The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


[WATCH] Las Vegas Cracks Down on Sidewalk Selfies: New Ordinance Sparks Controversy

Michael Hawthorne

LAS VEGAS – In a move that has left both tourists and locals divided, Las Vegas has implemented a new county ordinance targeting pedestrians who come to a standstill on certain sections of the famed Las Vegas Strip. The controversial law, which carries potential jail time, has ignited debates about the balance between safety and the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

The ordinance, effective immediately, prohibits stopping, standing, or engaging in any activity that causes another person to stop in specific areas of the Strip. Designed to maintain pedestrian flow, particularly on pedestrian bridges and their surrounding spaces, the law aims to address concerns about congested walkways caused by tourists capturing the glitz and glamour of Sin City through selfies.

Men’s Journal recently reported on the new regulations, which stipulate that individuals who violate the law could face misdemeanour charges, potentially leading to a six-month jail term or a $1,000 fine. Although the ordinance has been framed as a safety measure, critics argue that it criminalizes ordinary behaviour and interferes with the city’s unique character.

The designated pedestrian flow zones include bridges and up to 20 feet of surrounding stairs or escalators, which connect them to the ground. While the Nevada ACLU executive director and other critics believe the law unfairly targets locals and turns them into criminals for brief stops on pedestrian bridges, Clark County officials insist it’s essential for maintaining safety and continuous movement.

The Las Vegas Strip, renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and bright lights, attracts millions of visitors each year. The ordinance is seen as a response to the increasing number of pedestrians halting to take photos, especially on pedestrian bridges, where tourists often capture the dazzling lights of the casinos.

Proponents argue that the law empowers law enforcement to manage pedestrian traffic effectively, preventing blockages caused by individuals pausing to take selfies. However, sceptics, including some residents, believe the law is primarily aimed at curbing the behaviour of out-of-town visitors.

While the county asserts that the law does not intend to entirely halt movement, critics fear that the broad language of the ordinance leaves room for subjective enforcement. Some suggest that police may use the law as a tool to disperse crowds, especially during peak tourist seasons.

As the controversy unfolds, one thing is clear: Las Vegas is no stranger to implementing unconventional laws to maintain its unique identity. The debate over whether this ordinance strikes the right balance between safety and the city’s renowned liveliness is likely to continue, adding a new layer of complexity to the city’s ongoing evolution.

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