Driving through any intersection can be dangerous. Even the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) points out that many crashes happen at intersections. Therefore, running red or amber lights in Nevada is not something that will be taken lightly.
If you or someone you love was involved in an incident at an intersection, you will need dependable legal representation. This is to both ensure your rights are protected and to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
The Many Dangers of Intersections
Although 93% of people understand that running red lights is dangerous, approximately 1 in 3 people admit that they have done it. It is estimated that more than 165,000 people are injured at intersections where someone fails to obey the law, annually. In the span of 10 years, nearly 9,000 people lost their lives due to errors in judgment or distracted driving through intersections.
The problem isn’t just running a red light, though. Every day, people come up on amber-colored lights in the intersection. In one second you must decide whether to proceed or stop. The decisions we make during that time can also have devastating consequences.
How to Proceed If the Light Is Yellow
Most people simply do not fully understand the “rules” behind the actions they should take when the light ahead goes from green to amber. Others are in a hurry and do not want to have to stop and wait on the green light. Both scenarios can put you and other drivers at risk for injury.
In Nevada, Chapter 484B-Rules of the Road NRS 484B.307, it is stated clearly that amber or yellow lights signal that you should prepare to stop, and a red light will appear immediately after. When the light turns red, you must not enter the intersection.
Other laws in Henderson, Nevada express that when the light ahead of you turns yellow, you should never speed up to get through it. Instead, you should either maintain your current speed if you are too close to stop safely or come to a complete stop before the intersection’s stop lines or crosswalks. Failing to do the right thing, could result in a ticket for being inside the intersection when the light is red.
Rules for Red Light Stops at Intersections
Vehicles that are facing a red light should never be in the middle of an intersection unless they are:
- Making a right turn, from the right lane, and having already come to a complete stop. You should look for vehicles or pedestrians that have the right of way. Once safe, you may proceed to make your right turn.
- Making a left turn from the left lane when the light is red is only allowed if you are on a one-way road, and you are turning onto a one-way road. Again, you should be alert for pedestrians or other traffic that have the right of way.
When facing a red light, you should never use public or private property to “skip” the intersection. This can result in a ticket if you are caught. Once the light turns green, you may proceed to travel.
What to Do If the Light Is Flashing Red or Amber
Flashing red or amber lights should also be something you pay special attention to since they both mean you should proceed with caution. However, they both have their own specific rules for what you should do when you are in a vehicle facing them. For instance:
- When faced with a flashing amber light you should stay alert to other vehicles but proceed at your current speed or slower.
- When faced with a flashing red light, you should always come to a complete stop, look both ways, and proceed with caution.
Flashing yellow lights give drivers traveling in that direction the right of way. Drivers with a flashing red light must yield to the other vehicles.
Special Rules for Motorcycles and Bicycles and Traffic Lights
Running red or amber lights in Nevada is always something drivers must be mindful of and there are no exceptions for other vehicle types. If you are caught in an intersection on a motorcycle or a bicycle when the light is red, you can get into legal trouble.
When approaching a yellow or red light while riding these types of vehicles, you must obey the law to avoid putting yourself or others in danger. However, since some light sensors may not recognize a bicycle or a motorcycle as a vehicle, you may proceed through a red light only if you have:
- Come to a complete stop
- Waited at the light for two cycles, and it remained red
- Been stopped by a light malfunction
If any of these scenarios happen, you should do your part to stay safe. This means, look both ways to ensure the safety of yourself and others before proceeding.
Penalties You May Face for Running a Yellow or a Red Light
In Las Vegas, Nevada running a yellow light does not come with any real penalties. However, if you fail to make it through the light, and it turns red, you could face penalties for running a red light.
Red light penalties will vary on a case-by-case basis. Some of the biggest penalties will include:
- Fines: You could pay somewhere between $300.00 and $1,000.00 for running a red light.
- Nevada Demerit Points: You will receive four demerit points on your driver’s license. If you acquire 12 or more demerits in a single year, you can lose your license for up to six months and may also be required to take a traffic safety course.
- Charges: At a minimum, running a red light is a misdemeanor. If serious injury or death occurs because of it, the charges could increase to reckless driving and/or vehicular homicide.
If you or someone you love was injured because someone ran a red light, you should push for them to be held accountable for it.
Talk to an Injury Lawyer If Someone Ran a Red Light or Stop Sign
Even traveling 30 mph through an intersection can cause major damage to vehicles and personal injuries that are quite severe. If you were injured because of someone running red or amber lights in Nevada, Pacific West Injury Law is here to help you. Simply contact us for help.