Laws You Should Know
Cell Phones & Texting
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.
The first offense is not treated as a moving violation for DMV and insurance purposes. 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, handheld 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 accident, all of the involved parties must file reports on DMV Form SR-1 within 10 days.
Drivers in Nevada have certain duties when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle making use of flashing lights. These apply to all types of emergency vehicles including tow trucks. (NRS 484B.607)
In the absence of direction by a peace officer, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stopped emergency vehicle 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.
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)
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 (NRS 484B.157). 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)
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 202.575)
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 574.195)
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
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.
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 7(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
You cannot refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test as directed by a police officer. Blood samples can be drawn involuntarily, even on a first offense.
- Legal Limits .08 percent blood alcohol level or any detectable amount of a controlled substance. (.02 if under 21, .04 in commercial driving)
- Driver License revoked for at least 90 days upon arrest.
- Vehicle may be impounded.
Public Education Campaigns
|DMV Quick Tips|
|Print-friendly information on a variety of specific safety topics.|
|New Nevada Traffic Laws 2011||Teen Driving||All 10 Topics|
|Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats||DUI||Bicycles||Distracted Driving|
|Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats - Spanish||Roundabouts||Pedestrians||Lane Departures|
|Speeding and Aggressive Driving||Older Drivers||Trailers||Motorcycles|
|New Nevada Traffic Laws 2007 | 2005 | 2003|
|Printed cards of the 2011 topics are available at no cost for your community event or organization. Please contact Kevin Malone at (702) 486-1311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.|
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!
The Look Out Kids About Coalition in Las Vegas urges you to be courteous and drive safely in and around schools.
See also Safe Routes to School.
Decisions about a person’s ability to drive should never be based on age alone. Most older people are capable and have a lifetime of valuable driving experiences. However, changes in vision, physical fitness and reflexes may cause safety concerns. Families should help older drivers plan alternative transportation if they must stop driving.
Constables in Clark County and the DMV operate the "Fair Share" program to report new residents who fail to register their vehicles in Nevada. Currently, four constable jurisdictions participate:
- Las Vegas Constable deputies investigate allegations involving residents of Las Vegas Township, which includes the city of Las Vegas and a large part of unincorporated Clark County, including the urban valley, Indian Springs and Mount Charleston.
- Boulder City, Henderson and Laughlin deputies work within their city or township boundaries.
This program is not in effect in North Las Vegas, the outlying areas of Clark County or the rest of Nevada.
- Las Vegas Constable/Fair Share Program Home Page
- Boulder Constable
- Henderson Constable
- Map of Constable Jurisdictions
- DMV New Resident Guide
Traffic Stops & Racial Profiling
"Racial profiling" means reliance by a peace officer upon the race, ethnicity or national origin of a person as a factor in initiating action when the race, ethnicity or national origin of the person is not part of an identifying description of a specific suspect for a specific crime. (NRS 289.820)
Nevada law requires you pull to the right and stop when signaled to do so by a police officer. There is apprehension for all involved during a routine stop. The person being pulled over is fearful of getting a ticket or because you're not sure why you were stopped; and the officer is fearful for their own personal safety with the unknowns for any given situation.
Drivers who are stopped by law enforcement officers are recommended to follow all legal instructions they receive from the officer. To assist the officer in determining that you are not a wanted fugitive, please keep your hands in sight at all times. Upon initial contact, keep your hands on the steering wheel unless instructed by the officer to do otherwise. When the officer asks for papers, let the officer know what you are intending to do, such as, "my registration is in the glove box." This allows the officer to know your intention ahead of time. If for some reason there is a firearm in the vehicle, advise the officer upon initial contact. The police don't like surprises any more than you do.
If you are stopped at night, turn on the vehicle's dome light to assist in seeing what is present in the car. Be prepared for bright lights. Police use their lights so they can see items harmful to them.
Please stay in the car unless directed by the officer to exit the car. Your cooperation will be appreciated and aid in the safety of all parties-including your own.
If, based on the above definition, you feel you are a victim of racial profiling during a routine stop, you may report your concerns to the law enforcement agency in which the officer works. You may want to have the following information available when you make your report: Date, time and location of the incident, the name of the officer involved, and a badge number if possible; any witness contact information and a copy of the citation if one was issued.