CARSON CITY, NV - Some new traffic laws go into effect October 1, 2015. The most significant may be a new hit-and-run statute that could have drunk drivers thinking twice before leaving the scene of a crash.
Hit and run accidents are not uncommon in our area. Often, police ask viewers to give them any information about an accident in hopes of finding the driver responsible.
While many of us would not hesitate after a major accident to stop and help, other drivers, especially those under the influence, may take off.
“You have to be able to prove that DUI and someone's blood alcohol content is a rapidly dissipating piece of evidence. So you have a limited window of opportunity to build your case to make an arrest for DUI,” says Lt. Scott Dugan with the Reno Police Department.
Senate Bill 245 treats those who leave a scene of an accident with substantial bodily harm or property damage the same as a driver under the influence.
If the driver thinks he can skirt the law and face a lesser charge later on, he or she is seriously mistaken.
“Essentially it does you no advantage to leave the scene of an accident. It goes from 15 to a max of 20 years. And that's where it is on par with the DUI statute,” says Lt. Dugan.
Another new traffic law going into effect October 1st: It's now against the law to do a U-turn or pass someone in an activated school zone.
The violation is a misdemeanor.
In addition, beginning October 1, drivers can show proof of insurance through your smartphone or tablet. Law enforcement just asks you tell the officer you are getting the information that way, so he or she can watch your movement inside the car.