In Nevada, NRS 484B.1301 calls for enhanced penalties for traffic offenses that occur in work zones. A person who violates a speeding law or other traffic law in a work zone may face extra fines and jail time. Nevada law 484B.130 creates rules for designating a work zone and the rules that apply to drivers.
What Is Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.130?
Under Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.130, drivers face double penalties for certain traffic offenses. If a traffic violation happens in a designated work zone, the driver faces twice the maximum penalty, up to an additional $1,000 fine, six months in jail or 120 hours of community service. Speed limit violations and other violations of the rules of the road may fall under Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.130.
What Is a Work Zone for the Purpose of NRS 484B.130?
As defined in NRS 484B.130, a work zone is any place that is designated as a temporary traffic control zone. It’s also any area where road workers are present or where road dangers may be aggravated because of a condition caused by the construction, maintenance or repair of the road. Smaller lanes, shifting lanes, uneven roads and temporary surfaces can all create work zones for the purpose of NRS 484B.130.
There must be signs or certain conditions present in order for a stretch of road to be a designated work zone. Generally, there must be a sign at the beginning and at the end of the zone. However, there are some instances where signs are not required.
When Are Signs Not Required to Create a Work Zone in Nevada?
Signs are not required in all circumstances to designate a work zone in Nevada. Work zone signs are not needed in order to impose a double penalty for a work zone violation in these circumstances:
- Emergency situations that threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public
- Residential areas where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less
- Even though signs are not required in these circumstances, if there are no signs, extra penalties may not be imposed unless an injury results from the violation
Of course, the easiest way to identify a work zone is to post signs at the beginning and end of the area. However, if an injury occurs in a place that meets the criteria, the driver may face double penalties even without posted notices.
How Does Double Punishment Work for Nevada Work Zone NRS 484B.130 Violations?
Double punishment is possible for Nevada work zone violations with the following rules and conditions:
Double the Maximum Penalty Up to the Statutory Maximum
The extra penalty for the work zone violation can be no more than double the underlying offense. However, in any event, additional penalties cannot be more than an extra $1,000 fine, six months in jail and 120 hours of community service. That means if the maximum penalty for the offense is one year in jail and a $2,500 fine, the offender can receive only another six months in jail and a $1,000 additional fine.
Punishment for NRS 484B.130 Violations Is Consecutive, Not Concurrent
For a work zone penalty, the offender must complete the sentence for the underlying violation before beginning the added sentence. For example, say the defendant commits a serious speeding offense of 30 miles an hour over the speed limit in a work zone. A person gets seriously injured. The defendant receives six months in jail for the underlying offense. They also receive six months in jail because of the extra penalty in a work zone.
In this case, the defendant serves one year in jail in total. They can’t get double credit for each day served in jail. Instead, they must completely fulfill the penalty for the original offense and then serve the added penalty.
A Violation of Work Zone Traffic Laws Is Not an Independent Offense
A person guilty of a traffic offense that occurs in a work zone is convicted of one offense. Even though the work zone law is a separate law with its own citation, ultimately, a work zone violation is an enhancement to a traffic violation and not a separate offense in and of itself.
If the person is not convicted of the underlying traffic offense, they do not receive any penalties for NRS 484B.130. The state must prove the traffic violation against the driver, as well as prove that the offense happened in a work zone in order for the extra penalties to apply.
NRS 484B.130 Work Zone Violations and Negligence
When an accident occurs in a work zone, the victims may have the legal right to claim compensation. A victim may be a person in another vehicle. It can also be a person who is injured on the road. It could even be a company that sustains damage to its equipment on the side of the road in the work zone.
Legal liability for all accidents is based on negligence. To determine whether a party is negligent, the parties compare their actions to a reasonable person standard. In other words, what would a reasonable person do under the same circumstances? The existence of a work zone can create a higher standard of negligence. When there are known dangers, drivers are expected to respond accordingly. That means slowing down and taking defensive measures as needed.
Work Zone Violations and Car Accidents
The victim of an accident that occurs in a work zone can rely on the existence of the work zone to demonstrate how the defendant failed to use an appropriate burden of care. A negligence action may be available regardless of whether the driver receives a traffic ticket or the penalty enhancements for a violation of NRS 484B.130. Contact an experienced car accident attorney today to learn more.