Remote camera ticket law defeated

The bill that would allow police to stop any driver they believe isn't wearing a seat belt won approval in the Nevada Senate on Tuesday.

But a measure allowing local governments to use remote cameras at intersections to cite those who drive through a red light died.

Current law lets police issue a citation for not wearing a seat belt to anyone they stop for another driving violation. Law enforcement wants to make failure to wear a seat belt a primary offense.

Opponents have described the proposal as "open-ended probable cause" for police to stop anyone at any time without having a real reason.

SB42 was approved on an 11-10 vote, sending the measure to the Assembly, which has rejected similar legislation in the past three sessions.

SB61 was also designed to expand law enforcement powers. It is billed as a way to cut down on red-light violations and the accidents they too often cause. But opponents argued it's unfair to simply send someone a ticket three weeks after they go through a light. They also argued that the registered owner, who would get the ticket, might not be the one driving when the violation occurred.

Nolan said the bill would require the automated cameras take a picture both of the license plate and the driver behind the wheel. And he said the ticket would be the "lowest penalty imposed for parking violations."

"We do not have enough police anymore to sit at intersections and issue citations," he said.

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said the bill would do no good because paying a parking ticket wouldn't convince anyone to drive differently. And there were arguments during committee hearings on the bill that it was just a device to increase municipal revenues from tickets.

The vote was decisive with just six of 21 senators supporting the idea.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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