We all know that crosswalks were built to be used by pedestrians, but did you know that there was a specific way to use them? There are not many rules to it but there is a law that was created by Nevada lawmakers and is to be enforced by law enforcement officials throughout the state.
In most cases, the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) would not be involved in these types of enforcement issues. The reason we state that is that there are not many crosswalks located on highways throughout the state of Nevada.
Most of the white blocks painted on the streets (crosswalks) can be found on surface streets in more urban areas such as Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City.
A crosswalk is pretty basic. It really is just a walkway painted on the pavement that provides a safe space for those on foot to walk across a street without fearing for their life.
Even though a crosswalk may be present, any pedestrian using it should still be careful and not assume that nothing bad could happen to them. Even with flashing lights and dedicated areas for pedestrians to cross a street, there are still many accidents with many of them causing death. For example, there are situations when pedestrians should give right of way to vehicles.
If someone on foot gets hit by a car, it can be a very serious issue.
Most crosswalks found in Nevada will be six feet in length with multiple transverse lines painted white in color. With something so basic and pretty much uniform across the state, it is hard to believe that instructions are needed on how to use them.
But there are instructions so as someone who resides in Nevada or is even just visiting it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the law.
What Nevada Law Says About How to Use a Crosswalk
Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484B.293 is the law that although is only one sentence, pertains to how to use a crosswalk.
The title of the statute is “Direction of Movement on a Crosswalk” and it’s one line reads as follows:
Pedestrians shall move whenever practicable upon the right half of crosswalks.
Before we talk more about what this law is all about let us first look at the definition of “practicable”, which is:
able to be done or put into practice successfully.
So basically, pedestrians are to use the crosswalks on the right side whenever it is possible. It makes sense because here in the United States since we drive on the right side of the road so we should also walk on the right side.
If the crosswalk is empty or if other people are on it, then you are not allowed to be on the left-hand side. As the NRS suggests though, if something is in the way or if you are passing someone, then you could be on the left-hand side.
Sometimes there could be a wheelchair, traffic signage, or other obstructions that move you to the left, and if so then that is acceptable. What would not only be rude but also a violation of this Nevada law would be to walk on the left-hand side interfering with the oncoming pedestrians. Per this NRS, that could generate a ticket for you if a police officer or other law enforcement official witnesses that.
Why Are There Pedestrian Laws
There are some other things to know about crosswalk laws as well as accidents and injuries involving pedestrians. It should not seem strange to you that there are pedestrian laws in Nevada because every state has them.
They may not all be identical or as encompassing as Nevada but there are laws that were designed by each state’s legislation to help bring safety to the roads. Whether you are driving in a car or walking on foot, the Rules of the Road in Nevada need to be adhered to.
In recent years, Nevada has been one of the top ten states for fatalities of pedestrians.
When the statistics were taken, it was deemed that nearly all of the fatalities listed were those of local residents. At first glance, one might think that Nevada (especially Las Vegas) would not be on a list like that because of the high density of tourists on foot on and near the Las Vegas Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard).
Another area similar to the Strip is Fremont Street located in Downtown Las Vegas where lots of pedestrians are present. Although the tourist portion of Fremont Street is not utilized by automobiles, the streets crossing it certainly are, which can cause issues if rules are not followed.
Recent Statistics Regarding Pedestrian Accidents
Although many pedestrians are killed by automobiles in Nevada each year, it has been determined that approximately 80% of those deaths occur in the Clark County area.
- Aside from actual deaths, many accidents result in serious injury.
- Even with more public awareness and additional safety features being installed on roadways, the number of pedestrian deaths has continued to escalate each year.
As we spoke of earlier in this article, some areas are hotspots for pedestrian accidents.
Aside from the high tourist spots, some older areas within the city also have a high number of incidents. In many cases, this could be because older areas do not receive the same amount of public funding as more affluent areas do.
Older, poorer, and outdated neighborhoods often have fewer crosswalks in their area even though fewer people own cars and therefore commute by foot. In some cases, these older areas also have driving lanes that are sometimes wider which makes for a longer crosswalk. Oftentimes, there are medians that expand the street size which means more steps for a person to have to cross.
Aside from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (LVMPD) and other law agencies, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) tracks many accidents and keeps statistics on them. Although constantly changing, the data will reveal what some of the most dangerous intersections and streets are within Las Vegas city limits.
Some of the more challenging areas are:
- The intersection of Sahara and Decatur
- The Boulder Highway
- East Charleston Blvd
- Maryland Parkway and Flamingo
Stay Safe: A Friendly Reminder from Ticket Busters
Although it seems intrusive and overwhelming, the laws in Nevada were written up and exist for safety. As a pedestrian, you should always follow one of the first rules that you ever learned and that is to look both ways before crossing a street.
Many drivers on the road are simply not paying attention when they operate a vehicle. There are many distractions, the biggest one being a cell phone. It is unlawful to operate a cell phone while driving but yet people still do it. With Nevada being a twenty-four-hour town with liberal drinking laws, alcohol is always available.
Marijuana is also legal which makes for additional distractions or more people driving under the influence.
Ticket Busters is here to help you with your traffic ticket issues. Our office can be found easily as we are located in downtown Las Vegas. You can stop by without an appointment, or you can call or even email us for assistance.