Traffic Laws You Should Know Top ↑
Cell Phones & Texting
Texting, accessing the internet and hand-held cell phone use while driving are illegal in Nevada. (NRS 484B.165)
The fines are $50 for the first offense in seven years, $100 for the second and $250 for the third and subsequent offenses. Fines are subject to doubling if the offense occurs in a work zone. Courts may assess additional administrative fees.
The first offense is not treated as a moving violation. A second or subsequent offense carries 4 demerit points.
You can talk using a hands-free headset and, while making voice calls, touch the phone to “activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function on the device.”
Other exceptions include:
Any person reporting a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity. Drivers using a voice-operated navigation system affixed to the vehicle or those riding in autonomous vehicles. Drivers using citizen band or other two-way radios that require a license and have a separate, hand-held microphone. Law enforcement officers, firefighters or emergency medical personnel acting within the scope of their employment. Utility workers responding to an outage or emergency and using devices provided by the company. Amateur radio operators providing communications services during an emergency or disaster.
Fender bender? Move to the shoulder. If there is damage only to a vehicle or other property (no injuries), your vehicle is obstructing traffic and the vehicle can be moved safely, move the vehicle to a location that does not obstruct traffic and then return to the scene.
See NRS Chapter 484E for more about your duties following a crash. All crashes which involve injuries or damages of $750 or more must be reported to the DMV. If a police officer does not investigate the incident, all of the involved parties must file reports on DMV Form SR-1 within 10 days.
Emergency Vehicles & Traffic Incidents
Drivers in Nevada have certain duties when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle making use of flashing lights or any type of incident that disrupts traffic, including stalled vehicles.
In the absence of direction by a peace officer, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stopped emergency vehicle or traffic incident must:
Decrease the vehicle speed to a speed that is reasonable and proper and less than the posted speed limit. Proceed with caution. Be prepared to stop; and If possible, drive in a lane that is not adjacent to the lane in which the emergency vehicle is stopped unless the roadway, traffic, weather or other conditions make doing so unsafe or impossible.
These apply to all types of emergency vehicles including tow trucks, vehicles from the Nevada Department of Transportation displaying flashing amber lights, vehicles displaying non-flashing blue lights, stalled vehicles and vehicles under repair. (NRS 484B.607, 2019 Senate Bill 395)
Slow-Moving Vehicles on Highways
Drivers on controlled-access highways, who are driving less than the posted speed limit, must not drive in the far left lane if being overtaken by a faster vehicle. This law does not apply within the geographical limits or a city or town. (NRS 484B.208)
Moped operators have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. However, moped operators have additional responsibilities based on the limitations of their vehicle. Moped operators must remain in the extreme right-hand lane of any road unless:
There is only a single lane of traffic in the direction of travel of the moped Preparing to make a left turn (turn must be made within one-quarter mile from entering lane) When driving in the extreme right-hand lane would not be safe; or As directed by a police officer
Moped riders must have a driver”s license (any class), register their vehicle and wear a helmet! See Mopeds.
Motorists passing a bicycle must move into an adjacent lane to the left, if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle. (NRS 484B.270)
Motorists may be charged with reckless driving if they are at-fault in any collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Penalties include a driver license suspension. (NRS 484B.280) Read more about Bicycles below.
Seat Belts & Child Safety Seats
Front and rear seat occupants of almost all passenger vehicles to wear safety belts or ride in an approved child restraint system. Vehicles 1968 and newer must be equipped with lap belts. Vehicles 1970 and newer must be equipped with lap belts and shoulder belts for the front seats.(NRS 484D.495 and 484B.157)
Children under age 6 and who weigh less than 60 pounds must be in an approved child restraint system. Failure to restrain children under age 6 and weighing less than 60 pounds may result in fines, community service and or the suspension of your driver’s license. (NRS 484B.157)
Beginning January 1, 2022, children less than 6 years old and less than 57 inches tall must ride in an approved child restraint system. Weight will not be a factor. Children under 2 must ride in a rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat of the vehicle. The safety seat may be placed in the front if the air bag is deactivated and there is no back seat, all back seats are in use by children under 2 or the child has special health needs outlined in a physician note. (2021 Assembly Bill 118)
Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for guidance on choosing, installing and using the right seat. See the DMV Quick Tip brochures in English and Spanish for Nevada laws. NHTSA”s Parents Central has safety tips on a wide range of topics.
