There are many festivals and parades throughout the state of Nevada.
Nevada is a big and diverse state as evidenced by anyone who has been in the most populated city of Las Vegas or even some of the smaller ones such as Elko and every former mining camp in between.
When there are parades and other festive events, there are usually banners hanging over streets and other types of signage. Well, this signage cannot just be hung up at will by festival organizers and must be done so in adherence to the law.
Typically, permits are needed to be applied for by event organizers to the town council or city. And other types of rules exist for the banners and signs.
One of the major reasons for having strict rules for street banners, signals, and other signage is that they can be a distraction to drivers. If installed improperly the signs could cover up street lights and other directive signs that drivers need to see in order to not have chaos on the roads.
What Nevada Law Says About the Use of Signs and Banners
The law that deals with this type of situation is NRS 484B.313. Compared to many other Rules of the Road (Chapter 484 for the Nevada Revised Statues), this statute is quite long.
There are six different points to it and even the title is long which reads:
NRS 484B.313 Display of unauthorized signs, signals, markings or street banners; limitation on placement of commercial advertising; removal as public nuisance; exceptions; use of advertising revenues to repay bonds.
The title is pretty specific and detailed so it is probably no surprise that the actual content of the statute is lengthy as well. Although we will not get into the details in this article, this statute also references many other statutes.
False Signages and Their Dangers
The first point of this NRS really discusses details about false signage or someone amending a current sign. Sometimes for evil reasons or just for a prank, people will interfere with street signs. Doing so is definitely not funny and can cause a traffic accident.
Streets signs are installed by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) for a reason so if they are fiddled with to change their meaning that is a serious issue. One obvious example could be if someone covered up a stop sign.
We can all imagine what the outcome of a busy intersection would be if a stop sign was ignored or in this case not visible to drivers. Similar negative issues could occur with many other types of signs if they are changed or hidden from view. Severe injury, or worse, death, often results from ignoring traffic signals. What more if they exist but have been tampered with?
This point discusses that and it reads:
1. It is unlawful for any person to place, maintain or display upon or in view of any highway any unauthorized sign, signal, marking or device which purports to be or is an imitation of or resembles an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic, or which hides from view or interferes with the effectiveness of any such device, sign or signal, and except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, a person shall not place or maintain nor may any public authority permit upon any highway any sign, signal, marking or street banner bearing thereon any commercial advertising except on benches and shelters for passengers of public mass transportation for which a franchise has been granted pursuant to NRS 244.187 and 244.188, 268.081 and 268.083, 269.128 and 269.129, or 277A.310 and 277A.330, or on monorail stations.
Be sure to contact Ticket Busters as soon as possible in case you are ever cited a traffic ticket for violating NRS 484B.313. If given a ticket for violating a traffic law but feel that it was due to someone interfering with a street sign then also let us know.
For instance, if someone interfered with a “merge right” sign making it not visible to you as the driver and you were ticketed for not merging lanes then call us immediately.
The second point to this NRS is a follow-up to the first one. It really just emphasizes that prohibited signs are disallowed and if seen by a public official then they have the empowerment to remove them immediately without having to contact the owner or group (ie: festival organizer) that installed the signage.
2. Every such prohibited sign, signal or marking is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and the proper public authority may remove the same or cause it to be removed without notice.
Signages on Private Property Are Okay
The next subpoint is quite wordy and can be a bit confusing. It basically states that it is acceptable to install a sign next to a roadway in Nevada as long as it is on private property.
The other caveat that this point makes is that although that is allowed by the law, the signage cannot replicate an actual street sign installed by NDOT. This aspect of the statute is fair and reasonable.
3. This section does not prohibit the erection upon private property adjacent to highways of signs giving useful directional information and of a type that cannot be mistaken for official traffic-control devices.
Signages for Commercial Advertisement Allowed As Long as It Follows Certain Conditions
Subpoint number four is another one that has confusing language as it states:
4. A person may place and maintain commercial advertising in an airspace above a highway under the conditions specified pursuant to subsection 3 of NRS 405.110, and a public authority may permit commercial advertising that has been placed in an airspace above a highway under the conditions specified pursuant to subsection 3 of NRS 405.110.
Perhaps part of the reason this point is so confusing is the fact that it references other statutes which the reader needs to be knowledgeable about. As a quick summary, signage can be placed for advertising above roadways as long as certain guidelines are followed which can be found within Nevada Revised Statue 405.110.
The fifth point is utilized to protect the state of Nevada when a commercial franchise owes the state funds via a bond. If revenue is generated by the franchise from advertising signage placed above a roadway then the money generated must be paid back to the state.
This of course is only when that company needs to repay a state bond. If the company does not have a bond payment outstanding on its books then it can utilize the funds as they see fit for its business.
5. If a franchisee receives revenues from commercial advertising authorized by subsection 1 and the franchisee is obligated to repay a bond issued by the State of Nevada, the franchisee shall use all revenue generated by the advertising authorized by subsection 1 to meet its obligations to the State of Nevada as set forth in the financing agreement and bond indenture, including, without limitation, the payment of operations and maintenance obligations, the funding of reserves and the payment of debt service. To the extent that any surplus revenue remains after the payment of all such obligations, the surplus revenue must be used solely to repay the bond until the bond is repaid.
Definitions Used in this Statute
Subpoint number six provides definitions for a couple of items. One of which is for a monorail station and the other for a street banner.
6. As used in this section:
(a) “Monorail station” means:
(1) A structure for the loading and unloading of passengers from a monorail for which a franchise has been granted pursuant to NRS 705.695 or an agreement has been entered into pursuant to NRS 705.695; and
The monorail system in Las Vegas has never really maxed out its potential. Since it’s inception many years ago, it has had some additions and even has linked up with some of the existing lines that private casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard had already built. The main monorail station can be found off of Paradise Road. It was strategically built there due to the proximity to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Many convention goers utilize the monorail for getting from the Strip to their convention rooms.
The term street banner definition also utilizes another NRS:
(2) Any facilities or appurtenances within such a structure.
(b) “Street banner” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 277A.130.
Facing a Traffic Ticket?
Ticket Busters can assist you with a traffic ticket you may receive in southern Nevada regarding unauthorized signs, banners and signals.
If you are cited with a ticket by the local police then reach out to us. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Las Vegas but if that is not easily accessible for you then simply give us a call or email.
If given a ticket for a traffic violation but were unable to understand the signage due to interference or an unauthorized sign then we can help. We will get the details of what exactly happened to make a case with the goal of getting your ticket reduced or possibly dropped completely.
If signage was interfered with then try and take a picture of it with your phone as our legal experts can possibly use it as evidence. If a normal street sign was interfered with or if unauthorize signage was added to it causing you to violate a simple traffic law then you should not be responsible for that citation and our legal team will do the fighting for you.