Nevada bill would add criminal penalty to vehicular manslaughter

| 5/3/2005

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.