We have all heard the term “jaywalking,” but often times we may not understand what it really is.
There is a law for it here in Nevada which may come as a surprise to many being that the state is so lenient on many other things.
When it comes to vices, Nevada is and has been open for many years. Of course, its largest city, Las Vegas, was put on the map in the early 1930’s due to the legalization of gambling. Around that same time, the state became famous for allowing “quicky divorces”.
Since that time, many other things have become legal which would still be considered illegal in many other states.
This could include drinking an open container of alcohol in certain parts of the state (especially in Las Vegas on the Strip or Fremont Street in downtown). Legalized sports betting has been prevalent in the state for decades and fairly recently the legalization of marijuana was also passed by voters.
Even though the rules here in the Sagebrush State can be a little lax, it does not mean that as a pedestrian you can do whatever you want. You cannot cross a street whenever or however you feel like it. Oftentimes, this leads to accidents that could have easily been avoided.
If you are ever given a traffic ticket or a ticket for jaywalking or not following the laws in Nevada properly when on foot, then reach out to Ticket Busters located in downtown Las Vegas. We are located on South 4th Street just minutes away from so many famous landmarks.
If you cannot make it to us in person, then simply give us a ring or send us an email and we will respond right away to help you.
What Nevada Law Says About Jaywalking
NRS 484B.287 is the law that discusses how pedestrians need to act and when they must be the ones to yield to cars. Many other Rules of the Road in Nevada have distinct rules that dictate how cars must yield to pedestrians and give them the right of way but this statute is the exact opposite.
Nevada Revised Statute 484B.287 reads as follows:
NRS 484B.287 When pedestrian must yield right-of-way to vehicle; when crossing at crosswalk is required; crossing diagonally. Except as provided in NRS 484B.290:
There are five points to this statute as well as a second part that discusses the penalties for violating it (we’ll get to that a little later in the article). The first point talks about when a pedestrian must yield:
1. Every pedestrian crossing a highway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.
As most drivers know, when there is a crosswalk, then drivers need to be alert for pedestrians and provide them with the right of way to safely cross the intersection.
This aspect of the NRS stresses that pedestrians need to know that vehicles have the right of way if they are crossing a street at a location that is other than an actual intersection or at a crosswalk. By having this verbiage, the lawmakers allude to the fact that pedestrians need to cross streets at places that are specifically designated for them. The other side of the coin for a pedestrian yielding to a car when crossing the street is because if they do not, then they could get hit by the car which would cause serious damage and possibly death.
Use Pedestrian Crossings When Provided
The next part of the statute informs people what needs to happen at bridges or tunnels designed for pedestrians:
2. Any pedestrian crossing a highway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.
Pedestrian bridges are most commonly found at one of the highest places of pedestrian density in the state and quite possibly the country and that is the Las Vegas Strip (also known as Las Vegas Boulevard).
Many of the bridges were built by the early 2000’s on the Strip and were constructed for a variety of reasons. One of which was for safety reasons and the other was to avoid additional traffic congestion with cars waiting for passerby tourists to get across the boulevard.
In any case, if you find yourself walking across the famous Las Vegas Strip on one of the many bridges, then know that you have the right of way over automobiles. It seems a bit strange that this verbiage would need to be included because if you are one of those bridges there is no way that a car could interfere with your pathway. The same situation would occur if you were in a tunnel. Nonetheless, this Nevada statute verifies the point.
Cross Intersections Only Allowed in Marked Crosswalks
Point number three is short but really describes the term “jaywalking” even though it does not refer to that name:
3. Between adjacent intersections at which official traffic-control devices are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
This is it.
Jaywalking is when a pedestrian crosses a road at a location that is not designed to do so, namely a crosswalk. If you do this, then you can be cited with a ticket for violating this NRS.
Even if no cars are coming and you are walking on a sidewalk, you are not allowed to just cross the street wherever you feel like it. Even though it may seem harmless enough, it can cause havoc. If there are turns or blindspots, then a car may not see you crossing until things are too late.
This is especially true when they are not on the lookout for someone to be crossing the street knowing that they should only be doing so at a crosswalk.
You Cannot Cross an Intersection Diagonally
4. A pedestrian shall not cross an intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices.
Even if there are crosswalks present, this aspect of the statute states that a pedestrian cannot move across an intersection diagonally and must cross going in one straight direction.
Basically, if you are following a crosswalk as a pedestrian, then you are legally abiding by the law. If you veer off of the crosswalk then you could be in violation unless there are traffic devices stating otherwise.
Obey Traffic Control Devices
The last part of the NRS is somewhat similar to the one prior. It states:
5. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
When there are traffic devices present, they need to be adhered to just like many other laws in Nevada. It is no different for someone on foot where they need to stay in compliance with the instructions on the device.
Penalties for Jaywalking in Nevada
By now, you might be wondering what the penalty is for violating this statute.
Not to worry, the lawmakers in northern Nevada in the capital city of Carson City already thought of this and noted it in the second part of this statute. It states:
2. A violation of this section:(a) Is not a misdemeanor; and(b) Is punishable by the imposition of a civil penalty of not more than $100.
If you are given a ticket by a law enforcement officer it will certainly be annoying, but at least you can expect to not have to break the bank to pay the fine.
As this NRS reads, the civil penalty (vs a criminal penalty) will not be greater than $100.
Given a Citation? Contact Ticket Busters
Even if the fine is not astronomical, you still want to fight the ticket and not have to deal with the court system. The best way to go about this is to contact Ticket Busters for help. When you reach out to us we will set up a free consultation visit where we can strategize and possibly come up with a defense for you.
Some defenses that can be utilized depending on the situation are:
- An emergency situation occurred that forced you to cross the street at a location that was not designated to do so, hence jaywalking. An emergency can be a variety of things including a vehicle that is out of control, an emergency vehicle trying to pass you, or countless other situations.
- Sometimes law enforcement officials make errors and a policeman could have misidentified you as being the one that crossed the street illegally when it was actually someone else.
- Due to the extreme heat and nearly constant sunlight in southern Nevada, sometimes a crosswalk will fade away and will not be repainted in a timely fashion. This could cause confusion for some pedestrians and could also be used as a defense for your ticket.
When you reach out to Ticket Busters for help we will utilize numerous tools to assist you with the case. These tools could include surveillance video from nearby businesses or from the cameras mounted on some traffic light poles.
The same with photographs or eyewitnesses which could be from other people on foot that were located nearby or even from cars that were in the vicinity.
No matter what the defense is, it is highly recommended to seek out help if you have been cited for jaywalking.
If you are ever in need of legal assistance regarding a jaywalking ticket or any other citation issued in Nevada, do not hesitate to call Ticket Busters for help.
We have handled countless cases with fines dropped or reduced and we may be able to do the same for you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation visit. Let us fight your ticket while you take care of more important things.