Nevada law 484B.135 [1] creates enhanced penalties for traffic violations that occur in pedestrian safety zones. When drivers commit an offense in a pedestrian zone, they face the consequences of the violation plus added penalties. The purpose of the law is to enhance traffic safety in areas where people on foot are particularly in danger of car accidents. NRS 484B.135 states the law that provides for extra fines and jail time in pedestrian safety zones.

What Is Nevada Pedestrian Safety Zone Law NRS 484B.135?

The Nevada pedestrian safety zone laws are found in Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.135. The law allows officials to designate specific stretches of road as pedestrian safety zones. The law says that the same traffic laws apply in these zones that apply elsewhere. However, for violations of the law, there are added penalties. Traffic violations in safety zones are treated as particularly serious under the law because of their potential to cause injury.

What Are the Extra Penalties for Pedestrian Safety Zone Violations in Nevada?

The extra penalties for pedestrian safety zone violations in Nevada are:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Up to 6 months imprisonment

These extra penalties are at the discretion of the judge. The court doesn’t have to impose additional sanctions. However, these penalties are available if the court believes that they are appropriate based on the offender’s actions.

In order to receive enhanced penalties for a pedestrian safety zone traffic offense, the driver must first be convicted of the traffic offense. There can’t be an enhanced penalty if there is no penalty to begin with. The driver must be convicted of a traffic offense based on the standards of proof that apply to all traffic laws in the State of Nevada.

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Is a Pedestrian Zone Violation Its Own Offense Under Nevada Law?

No, a pedestrian zone violation is not its own offense under Nevada law. A pedestrian zone violation is an enhancement to an existing violation. The driver gets convicted of the underlying offense, along with an extra notation, because the offense happened in a pedestrian zone.

In the end, the person ends up convicted of one offense. The fact that it is in a protected zone changes the possible penalties. However, a pedestrian zone violation is not its own offense under Nevada law.

Is an NRS 484B.135 Violation Sentencing Consecutive or Concurrent?

Nevada NRS 484B.135 violation sentences are consecutive. Consecutive sentencing means that the person must finish their punishment for the original offense before they begin serving for the added penalty. Concurrent sentences are not allowed for NRS 484B.135 offenses. Instead, consecutive sentencing requires the offender to serve their sentences in succession.

For example, say that an offender receives a 10-day jail sentence for a reckless driving offense. They also receive another 10-day jail term because the offense happens in a pedestrian zone. In total, the person must serve 20 days in jail. Consecutive jail sentences allow the defendant to receive credit for only one sentence at a time.

What Is a Pedestrian Safety Zone?

A pedestrian safety zone is a specific area designated by government officials. The site must be chosen in advance. It’s not something that a law enforcement officer can designate after the fact if they think that someone’s conduct is particularly bad. The pedestrian safety zone is an area where there may be a large number of pedestrians present or where accidents with people on foot may be especially likely because of dangerous road conditions.

How Is a Pedestrian Safety Zone Marked?

A pedestrian safety zone is marked by a sign that must say higher fines may be imposed. In addition, signs must mark the beginning and end of the zone. A local government or the DOT may designate a pedestrian safety zone.

When deciding where to place a safety zone, officials must make findings of the zone’s appropriateness. They may include the circumstances near the road that can make the highway especially dangerous for pedestrians. Officials must post signs to be able to impose additional penalties for violations.

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Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in Nevada?

Pedestrians do not always have the right of way in Nevada. Of course, a driver must be prepared to stop and take corrective action if there is someone in the roadway or creating a hazard. However, a pedestrian must be careful to cross the roads in designated areas when they have walk signals and where they can do so safely.

Accidents in Pedestrian Safety Zone

When accidents occur in pedestrian safety zones, the safety zone’s existence may come into play when determining the negligence of a driver. The general rule is that drivers have to take reasonable care for safety. Of course, what meets the standard of reasonable care might be more strict in a pedestrian zone.

A driver should always take the traffic around them into account. That might mean slowing down because there are a lot of people nearby. A pedestrian zone should serve as an extra warning to the driver that they need to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings.

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Pedestrian Safety Zone Accidents and Negligence

A traffic violation in a pedestrian zone is negligence that can be the basis of a legal claim. A violation of a traffic law may amount to negligence per se. That is, it may be indefensible that failing to follow a traffic law is negligent behavior. The fact that the traffic law exists is a baseline for reasonable conduct.

When a pedestrian safety zone is involved, it may be even more evidence for the driver’s unreasonable behavior and legal liability. The pedestrian safety zone violation may change the reasonable person standard for the driver. The underlying traffic offense may also amount to negligence per se, resulting in the victim’s right to claim financial compensation for their damages.

If you’ve been hurt because of an accident in a pedestrian safety zone, contact our pedestrian injury attorneys to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is always free and confidential.

Sources:

[1] NRS 484B.135