Southern Nevada Receives Funding for Improvements & other New Traffic Changes

In mid-April the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada announced that it received $2 million in funding for the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grant from the US Department of Transportation. This grant, which is in its inaugural year, aims to improve transportation safety as well as efficiency throughout the country.

This grant funding will be utilized to supplement the ongoing RTC SNV project which utilizes both a cloud-based system and artificial intelligence to optimize Las Vegas traffic signals, as well as ensure urgency vehicles and buses can operate efficiently. These programs will improve the safety of all those utilizing transit, as well as any road users by making intersections safer for Nevadans, as well as improve the efficiency of Vegas roads, which will eventually result in reduced travel times for both emergency vehicles and public transit.

This program aims to study and implement changes in downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Medical District. This area will optimize access to six fire stations as well as the University Medical Center. The artificial intelligence will be able to collect traffic data from intersections in these areas and adjust the timing of traffic lights to better pre-empt emergency vehicles. They can provide priority to approaching emergency vehicles who can pass the intersection more safely and efficiently. The utilization of a cloud-based system allows the city to deploy this program without extra hardware installation and elaborate traffic signal equipment.

In addition to using these new technologies for emergency vehicles, the City of Las Vegas hopes that the new data they collect can provide them into more insight of unsafe driving patterns occurring at intersections such as speeding, running red lights, road rage, etc. This can then help the city understand and develop better protective measures, and possibly curb the increasing traffic fatalities in Southern Nevada. [1]

Proposed Reckless Driving Bill

On April 20, Rex’s Law was passed unanimously by the Nevada State Senate and will be headed to Assembly for vote. Rex’s Law aims to increase the maximum penalty for reckless driving from one to ten years in prison if the driver is traveling less than fifty miles per hour over the speed limit. Those traveling more than fifty miles per hour over the speed limit can now face between eight to twenty years in prison.

So, what constitutes reckless driving? While the definition varies between local regulations and states The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines it as “driving motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard to the safety of persons or property” [3]. It usually means you are consciously and intentionally indifferent to the rules of the road, despite knowing the damages and consequences of doing so. The following are the most common actions deemed reckless in Nevada:

  • Excess Speed (usually twenty-five miles per hour over the posted speed).
  • Intentionally running red lights and stop signs.
  • Driving under the influence.
  • Racing other vehicles.
  • Attempting to evade law enforcement.
  • Passing double yellow lines on a two-lane highway.
  • Passing stopped school buses.
  • Failing to yield to other vehicles and cars.
  • Distracted driving, including texting and using your phone while driving.

Remember, reckless driving puts yourself and others on the road at risk, and the consequences of reckless driving are severe. The thrill of traveling at high speeds is not worth the damage, and possible fatalities that my result.




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