As 2019 progresses, Nevada officials are optimistic about the news that fatal accidents on state roads continue to remain lower than levels seen in 2018. As of the end of July, there have been 144 fatal crashes and 147 deaths, which is a 15 percent drop in crashes and 23 percent decrease in Nevada fatalities from this time last year. As the school year approaches, however, some are turning their attention to school bus and child safety in Nevada.
In recent years, there has been a nationwide push to protect children on school buses by cracking down on drivers who do not follow road rules or fail to stop for buses. In 24 states, school buses use exterior cameras as an automated enforcement method to catch violators in the act. Nevada, however, is one of just 10 total states that prohibit this from happening. This means that even if Nevada school buses had exterior cameras, law enforcement would not be allowed to use that footage to charge road law violators.
Nevada Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) spokesperson Andrew Bennett commented on this restriction, saying that “this is something that [the Department of Traffic Safety] hoped to have addressed last legislative session through Senate Bill 43, which would have allowed technology to be used in these certain situations to ensure the safety of our school children, and unfortunately it didn’t pass.”
Instead, OTS has provided extra funding to 26 state police departments so that police officers can monitor school zones as the academic year begins. In the Las Vegas Valley alone, over 320,000 children are expected to be traveling to school by car, bus, or on foot every day. OTS officers say that the dangers associated with school zone traffic accidents are more prominent at the beginning of the school year, when drivers have not had to navigate active school zones for three months.
It is important that motorists stay aware of school zones and prepare for the influx of children and school buses on the roads. Every child deserves to have a safe route to and from school, motorists who follow school zone and bus passing laws help to minimize the risk of an accident occurring.
If you or a loved one is a victim of a crash caused by a negligent driver in Nevada, it is important to seek help from an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.