This Nevada Revised Statute is pretty straightforward for anyone who has been driving for any amount of time in America. Whether you are just learning how to drive and still part of student learning or if you have been driving for many years then, of course, you know that we drive on the right-hand side of the road.
We would even guess that those too young to drive in Nevada would also already be aware that drivers must stay right while driving. Although NRS 484B.203 states the obvious, it does have additional details and really pertains to cars passing other cars while driving in opposite directions.
What Is NRS 484B.203 and What Is It About
The statute specifically reads:
Duties of drivers passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions; additional penalty for violation committed in work zone or pedestrian safety zone.
- Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other keeping to the right, and upon highways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each direction, each driver shall give to the other at least one-half of the paved portion of the highway as nearly as possible.
- A person who violates any provision of this section may be subject to any additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.130 or 484B.135.
Since this Nevada Revised Statute is part of chapter 484 it is considered one of the many Rules of the Road here in the state.
Guidance on Driving in Opposite Directions
Keep in mind that the verbiage in this law does not pertain to drivers traveling in the same direction. In that case, it is necessary for a car to pass slower cars on the left-hand side.
This statute only deals with cars driving in opposite directions and in this case states that when they pass each other, both cars must do so by being on the right-hand side of the street or highway.
Again, if drivers in Nevada are already following the driving lessons learned in ‘Driving 101’ class then this should not be a big deal. However, some drivers, mostly known as daredevils or those that really have no regard for their fellow drivers and passengers may attempt to pass a car on the left-hand side. Doing so would really put all parties in a precarious position as it would be extremely dangerous and possibly cause a head-on collision.
If this type of action is witnessed by law enforcement you can most likely expect to get a traffic ticket. Although it is reckless and may be difficult to counter a defensive strategy for such poor decision making it would still be wise for a driver in that position to reach out to Ticket Busters for legal help. An egregious act such as violating NRS 484B.203 may result in excessive monetary penalties, points against the driving record and possible jail time. With a stack of charges like that going against you, help from an experienced attorney trained in Nevada traffic laws would certainly be helpful.
What to Do When the Road Is Not Big Enough
Another aspect of this statute is when the size of the highway or road is not sufficiently large enough to accommodate two lanes of cars traveling in opposing directions.
Many might think that this would never be the case as a road would always be built to fit at least two lanes of cars at a minimum. That is probably true but traffic issues and construction can play a part in this. If a wreck or other traffic incident has occurred and a lane of traffic is being blocked then you could find yourself in the situation that NRS 484B.203 is describing.
Another, possibly more common situations are those involving construction. Traffic cones, metal flashers, or other obstructions could be in place to direct traffic and drivers to avoid certain areas under construction. If these traffic devices end up blocking half of the road then this would also be a scenario that this statute describes.
Regardless of the reason, this NRS provides instructions on what drivers need to do if they find themselves in this position. If this happens then drivers need to share the road. They can (and need to do so to be compliant with the law) by only taking half of the paved part of the highway which allows the other driver traveling in the other direction to utilize the other half.
If given a ticket for not following this aspect of the law we at Ticket Busters can help. We will look into the situation to determine if it was not possible to provide half of the road to the other driver.
In some instances, this is the case because of a variety of reasons. These reasons could include the shoulder of the road being non-existent with obstructions to the side. Another reason could be obstacles in the way preventing drivers from moving off the road. Obstacles could be a number of things including parked cars, trash/refuse, a fence or wall or even large rocks or boulders depending on where you are driving.
One would think that a law enforcement officer would not issue a ticket if this situation presented itself causing the driver to not share the road but they still could. That is why it is always helpful for you as the cited driver to take pictures of the situation.
Doing so days later could not provide the best evidence for Ticket Busters to draw up a defense strategy as the scene could have changed. For instance, if you, the cited driver, did not allow the opposing traffic at least half of the road due to a specific reason and that reason ends up not being prevalent days later it will be tough to prove that.
If you failed to move due to there being an abandoned car on the side of the road and you do not take a picture at that time well then things could change. If you go back a few days later to document the situation then the abandoned car could have been moved by the owner or towed away deleting your evidence and reasoning for the violation of 484B.203.
Even if this situation does occur, the legal professionals at Ticket Busters can still assist you with your Nevada traffic ticket. If needed we can usually show up to court on your behalf which saves you money and allows you to continue on with your life. Going to a court appearance is a big disruption for most people as it takes time out of the day where work is missed due to having to drive to the courthouse, find parking, wait in line and then attend the hearing.
Violations in Work Zones and Pedestrian Safety Zones Incur Additional Penalties
There is a second part to the NRS as well and it was drawn up by the lawmakers in Carson City, NV as:
2. A person who violates any provision of this section may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.230.
This aspect is pretty vague at face value but we will dig into it a bit more in this article.
First off, what exactly is considered a “person”? One could probably figure out on their own what a “person” is but it’s always good to get the exact definition from Nevada lawmakers so that drivers and law enforcement are on the same page. It is not sufficient to get the definition from a dictionary (whether it be online or a hardcopy) because only the definition from the powers that be in Carson City really matters. They actually defined “person” in a different statute, NRS .039. In that statute, person is defined as:
person: means a natural person, any form of business or social organization and any other nongovernmental legal entity including, but not limited to, a corporation, partnership, association, trust or unincorporated organization. See Nevada Revised Statutes 0.039
As with most other statutes in Nevada that involve traffic, there are additional penalties if a driver violates them while in a work zone or other type of pedestrian area such as a school zone.
NRS 484B.203 does have double penalties if a driver is cited for violating the statute while in a work zone. There is an exception and that is when the driver violates the NRS while in a temporary traffic zone. This aspect specifically reads:
Double penalty for certain traffic violations committed in work zones; exception in certain temporary traffic control zones. [Effective through December 31, 2022.] NRS 484B.130 Double penalty for certain traffic violations committed in work zones; exception in certain temporary traffic control zones.
The bottom line is to share the road and utilize common sense when driving in Nevada. Stay on the right-hand side just like you were always taught to do. If a situation presents itself where part of the road is blocked and you have traffic coming in your direction then move over to the right as far as you can to allow the oncoming car ample room to pass you. It is not only the most courteous thing to do for your fellow Nevada drivers but it is also following the law.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the penalty for violating NRS 484B.203?
If a driver is cited for violating this statute then they are subject to fines and possible license suspension or other penalties as set forth in Nevada law. In addition, if the violation occurs in a work zone or pedestrian safety zone, then there may be additional penalties applied.
Is it legal to pass on the right-hand side of traffic in Nevada?
Generally speaking, no. It is illegal to pass a vehicle on either shoulder of any highway unless it is necessary for safety purposes and you must do so at an appropriate speed. It’s always best practice to stay on the right-hand side of the road and follow the flow of traffic.
What happens if I miss my hearing in Nevada?
If you fail to appear for your hearing then the court will issue a bench warrant against you. If a law enforcement officer pulls you over they will take you into custody, not just cite you a ticket. It’s always best to make sure that your court appearances are taken care of in order to avoid any complications.