Las Vegas Police Respond: We’re Not Here to Ruin Your Selfie on a Pedestrian Bridge

Land Based Casinos Law & Politics
Dan Michalski

Updated by Dan Michalski

News Writer

Last Updated 14th Mar 2024, 07:22 AM

Las Vegas Police Respond: We’re Not Here to Ruin Your Selfie on a Pedestrian Bridge

People are buzzing about a new law that went into effect on Tuesday. And judging by the news coverage, you might expect the pedestrian bridges across the Las Vegas Strip to be outfitted with armed hall monitors, ready to beat down with a titanium stick any tourist who dares to stop and take a picture, or if they’re elderly and pause to catch their breath. 

“Risk jail time,” screamed the Associated Press and ABC News

Other media picked up and amplified the story. 


The hot takes on social media followed: 

posts on X responding to new Las Vegas bridge ordinance


Police Warnings

The law in question is a Clark County ordinance that went into effect on Tuesday. The rule, which passed on a 7-0 vote among county commissioners, states that pedestrians can’t stand or stop on or near any of the 15 bridges in the Las Vegas resort corridor. 

Its purpose, according to its title is ​​”to establish pedestrian flow zones on pedestrian bridges and up to 20 feet surrounding a touchdown structure.”

The ordinance cites a growing problem of disorderly conduct and criminal activity taking place on these bridges since 2018. The new statute prohibits people from "stopping, standing or engaging in an activity that causes another person to stop." Violations are misdemeanors punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail. 

Some internet sensationalists might lead you to believe that Las Vegas police are ready to stake out these bridges and throw tourist pedestrians up against the glass while they shake them down for loose slot tickets. 

Casinos.com asked the Las Vegas Metro Police Department for clarity on their enforcement intent. Can tourists rest assured that they won’t be ticketed or arrested for merely stopping to take a selfie on a bridge? we asked. Or can an older person still be in compliance if they need to rest and catch their breath after going up the stairs?

An LVMPD spokesperson responded with an explanation of how police see this adjustment to municipal code;

“Patrolling the pedestrian bridges and surrounding area will continue to be a regular patrol activity for officers assigned to the Strip. Officers will continue to respond to calls for service and issues our cameras notice on the bridges. 

"The new ordinance is another tool available to officers to ensure the safety of visitors and residents. The goal is to educate the public regarding the new ordinance in an effort to have voluntary compliance when a subject, who is obstructing the pedestrian bridge, is approached by officers. 

"In the rare occasion someone objects to the officer’s warning, the officer can now take action and either issue a citation or make an arrest.”

Got that? It’s pretty straight forward, but allow us to parse through the public-service legalese:

  • Police will continue to pay attention to bridges and the areas around them, as they always have. 
  • If someone calls in a complaint, or if they see something on camera, they’ll respond. 
  • Police will not be out there looking to bust tourists, but they could. 
  • If you’re causing problems and decline to keep moving when they ask you to, that’s when real trouble will ensue. 

Though they didn’t say it directly, the study that helped frame the need for this change to county code suggests enforcement will be directed at panhandlers, musical buskers, 3-card-monte hustlers and drunks taking a nap.

But there is no language in the ordinance that specifically exempts souvenir picture takers, either before or during F1.

Two Sides of a Bridge

The Nevada Resort Association, which exists to support Nevada casino interests, was a key advocate pushing this ordinance forward. 

They framed their motivation as promoting public safety by keeping the traffic flow moving. You know, toward the gaming tables. 

The ACLU of Nevada says they intend to file suit opposing the ordinance on First Amendment grounds. 

Our take: you can bet that pictures taken by or with Las Vegas police officers on the bridges will soon be trending. 


(Image: Alexander Shapalov / Alamy) 

Meet The Author

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Dan Michalski
Dan Michalski
News Writer News Writer

Dan Michalski is a longtime journalist based in Las Vegas with nearly 20 years as a writer and editor covering poker, casino gaming and sports betting. As founder of Pokerati and an award-winning blogger, podcaster and news reporter, Dan has worked tirelessly to elevate the standards of journalism in gaming media. He also has served as a gaming industry consultant and holds advanced certificates in gaming regulation from UNLV. When not thinking about media and casinos, he can be found on the tennis courts, where he has captained two teams to USTA national championships, and one to second place.

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