Traffic Laws at a Glance
The chosen method of transportation for most people is an automobile. While Nevada’s driving laws are similar to most places, you’ll want to make sure that you understand all the nuances, lest you be pulled over by the police.
Here is an easy-to-read summary of some of the important traffic laws in Nevada provided by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Nevada has an open container law. It is illegal to have opened alcoholic beverages in the driver or passenger areas of a vehicle while it is being driven.
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). The driver’s license is revoked for 90 days upon arrest. The vehicle may be impounded. These are administrative penalties which are taken immediately. Courts impose additional criminal penalties upon conviction.
All accidents that involve injuries or damages of $750 or more must be reported to 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. You must provide your driver’s license, registration and insurance information to any other drivers involved and to the owner of any unattended vehicle or property.
Buckle Up! Nevada law requires seat belt use by all occupants in a vehicle. Children under the age of six who weigh less than sixty pounds must be in an approved child restraint system that is properly installed. Visit National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration website at: www.nhtsa.gov
to learn more about Nevada’s new booster seat law. Seat Belts and Child Safety: Nevada revised statutes 484.641 and 484.474 require that front and rear seat occupants of almost all passenger vehicles wear safety belts or ride in an approved child restraint system. All children ages 12 and under should sit in the back seat, properly restrained whenever possible. Call 888-dash-2-dot or visit www.nhtsa.gov for more information. Passengers under 18 may not ride in the back of a pickup or flatbed truck. This applies in all Nevada counties and on all types of roads. The law does not apply, however, to farming and ranching activity, parades, camper shells or slide-in campers. Any child under six years of age who weighs less than sixty pounds must ride in an approved child restraint system. You should always use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least one year old and at least twenty pounds. Try to use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age one and twenty pounds to about age four and 40 pounds and booster seats in the back seat from about age four to at least age eight or until your child reaches 4’9”.
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.
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.
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.
Drivers are required to stop for school buses when students are boarding and departing and when a bus is displaying its flashing red lights. On divided highways, traffic moving in the opposite direction does not have to stop. On all other roads, traffic in both directions must stop.
Bicycles have all of the rights and responsibilities of a motor vehicle when riding in traffic. Cyclists are required to signal and obey traffic laws. They can ride in any traffic lane when necessary but should generally stay as far to the right as possible.
Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians in unmarked crossing areas at intersections, at crosswalks where there are no traffic signals and at marked and signaled crosswalks.