Kids & Pets
Never leave a child age 7 or younger unattended in a vehicle if the conditions present a significant risk to the health and safety of that child unless the child is being supervised by, and within sight of, a person at least 12 years old. (NRS 202.485)
It is illegal to leave a dog or cat unattended in a vehicle during periods of extreme heat or cold. Law enforcement, firefighters and other officials may use reasonable force to rescue the animal. (NRS 202.487)
Passengers under 18 may not ride in the back of a pickup or flatbed truck. This does not apply, however, to farming and ranching activity, parades or to camper shells or slide-in campers. (NRS 484B.160)
Teen Driving Restrictions
See Nevada Teen Driving and the DMV Quick Tip.
Drivers under 18 cannot transport any passenger under the age of 18, except for immediate family members, for the first six months after licensing.
Drivers under 18 may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are traveling to or from a scheduled event such as work or a school event. This curfew remains in effect until age 18.
Nevada has a Basic Rule for driving at reasonable and proper speeds. This means that in addition to any posted speed limits, you must consider the amount and type of traffic, weather, road conditions and other factors. The proper speed may be considerably less than the posted limit. (NRS 484B.600)
Right on Red
You are allowed to turn right on a red light after coming to a full stop, unless otherwise posted. You must be in the extreme right-hand lane and yield to pedestrians and all traffic moving through the intersection. (NRS 484B.307 8(c))
U-turns are generally allowed if they can be completed safely. In business areas, you must be at an intersection or on a divided highway where an appropriate opening exists. U-turns are not allowed where prohibited by a traffic sign or signal, or if there is less than 500 feet visibility in both directions. (NRS 484B.403)
Drivers are required to stop for school buses when students are boarding and departing and when bus is displaying its flashing red lights. On divided highways with a median or other physical barrier, traffic moving in the opposite direction does not have to stop. On all other roads, traffic in both directions must stop. (NRS 484B.353)
Driving Under the Influence
Failure to submit to a breath, blood or urine test as directed by a police officer results in a driver”s license revocation of at least one year. A blood sample can be drawn involuntarily if the officer obtains a warrant or court order.
Legal Limits .08 percent blood alcohol level or any detectable amount of a controlled substance. (.02 if under 21, .04 in commercial driving) Driver”s license revoked for at least 185 days upon a failed test Vehicle may be impounded
These are administrative penalties which are taken immediately. Courts impose additional criminal penalties upon conviction.
All DUI Alcohol suspects may install ignition interlock devices as a condition of receiving a restricted driver”s license. Courts may order interlock devices as part of sentencing. (2021 Assembly Bill 427 | NRS Chapter 484C | DMV Quick Tip)
Public Education Campaigns Top ↑
|Print-friendly information on a variety of specific safety topics.|
|All 9 Topics||Teen Driving||Bicycles||Distracted Driving|
|Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats||DUI||Pedestrians||Lane Departures|
|Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats – Spanish||Roundabouts|
The Nevada Department of Transportation, the DMV and many other agencies are partners in this comprehensive, statewide effort to reduce fatalities on our roads. Volunteers are welcome!
Visit these web pages:
Bicycles Top ↑
When bicycles are ridden with other traffic, cyclists must obey the same rules and regulations as other types of vehicles. The safe interaction between bicyclists and motorists is the responsibility of both parties.
Motorists are not allowed to intentionally interfere with the movement of a person lawfully operating a bicycle; bicyclists may not intentionally interfere with the movement of a motor vehicle.
At intersections, motorists must yield to cyclists as they would for other vehicles and pedestrians. When passing a cyclist, motorists must move into an adjacent lane to the left if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance. Motorists are allowed to cross the center lane of the highway if is safe to do so. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to a cyclist on a bicycle path or in a bike lane. Motorists may not stop, park or drive on a designated bicycle path or lane unless they are entering or leaving an alley or driveway, performing official duties, directed by a police officer, or an emergency situation exists. A cyclist is required to ride on the right side of the roadway. Cyclists ride in a traffic lane, staying to the far right as practicable unless preparing to turn or overtake another vehicle. Cyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals and use hand signals to let others know what they plan to do. Inexperienced riders, especially children, require special courtesy and care. They may not always follow traffic rules. Be especially careful around these riders and expect the unexpected.
