Nevada could allow lane splitting

Dailies, News -

By

nevada-lanesplit

UPDATE: Lanesplitter from Twitter informed of us of this: “Interesting that Daly is saying it’ll be decided by April 23rd. I have written quite a bit on this, including a writeup (with video and hearing docs) of the recent Transportation Committee hearings on AB236 at http://lanesplittingislegal.co….

One of the issues with this legislation is in the hearing before the Transportation Committee (chaired by one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Carrillo) there was more of this “it’s at the person’s own risk” talk – basically that if a drivers hits a rider while splitting, it will be the rider’s fault even though the rider is splitting in a cautious, prudent and legal manner. I’d love splitting to be legal in more states (obviously) but this concept is ridiculous. Check out the first video in the link above for more on this.

Also, “NELL” = NELIS – https://nelis.leg.state.nv.us/…

A bill proposed to the Nevada state legislature could make lane splitting legal. Here’s how much chance it stands and how you can help make it happen.

The bill, AB236 defines lane splitting as, “…drive[ing] a motorcycle or moped between moving or stationary vehicles occupying adjacent traffic lanes…”

It proposes that, “A person may drive a motorcycle or moped between moving or stationary vehicles occupying adjacent traffic lanes and traveling in the same direction as the motorcycle or moped provided that the person drives in a cautious and prudent manner and the motorcycle or moped does not exceed a speed of 30 miles per hour while driving between such vehicles.”

All of that is very similar to the California Highway Patrol’s guidelines on legal lane splitting.

I interviewed Skip Daly, one of Nevada’s assemblymen and a sponsor of the bill and here’s what he had to say:

Me: Why was the bill proposed?
Daly: “The bill was requested by a person that we know. It’s to help air-cooled bikes in the Nevada heat. Some side benefits are to help commerce, help the state and reduce overall motorcycle restraints.”

Me: What opposition does it face?
Daly: “I don’t know of any opposition as of yet — the first meeting on the bill hasn’t been held yet.”

Me: How can readers help make it happen?
Daly: “There’s a bill tracking system in Nevada called “Nell.” You can use nell to track bill progress and comment on it. Provide letters and testimony to the chairman, especially your readers who live in Nevada can help out.”

Me: What is the timeline on it?
Daly: “Bill will be decided before the 23rd of April.”

Me: Do you ride?
Daly: “No, I do not.”

Me: Why do they think lane splitting merits legal permission?
Daly: “It’s not permitted now, takes a law to allow it.”

Me: Do they believe lane splitting increase motorcyclist safety? Why?
Daly: “It’s at the person’s own risk, there are arguments to allow it so its not unsafe. I do understand the liability side of it and the risks associated with it.”

Tip from D Seidner

  • contender

    First Nevada, then Colorado! Then I won’t have to move back to L.A.

  • http://twitter.com/phobos512 Matthew Artelt

    “Cautious and prudent manner”…Ugh. Wording like this needs to stop being used in legislation. It means nothing! And it leaves your technique open to interpretation by LEOs. Speed limit, great, put that in there. Want to limit it only to the left-most lanes, fine. But keep the feel good mush out of it.

    • Dennis Bratland

      Wording like that is vital. It gives us room to make real-world choices instead of being hemmed in by a binding rule for every scenario. This is real life, not a game.

      Humans, and that includes even cops, are capable of making judgements. We all do it every day. Seems kind of odd to let drivers and riders use their judgement to decide what is prudent, yet nobody is allowed to cite them when they use bad judgement?

      And the alternative to giving cops leeway to decide what they think is appropriate for a given situation is to write an infinite number of laws that try to enumerate every possible thing that could every happen everywhere. And if you think the cop made a wrong call, go to court. Of course judges and juries aren’t robots either; they call ‘em like they see ‘em, same as you and me. No escaping the human element.

      You could elimnate all traffic laws and only have one that said “Proceed in a cautious and prudent manner.” It’s the one indispensable thing in all the law.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Forcebe Nick Mather

        The issue is, if you trust your LEO to have sound judgement in this case.

        I think Matthew is concerned that LEOs are prejudiced against motorcyclists, and will interpret the law as lane splitting = at fault. This is a *very* blanket statement, but I think could be applied, depending on the temprament of LEOs in Nevada. (Which I would have no idea about, living in Sydney, Australia.)

