weather icon Clear

Nevada troopers give out 518 citations for HOV lane violations

Updated July 23, 2019 - 8:31 pm

The high-occupancy vehicle lanes on portions of Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 95 in Las Vegas have kept state Highway Patrol troopers busy during the first month of policing them.

Between June 20 and July 20, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers gave out 518 HOV lane violation citations, the department announced Tuesday. The NHP carried out multiple HOV lane saturation enforcement events during that time.

The 22 miles of new carpool lanes opened May 20, part of the nearly $1 billion Project Neon. NHP gave motorists a 30-day grace period before it started citing drivers for lane violations.

NHP didn’t provide a breakdown of the violations drivers were cited for, which can include driving with less than two occupants, having a vehicle with more than two axles or crossing the solid white lines, among other violations.

“As far as crossing the solid white lines, there is currently no data for this violation because the statute disregarding a traffic control device is commonly written to cover other violations like running red lights, stop signs, yield signs,” said NHP spokesman Jason Buratczuk in a statement.

Motorists are required to enter and exit the carpool lanes where dotted white lines are present on the roadway or face the possibility of being cited by law enforcement and a $250 fine.

The department since has corrected the way it cites crossing the solid white line of an HOV lane and will start collecting data on the infraction, which should be available in the coming months, Buratczuk said.

The Las Vegas City Council has been adamant it would reduce HOV violation citations processed in its court.

The Municipal Court has received 254 HOV violation-related cases since the carpool lane enforcement began on June 20, according to Jace Radke, city spokesman. Of those, eight HOV tickets have been dismissed, 159 are pending disposition, and 87 saw guilty pleas from the cited party, Radke said.

Clark County representatives didn’t respond to a request for their HOV violation case information.

Last week, the City Council passed a resolution brought forth by Councilman Stavros Anthony urging the state Transportation Department to end the 24/7 policing of the carpool lanes, in favor of peak hour enforcement.

City officials previously were told that the Nevada Department of Transportation wants at least three years to evaluate the lanes’ effectiveness before any tweaks are made.

NDOT backlash

With the council’s crusade to return HOV regulations to peak hour enforcement, NDOT has been flooded with calls, emails and social media messages from angry Las Vegas Valley drivers airing their displeasure with the 24/7 HOV lane regulations.

“Get rid of the HOV lane,” Twitter user ESol702 commented on a recent NDOT tweet. “It is worthless!”

Messages like that have the department on the defensive.

“Naysayers are reducing Project Neon down to HOV lanes alone, discarding everything else,” said Tony Illia, NDOT spokesman.

While the HOV lanes have received the bulk of the attention related to Project Neon, the largest public works project in state history, NDOT pointed out that many other additions and upgrades were constructed during the over the three-year project.

Illia pointed out that 63 lane miles of concrete and asphalt paving were laid, plus 29 new bridges and 10 miles of drainage improvements were built.

Also, new north-south surface street connections were created, aimed at reducing congestion and increasing access into downtown Las Vegas, including connecting Western Avenue to Charleston Boulevard.

And a new bridge that allows motorists to travel over the Union Pacific railroad tracks on Industrial Road from Wyoming Avenue to Charleston Boulevard was created as part of Project Neon.

Other upgrades, including new freeway onramps and surface street connections, are also part of the project. The 42 Active Traffic Management signs — currently undergoing testing — are set to go online in the coming weeks. They are aimed at improving the efficiency and reliability of the freeways, reducing travel delays and providing motorist safety benefits.

The Project Neon upgrades come as traffic through the corridor is expected to double over the next two decades.

Although the HOV lanes were not well-received early on, Illia urges motorists to give the department time as it collects and studies data and usage of the lanes.

“Although carpooling is nothing new to the millions of visitors and transplants that now make Southern Nevada home, it’s still unfamiliar for many local motorists,” he said. “As such, a period of gradual driver orientation and acclimation is expected before gaining widespread acceptance. However, we are encouraged by the slow but steady uptick in HOV usership since first being introduced two months ago.”

