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Lawmakers Look At Creating Pedestrian Safety Zones

Roughly one pedestrian dies on Las Vegas streets every week. It has been that way for about the last two years.

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While police and municipalities have puzzled over ways to get drivers to slow down and drive more carefully, state lawmakers have brought out a new stick.

A new bill dropped in the state Senate would double fines for traffic scofflaws in newly designated “pedestrian safety zones.”

It is sponsored by Sen. Mark Manendo, who told KNPR's State of Nevada that "death and destruction is rampant all over the state."

Local governments or the Nevada Department of Transportation would be allowed to designate the areas as safety zones in the same way that some stretches of road are designated construction zones and carry higher penalties for speeding.

The measure also prohibits drivers from making a U-turn in a school zone when the school speed limit is in effect or when children are around.
“They’ll drop off their kid in the street and they flip a U-turn right in that school zone,” Manendo said. “It’s generally a parent who does that.”
While some proposals have already become bogged down in partisan politics, Manendo doesn't believe that will happen to this legislation.
“Most public safety bills don’t fall along party lines,” Manendo said. “I’m optimistic.” 

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State Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas
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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.