LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- It's a common site: bumper-to-bumper traffic while the HOV (or carpool) lane is perfectly clear.

Drivers have been tempted to cross the white line but remember there’s the risk of $250 fine. But on some stretches, that fine has all but disappeared.

Las Vegas City Council sent a strong message Wednesday night.

“It’s not fair to dedicate a road that the taxpayers pay for to a certain group of people,” said Councilman Stavros Anthony.

“HOV enforcement does not do anything to reduce accidents and injuries."

They said they're not going to enforce HOV violations.

“This is trying to get people to get another person in their car and to use this HOV and that's not going to happen,” said Anthony.

The Nevada Department of Transportation disagreed.

On Monday, 20 more miles of HOV lanes on 95 and I-15 were scheduled to open and be monitored 24/7.

“The social engineering part is a complete waste of time,” said Anthony.

Neighbors in the northwest part of the valley have been complaining to Anthony about the traffic.

So he went to Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic.

“Speeding which is life-threatening running a stop sign which is life-threatening running a red light which is life-threatening have fines that are either less or about the same as using an HOV lane which is not life-threatening,” Jerbic said.

If a driver is caught in the HOV lane alone, they could get hit with a $250 ticket. Within Las Vegas city limits, if someone gets a ticket they can go to court and ask for the fine to be reduced to a parking ticket. The court will lower it down to $10.

“I think there should be more people allowed to drive on there,” said one valley resident.

"If I don't have my kids or my husband with me, I don't drive in that lane. Might take me a little longer but it's for people to carpool. It's what it's for,” said another driver.

One woman said, “it's going to help the movement of traffic.”

The city can't ban HOV lanes, the state has more power.

NDOT said it's disappointing the city is rushing to judgement without giving the full HOV system a chance to work.

“The Nevada Department of Public Safety/Highway Patrol Division (NHP) will enforce all traffic laws that are set forth by the law makers of the great state of Nevada," NHP said in an official statement.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

FOX5 Multimedia Journalist

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(2) comments

bottom and company

Nice to know. But the Nevada highway patrol continuing to pass out $300 citations will do just fine.


HOORAY for SOMEone with common sense !!! I've invested a lot of time researching why HOV lanes won't work here and, so far, I've compiled close to 30 reasons. Among them are the NHP. Last I looked, there are fewer than 100 cruisers in the entire State of Nevada; they're simply overwhelmed. When is the last time you even SAW an NHP cruiser anywhere in the resort corridor (that wasn't working an accident scene) ? They don't have TIME to mess with those stupid HOV lanes while speeders, reckless drivers, tailgaters and lane-jumping criminals fly on by. For a $billion, we taxpayers get one less lane so that a few people get to zip on by on the HOV lane, most of whom would qualify anyway. A better idea would be express lanes which worked like a charm. A taxpayer-driver backlash is coming like you've never seen before, Nevada !

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