A “Grand Finale” event marking the end of Project Neon is slated to occur Aug. 8.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Jeopardy! James competes with G2E attendees
Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer, appears at the G2E IGT booth to help celebrate launch of Jeopardy! slot machines and compete against attendees in mock games of Jeopardy!
Security guard killed in Las Vegas shooting honored
Lucky's unexpected surprise
The Ball family, who already deals with challenges most families don’t, got an unexpected surprise from a security systems worker, who brought more than just peace of mind, he brought love to one lucky little boy.
Gilcrease pumpkin patch is open - VIDEO
Gilcrease Orchard's pumpkin patch is now open for the season. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters battle a fire in a commercial area - VIDEO
Clark County and Las Vegas firefighters battle a fire in a commercial area at 824 E. Sahara Ave. in Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse of RiSE Las Vegas festival - VIDEO
This is a time-lapse video during the sixth annual RiSE Las Vegas festival at the Jean dry lake bed on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lanterns released into Nevada desert as part of RiSE Festival - VIDEO
Thousands of spectators released giant lanterns into the sky at a dry lake bed near Jean, Nev., Sunday night as part of the RiSE festival. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Halloween Parade at Downtown Summerlin - VIDEO
Halloween festivities are in full swing at Downtown Summerlin with the first week of the month-long parade. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Funeral procession for Robbie James Pettingill - VIDEO
A motorcade of Henderson fire and police personnel escort the body of firefighter Robbie James Pettingill past Fire Station 82 and Fire Station 97, where he was last assigned, to Central Christian Church on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Failure not an option for Mayor Carolyn Goodman facing breast cancer - VIDEO
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her oncologist talk about Goodman's second bout with breast cancer. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hacienda bridge closures for events at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
The bridge at Hacienda Avenue over Interstate 15 will be closed during major events at Allegiant Stadium. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Backyard Adventures at the Springs Preserve - VIDEO
"Backyard Adventures" is the latest temporary exhibit at the Springs Preserve. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Parents of teens who were killed in California crash visited the crash site - VIDEO
Parents of Las Vegas teens who were killed in a fiery crash last year in Huntington Beach, Calif., visited the crash site on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutefsya
Bani Duarte convicted in California crash that killed 3 Las Vegas teens - VIDEO
Bani Duarte, the drunken driver who caused a fiery crash in Huntington Beach, California, last year that killed three Las Vegas teens, was convicted of second-degree murder on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wrap-up of Oct. 1 observances - VIDEO
A wrap-up of memorials and observances on the second anniversary of the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, Oct. 1, 2019. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Victims of Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas remembered - VIDEO
Remembrance video honors the 58 people who were killed at the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Clark County)
UNLV music program rings bell 58 times to remember victims of Oct. 1 shooting - Video
UNLV music students will ring a set of chimes 58 times in honor of the victims of the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Memorial bench unveiled at North Las Vegas park to honor Route 91 victims and survivors - VIDEO
The family of Route 91 victim Neysa Tonks worked with the city of North Las Vegas to erect a memorial bench overlooking a pond at Craig Ranch Regional Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Joe Robbins Speak at Oct. 1 Remembrance Ceremony - Video
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and Joe Robbins speak to the crowd at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater to remember the victims of the 1 Oct. shooting that occurred in 2017 at the Route 91 festival. (Michael Quine and Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Day 6 of Bani Duarte trial in California
Police say Bani Duarte, 29, was drunk when she drove into a car carrying four Las Vegas teens, killing three, in Huntington Beach, California on March 29, 2018. She is being tried on murder charges in Santa Ana. (Renee Summeropur/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Troy and Shannon Zeeman talk about life after Oct 1 shooting - VIDEO
Troy and Shannon Zeeman of Garden Grove, California, discuss life after Oct 1 shooting in Las Vegas. The couple started Security Consultant Zeeman, dedicated to active shooter preparedness training. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Reflecting on Oct. 1: How Metro officers saved a life
Oct. 1 was the second day on the job for Officer Brandon Engstrom who saved a critically injured woman amid the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Healing Garden remains a gathering place
It's been two years since the mass shooting of Oct. 1, and the Healing Garden has grown and evolved. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police investigate fatal crash - VIDEO
Las Vegas police investigate fatal crash at the intersection of West Sahara Avenue and Steve Rigazio Court in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Reflecting on Oct. 1: How one officer saved a life
Oct. 1 was the second day on the job for Officer Brandon Engstrom who saved a critically injured woman amid the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
76 animals confiscated from North Las Vegas home - VIDEO
Service dogs, birds, a pig and other animals were confiscated from the North Las Vegas home of an animal activist and former actress. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mother, child and 41 dogs rescued after North Las Vegas house fire - VIDEO
North Las Vegas PIO Patrick Walker talks about a house fire in North Las Vegas where a mother, her child and 41 dogs were rescued on Sept. 24, 2019. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Miracle Flights greets patient ambassador Michael Perrino in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The Miracle Flights team welcomes 16-year-old Michael Perrino and his family to Las Vegas for their annual Swings for Wings fundraiser at TopGolf. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Storm Area 51 Day 3 Update 1
Area 51 Basecamp in Hiko is canceled after a lackluster Day 1, according to event executive producer Keith Wright. Alienstock in Rachel will go on for its third day. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Live music and EDM dominate the night on day 2 of A’Le’Innstock
After sunset bands rocked the crowds at A’Le’Innstock in Rachel, Nevada on the second night of the event.
Cat survives 15-mile commute in car bumper
A Las Vegas Review-Journal employee was surprised to learn she had a passenger during her 15.5-mile commute to the office on a September Sunday. (Tony Morales & James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shortages of OB-GYN doctors in the Las Vegas Valley - Video
Dr. Michael Gardner discusses the shortages of OB-GYN doctors that will happen and what steps are being taken to entice them to come or stay in the Las Vegas area.
Southern Nevada is in a West Nile virus hot zone - VIDEO
Southern Nevada, along with Central Arizona and Southern California, make up a “hot zone” that is reporting the highest number of mosquito-borne West Nile virus cases in the country. The Southern Nevada Health District recently reported 28 cases of West Nile virus in Clark County. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul Browning Released from Ely State Prison - VIDEO
Paul Browning greets his mother, Betty Browning, after being released from Ely State Prison. Browning served 33 years on Nevada’s death row. (Rachel Crosby/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mother upset over her child's cornea donation being sent overseas - Video
Lindsey LiCari, the mother of Ayden and founder of Ayden's Army of Angels, is upset that her child's corneas were sent overseas and was told that she would be able to see her son's eyes again. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aviators splash pad lets fans stay cool
Las Vegas Ballpark’s splash pad area is the perfect place to keep cool while enjoying the game. (Cassie Soto/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas woman emerges as national right-to-die advocate

Hanna Olivas, 45, who two years ago was diagnosed with the rare blood cancer multiple myeloma, in recent months has become a vocal advocate for laws to allow patients with terminal illnesses and only months to live to medically end their lives.

Earthquakes felt in Las Vegas strained major fault, study says

The earthquakes that hammered the Southern California desert near the town of Ridgecrest last summer involved ruptures on a web of interconnected faults and increased strain on a major nearby fault that has begun to slowly move, according to a new study.