U turn road sign

As a business district, when driving in Nevada, it’s common to navigate through congested traffic lanes and decide to make a U-turn in Nevada. But is it legal? Are there rules to follow, especially in places like a school zone or pedestrian safety zone?

In this blog, we’ll explore the relevant laws governing U-turns in various scenarios. Nevada’s traffic laws are designed to facilitate smooth traffic flow and prioritize all road users’ safety. 

As experienced car accident lawyers at Temple Injury Law, we’re dedicated to clarifying Nevada’s U-turn laws. We aim to equip you with the information and assistance to navigate Nevada’s roads confidently and responsibly.

Nevada Laws on U-turns

NRS 484B.403 governs U-turns on roads, specifying where they are authorized and prohibited. Here’s a simplified summary:

  1. U-turns are generally allowed where they’re safe, except where prohibited by law or indicated by the traffic sign.
  2. Drivers must obey traffic-control devices that prohibit U-turns.
  3. U-turns are generally prohibited in business districts unless made at an intersection or on a divided highway with a suitable crossing point.
  4. Local authorities and the Department of Transportation can also restrict U-turns as they see fit.
  5. Violations of these rules may result in additional penalties

Understanding the Legalities

The U-turn laws in Nevada are nuanced and defined by several critical factors. According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the legality of U-turns depends on the following parameters:

  1. Location: U-turns are considered legal when executed on an uncontrolled roadway. However, this is only true when the turn can be made safely without interfering with other drivers’ rights-of-way.
  2. Visibility: The U-turn driver must have a clear and unobstructed view of 200 feet in both directions. This rule ensures that you can see and be seen by other drivers to prevent collisions.
  3. Signage: Official signs play an essential role in dictating U-turn laws. If a sign expressly forbids U-turns at a particular location, making a U-turn there is considered illegal.

It’s worth mentioning that specific areas, such as residential districts, school zones, or the vicinity of fire stations, may have distinct regulations. Therefore, being attentive to local signage and guidelines is paramount for all drivers.

A Closer Look at Signage Regulations

In Nevada, traffic signs are the language of the road. Therefore, understanding these signs is critical to making legal U-turns. The common signs related to U-turns are:

  • No U-Turn sign: This sign, usually represented by a U-turn symbol within a red circle crossed by a single line, directly forbids U-turns at the indicated location.
  • Intersection sign: A sign depicting intersecting roads usually indicates that U-turns are permitted unless otherwise stated.

Remember, when answering the question, “Are U-turns legal?” the signage has the final say.

Consequences and Penalties for Making an Illegal U-Turn in Nevada

Ignoring U-turn laws in Nevada can lead to serious consequences. Violating these regulations may result in the following:

Traffic Violation Fines 

The financial penalties for illegal U-turns typically hover around $235. However, this amount can vary depending on the location of the violation in Nevada.

Points on Your Driving Record 

In Nevada, illegal U-turns can add points to your driving record. Accumulating demerit points on your driving record can negatively impact your driving privileges. In Nevada, if a driver accomulated12 or more points in 12 months, their driver’s license may be suspended for six months. A single illegal U-turn contributes one-third of the points needed for a suspension, making it a violation worth avoiding.

Increased Insurance Rates 

Like elsewhere, receiving traffic violations such as illegal U-turns in Las Vegas can cause your auto insurance rates to rise. Insurance companies may view drivers with a history of violations as higher risk, resulting in higher premiums for coverage. This can add up to significant financial burdens over time.

Legal Consequences 

Making an illegal U-turn in Las Vegas can have legal consequences beyond fines and points on your record. If your U-turn leads to an accident causing property damage, injuries, or fatalities, you could face civil lawsuits or even criminal charges. The legal consequences can be severe and far-reaching.

Potential for Accidents and Injuries 

Las Vegas’s crowded streets and high-speed traffic increase the risk of accidents resulting from illegal U-turns. Abrupt or poorly executed U-turns can catch other motorists off guard, leading to collisions, injuries, and extensive property damage. The potential for serious accidents underscores the importance of obeying traffic laws.

Negative Impact on Driving Record and Reputation 

A history of traffic violations, including illegal U-turns, can tarnish your driving record and reputation as a responsible driver. Maintaining a clean driving record in a city known for its hospitality and entertainment is especially important for professional and personal reasons.

Time and Stress 

Dealing with the aftermath of an illegal U-turn in Las Vegas can be time-consuming and stressful. From contesting citations to addressing legal matters, navigating the repercussions of a traffic violation can disrupt your daily life and add unnecessary stress.

Punishments for Making an Illegal U-Turn in Nevada

A person who violates NRS 484B.403 may face the following charges under NRS 484B.130:

The law imposes double penalties for certain traffic violations committed in work zones, except in certain temporary traffic control zones. If the violation occurs in a work zone while workers are present or because of construction conditions, additional penalties, either fines or imprisonment, are imposed in addition to penalties for the primary offense. 

Signs warning of “double penalties in work zones” must be established beforehand. The responsible governmental entity should place them at the beginning and end of temporary traffic control zones. However, exceptions exist for emergencies and low-speed residential areas. If signs are missing, the person who committed the violation might still be responsible if it results in major injury or damage to property.

Building a Strong Defense: What to Do If You Receive a Ticket for an Illegal U-Turn

If you face a ticket for an illegal U-turn in Nevada, there are potential defenses to consider. However, proving these defenses can be challenging without the guidance of an experienced lawyer. Nevertheless, here are a few common reasons:

  1. No visible or obscured sign: You may argue that there was no visible “No U-Turn” sign at the location or that the sign was obstructed, making it difficult to know that a U-turn was prohibited.
  2. Clear and unobstructed view: Demonstrating that you had an unobstructed view of at least 200 feet in both directions can challenge the ticket’s validity.
  3. No interference with oncoming traffic: If your U-turn did not interfere with oncoming traffic and was executed safely, you can argue that your actions did not violate the law.

Navigating the complexities of traffic law requires expertise and experience. At Temple Injury Law, our dedicated team is well-versed in handling cases related to U-turn violations. We understand the stress and uncertainty of receiving a ticket and are committed to providing you with compassionate and aggressive representation.

Contact Temple Injury Law for Expert Guidance

Temple Injury Law is here to assist you regarding U-turn laws in Nevada. Our team of knowledgeable professionals understands the intricacies of traffic laws and is well-equipped to provide the support and guidance you need. So, we are just a phone call away if you’re seeking information about legal U-turns or require assistance with the consequences of an illegal U-turn.

By partnering with Temple Injury Law, you gain access to experienced attorneys who will help you understand the law and work diligently to protect your rights. Schedule a consultation with us, and we’ll guide you through the complexities of U-turn laws in Nevada.