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Las Vegas bans people stopping to take photos on pedestrian bridges

People stopping to take photos on pedestrian bridges on the Las Vegas Strip could face up to six months in prison or a $1,000 (£789) fine under new rules.

An ordinance that came into effect in the city on Tuesday prohibits people from standing or stopping on the bridges, where visitors often pause to take photos amid the bright Las Vegas casino lights or to watch street performers.

Clark County commissioners voted unanimously earlier this month to approve the measure to prohibit people from "stopping, standing or engaging in an activity that causes another person to stop" on the pedestrian bridges.

That includes an area up to 20ft (6m) surrounding connected stairs, elevators and escalators.

The ban does not include people standing or stopping if waiting to use an elevator, escalator or the stairs.

Clark County said in a statement that this "pedestrian flow zone ordinance" is not 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 added.

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

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Opponents say ban violates First Amendment

Opponents said 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, told the Associated Press.

Those rights are "protected at their highest level" in public spaces, including pedestrian bridges, he said.