If a bill before the
governor is signed, vehicular manslaughter in Nevada will now carry a $1,000
fine and six months in jail as a penalty.
Currently, there is
no criminal law in the state pertaining to vehicular manslaughter. Someone who
kills another person with his or her vehicle is usually issued only a citation,
unless negligence – including driving under the influence – can be proven.
The bill, which was
sponsored by Assembly members Debbie Smith, D-Washoe, Sheila Leslie, D-Washoe,
and John Oceguera, D-Clark, was prompted by the death of four people who were
killed by a passing motorist’s vehicle while waiting at a Las Vegas bus stop.
A similar bill had
made its way to the Assembly three times before, but this version’s sponsors
told the Las Vegas Sun that the bus stop incident got more legislators
to support it.
Assembly Bill 295
also doubles the penalty if the death takes place in a work zone. If signed by
the governor, the new law will take effect on Oct. 1.