Obey the law. Wear a helmet. Wear brightly colored clothing. Keep bikes in good repair.
Cyclists Should Not:
Ride on the wrong side of the road. Wear a headset when riding. Ride at night without required lights and reflectors.
Bicycles ridden at night must have:
A white lamp in the front visible from at least 500 feet away. A red tail reflector visible in a vehicle’s low beams from 300 feet away. Reflective material on the sides of the bike visible in low beams from at least 600 feet away or a lamp visible from both sides from 500 feet away.
Visit Bicycle Nevada for more information.
New Traffic Laws 2021
Here are summaries of the new traffic laws passed by the 2021 Nevada Legislature with links to the legislation and effective dates. Please read the legislation or seek legal advice for details.
Child Restraint Systems
You may drive a recently-purchased vehicle without a movement permit for three days after the date of purchase if you carry, in the vehicle, proof of ownership or proof of purchase and proof of liability insurance.
Driving Under the Influence
Assembly Bill 427 makes significant changes to Nevada”s Ignition Interlock and 24/7 Monitoring programs. Here are some highlights:
The minimum driver”s license revocation period for a failed breath, blood or urine test has been raised from 90 to 185 days. (Sec. 14)Courts must order drivers to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) as a condition of reinstating their driver”s license following any DUI conviction. Credit is given if the IID was installed prior to conviction. (Sec. 28)Driving a vehicle without an IID when required or tampering with an IID results in a three-year driver”s license revocation for the first offense and five years for the second or subsequent offense in addition to the criminal penalties. (Sec. 5)DMV may suspend a driver”s license without a preliminary hearing for IID violations. (Sec. 6)The driver”s license seizure and revocation for failure to submit to a preliminary breath test has been removed. (Sec.13 and 15)
Driver”s License Suspensions
Courts will no longer order a driver”s license suspension for a delinquent fine, administrative assessment, fee or restitution.
As of October 1, 2021, any such suspension in effect will be cleared and the license reinstated. DMV will notify the affected motorists and will not charge a fee or require testing for reinstatement.
Traffic Citations and Penalties
Assembly Bill 116 decriminalizes most misdemeanor traffic offenses effective January 1, 2023. It applies to minor traffic offenses such as speeding, cell phone use and seat belt violations. Serious offenses such as DUI remain criminal offenses.
AB 116 will make only minor changes in law enforcement procedures during a traffic stop. Officers may continue to detain, search and arrest drivers as appropriate under existing laws. However, courts will then treat the citation as a civil infraction rather than a criminal offense.
Under current law, a cited driver is subject to a fine and possible jail time if convicted. A driver who fails to appear in court or pay a fine is automatically subject to a bench warrant, possible arrest and a driver”s license suspension.
Under the new laws, the driver is subject only to a civil penalty of $500 maximum plus administrative assessments and fees if the court finds the driver committed the infraction. Drivers have up to 90 days to respond to the citation. Delinquent payments may be collected by the local city or county for up to 10 years. Courts may order a driver”s license suspension for delinquent payments.
What won”t change
Cited drivers may dispute the citation in the court of jurisdiction. Courts may reduce penalties, order drivers to attend traffic school and/or require community service in lieu of a monetary assessment. Courts will notify the DMV when a driver is determined to have committed a civil infraction. The infraction will appear on the driver history record. The DMV point system is unchanged. Multiple civil infractions can lead to a driver”s license suspension.
AB 116 lists a number of traffic offenses that will remain criminal misdemeanors. Here is a partial list: driving under the influence and open container violations, driving without a valid license, leaving the scene of a crash, failure to stop and render aid, failure to stop for an emergency vehicle, violations involving flaggers, tampering with a traffic control device or sign and any traffic offense committed while the driver is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Required initial Appearances
When passing a bicycle on a two-lane highway, motorists are allowed to cross to the left of the center of the highway to maintain a safe distance of at least three feet if it is safe to do so. This applies even in no-passing zones.