LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – After Clark County Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance to keep foot traffic flowing on pedestrian bridges on Las Vegas Boulevard, the ACLU of Nevada promised legal action.
The county says stopping to take a photograph is okay. The issue is the act of stopping and causing others to stop. If you do that, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and a $1,000 fine.
“For officers, there is a challenge of not being able to see what is happening on the bridges,” LVMPD Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said during Tuesday’s Commissioners’ meeting. “When the pedestrian bridges get packed, it is very difficult for officers to get onto those bridges.”
Walsh argued that an ordinance like this is necessary in the name of public safety, particularly because Metro Police has reported before that these bridges are hot spots for crime.
“We believe this ordinance will help us reduce crime and disorder on the pedestrian bridges and help keep our locals and tourists safe,” he summarized.
An incoming legal challenge from the ACLU could derail this new ordinance, though.
“We think that the ordinance violates the first amendment,” ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah told FOX5. “We don’t think it will hold up in court.”
Haseebullah was not convinced by the reasoning for the new law.
“They didn’t provide any actual specifics or data outside generic hyperbole that suggested that they need this ordinance,” he argued.
The ordinance will be enforced through signs and verbal warnings to start.
“For those that first disobey the signage, officers will inform them and educate them on the law in an attempt to generate voluntary compliance,” Walsh explained. “If they refuse, officers will have the ability to issue based on this law to issue a citation or issue an arrest, but our goal is to generate voluntary compliance from members of the community and tourists alike.”
A crime and public safety report read to the Commission Tuesday showed a 25% rise in disorderly conduct on the Strip over the last five years.
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