Drivers who receive HOV lane tickets within Las Vegas city limits can ask to have their tickets reduced to a parking violation with a fine of $10 in Las Vegas Municipal Court.
The City of Las Vegas includes U.S. 95 north of Charleston, but on I-15 the city limits are just south of Sahara. Which brings us back to the old Express Lanes. Those lanes which have been converted to HOV lanes on I-15 NB and SB, south of Sahara, are controlled by Clark County, which will enforce the HOV laws in Las Vegas Justice Court. If you receive a ticket outside of Las Vegas City limits you can expect to pay the full amount, with no reduction in charges.
Ticket Busters will fight your tickets in Las Vegas and Clark County Nevada
If you receive a ticket in Las Vegas or surrounding Clark County, Nevada, Ticket Busters is there to represent you. We will deal with the court and negotiate a settlement of your charges and fines. In most cases, speeding tickets can be reduced to non-moving violations. This saves you time, avoids increases to your points, and premium rates on your insurance. If you got a ticket, call us today at (702) 666-6666.