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 violators for lane violations.
NHP didn’t provide a breakdown of the violations drivers were cited for, as drivers can be cited for driving with less than two occupants, having a vehicle with more than two axles or crossing the solid white lines, among other things.
“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 Jason Buratczuk, NHP spokesman 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.
The department has since 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 Las Vegas Municipal Court has dismissed eight HOV tickets since the carpool lane enforcement began on June 20, according to Jace Radke, city spokesman.
Last week the city council also 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.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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