Crashes involving exotic car rentals fuel county effort for more regulation

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Exotic cars and inexperienced drivers who can rent them — it can be a deadly combination.

Now Clark County commissioners are looking to crack down on the exotic rental car industry.

In September, a Connecticut police officer was charged with DUI resulting in death after crashing a Rolls Royce that was rented.

In June of 2019, a man was killed in a suspected DUI crash involving a rented McLaren.

Exotic cars are all over town, and many of them are rentals. Commissioners say too many of these cars are involved in crashes and now they want to see what they can do on their end.

“I don’t know how you regulate stupid,” County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick said during today’s commission meeting.

From speeding to impairment, commissioners are looking at how and if they can regulate the industry.

Andrew Bennett from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety shared newly released data with commissioners. He said 8% to 12% of fatal crashes in Clark County involve a luxury rental car, and 95% of those involve impairment.

“When we were looking at the data we saw that speed and impairment were extremely prevalent in these exotic and luxury rental fatalities,” Bennett said.

He said more technology in cars could help.

“Looking at the possibilities of ignition interlock is a program that we had in our state to reduce impaired driving. There is an opportunity to do speed monitoring,” he said.

Bennett said there needs to be a clearer definition of what is an exotic, luxury or autocycle rental.

An autocycle — sometimes called a slingshot — was involved in a recent double fatal crash on the Red Rock loop.

Tony Catchings, general manager at Royalty Exotic Cars, favors more regulation.

“Being able to vet the companies that do this, that is a big issue,” he said.

“If you put the keys in the hand of an owner of an exotic car company, they should be able to tell you everything about the vehicle without being close to it,” Catchings said.

He said companies need to be regulated, and so do the customers.

“We are pushing for more regulation in the industry to be able to say, yes, these people are properly vetted to drive a car that is 650, 700 or 800 horsepower,” Catchings said.

The county is working with industry leaders to come up with ways to improve regulation. Next, county commissioners and the department of business licensing will take a look at the data to come up with an ordinance that could regulate the industry.

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