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Taking a closer look at exotic car rentals

Slowing down a fast lifestyle
EXOTIC CAR RENTALS
Posted at 3:30 PM, Nov 16, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County commissioners are looking at how to regulate exotic car rentals after a number of recent high-speed crashes.

There is no doubt fast cars and the Las Vegas Strip go hand-in-hand.

“Being flashy for the night, for the weekend is something people really push for in Vegas, and exotic cars and the Las Vegas lifestyle go hand-in-hand," said Tony Catchings, the general manager of Royalty Exotic Cars.

Unfortunately, in the past few months we’ve seen wrecks and incidents involving these types of cars. One exotic car crashed on the Strip, with another pulled over for going more than 150 miles an hour in Boulder City. Some became deadly, with a DUI collision killing a Connecticut police officer in a Rolls Royce. That's why, Catchings says, these cars can't be rented to just anyone.

RELATED STORY: Connecticut officer charged in fatal DUI posts bail, allowed to return home

“If the wrong pedal is pushed at the wrong time or the wrong direction or steered at the wrong time, someone could get fatally hurt," Catchings said.

The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety says about 8 to 12 percent of fatal crashes in Clark County involved “exotic” or “luxury" cars with very high horsepower. Clark County commissioners discussed measures and possible technology as safety enhancement for rental cars. Catchings says his business reached out to lawmakers about doing something. He thinks interlocks preventing impaired driving could work.

“Not necessarily one drink or two drinks, but completely sober to be able to operate something like this. We wouldn’t allow our warehouse workers to operate a forklift while impaired,” he said.

At LVC Exotic Rentals, store manager Edwin Balaoro says his business already tracks their rented vehicles when they’re being driven and makes contact if they notice an issue.

“We do call them and let them know, 'please be mindful of state laws,'" he said. "We don’t allow for cars to be speeding, and we can turn the vehicles off if they continue to do so."

RELATED STORY: Man rented exotic car then killed another man in suspected DUI crash

He worries, though, that technology affecting the power of exotic cars could mess with the electronics inside and make the car less safe.

“It would make the car not have traction control or it wouldn’t have the safety features like the parking sensors or the blind-spot monitors,” he said.

Catchings says ultimately, anyone who rents needs to be mindful of how they operate these vehicles.

“Great horsepower comes great responsibility. You can’t put it any better than that," he said.

Right now, commissioners have given direction to county staff and a potential ordinance to present at a future date.