Las Vegas moves to punish pedestrians who stop on Strip to take photos

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



Standing or stopping is now banned on pedestrian bridges on the Las Vegas Strip where visitors often pause to take photos amid the glittery casino lights or to watch street performers.

Violators of the ordinance that took effect Tuesday could face up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Clark County commissioners voted unanimously this month to approve the measure prohibiting people from “stopping, standing or engaging in an activity that causes another person to stop” on Strip pedestrian bridges. That also includes up to 20 feet (6 meters) surrounding connected stairs, elevators and escalators.

The ban doesn’t include standing or stopping if a person is waiting to use an elevator, stairway or escalator.

Clark County said in a statement that its “pedestrian flow zone ordinance” isn’t meant to target street performers or people who stop to take pictures, but rather to increase public safety by ensuring a continuous flow of pedestrian traffic across the bridges.

The measure “will help to ensure our world-class tourism destination remains a safe place for people to visit and transverse,” the statement said.

But opponents say that the ban violates rights protected by the First Amendment.

“That might mean the right to protest. That might mean someone who’s sharing expressions of their faith. That might mean a street performer,” Athar Haseebullah, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, said. Those rights, he said, are “protected at their highest level” in public spaces, including pedestrian bridges.

The county said it planned to install signs on the Strip identifying locations where stopping or standing is prohibited.

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