        On the upside, for anyone interested, there is a splitting trial happening in Sydney right now (for stationary traffic only- our lanes are narrow!)
        WORLD DOMINATION, HO!

    • Lawrences

      Maybe the wording is there so LEO’s can suggest the guy wearing flip flops, shorts, wife beater, and a Marvin Martian broom on his helmet, who split between our right lane of 60mph trucks and the middle lane of 70mph traffic, and then cut left and split the middle lane and the 80mph lane, and then over to the right again, doing about 100mph+ on a sport bike with GP exhaust blasting everyone he blew by – ride a little more “prudently”…

  • http://twitter.com/ShareTheLane Lane Splitter

    Interesting that Daly is saying it’ll be decided by April 23rd. I have written quite a bit on this, including a writeup (with video and hearing docs) of the recent Transportation Committee hearings on AB236 at http://lanesplittingislegal.com/lane-splitting-news/nevada-lane-splitting-bill-ab236-heard-by-assembly-transportation-committee.

    One of the issues with this legislation is in the hearing before the Transportation Committee (chaired by one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Carrillo) there was more of this “it’s at the person’s own risk” talk – basically that if a drivers hits a rider while splitting, it will be the rider’s fault even though the rider is splitting in a cautious, prudent and legal manner. I’d love splitting to be legal in more states (obviously) but this concept is ridiculous. Check out the first video in the link above for more on this.

    Also, “NELL” = NELIS – https://nelis.leg.state.nv.us/77th2013

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      “at the person’s own risk” is more or less what goes on in CA too. Sucks, but thems the breaks.

      Thanks for the NELIS link.

      • http://twitter.com/ShareTheLane Lane Splitter

        Indeed splitting is “at your own risk”, but if you’re splitting sensibly (let’s say according to the CHP guidelines) and a driver doesn’t check their mirror and hits you, it’s not automatically your fault simply because you’re splitting. This is reinforced now with the publication of the CHP guidelines. In the hearings, Daly said: “…on the liability side, talking with people in law enforcement is that if there was an accident, and the lane splitting, that they would cite the motorcyclist anyway, say it was his fault. So we was just looking at it a little more in the… trying to give people a little more peace of mind to say that, if a person decides to do the lane splitting, you do so at your own risk. So we just want to make it clear that, you know, we’re not trying to put anybody on the hook, or get the regular people in their cars to have additional liability ’cause someone else… you know, did something else.” That sounds to me like they want to codify automatic rider fault, which is significantly worse than CA.

  • http://twitter.com/RobGcf RobG

    I sincerely hope this will pass; I’m surprised the specified reason was only for air-cooled bikes. There are so many safety benefits, and it eases traffic congestion too.

    • Lawrences

      Well played by the proposal’s sponsors – no one wants anything overheating in traffic :).
      If you trot out all the safety – congestion – who is skilled enough – which report proves – reasons the Endless Debate might be off an running and the proposal dies..

  • http://twitter.com/AmericanSahara J. Brandon

    I live, ride, and work in Nevada. Just contacted my assemblyman to learn his position on this bill. Thanks for covering the issue.

  • Bruce Steever

    Yessssss. Soon all the states will bow before our superior form of locomotion!

  • FreeFrog

    Even with questionable wording, I hope this passes just to add another state to the “splitting” school of common sense.

  • http://twitter.com/bloodfalcons motoguru.

    I was about to get all pissy pants about a state with less than 3 million people needing to legalize lane splitting to cut down on traffic congestion… then I read the part about air cooled motos.

    • http://twitter.com/AmericanSahara J. Brandon

      Nearly two million of those people live in and around Las Vegas. It has very real traffic congestion.

      • http://twitter.com/bloodfalcons motoguru.

        True. We’ve got 4 million, so I feel your pain.

  • BillW

    Having been stuck in traffic going through Las Vegas when it’s 100+ degrees many times, I really, really hope this passes.

  • BillW

    California is the only US state that allows it. Drivers who are unaccustomed to it (and/or who are driving on autopilot) don’t like getting “surprised” by bikes passing them. There are some drivers who feel riders get an unfair advantage by “cutting in line”. And of course there are some riders who may yet ruin it for everybody else by splitting at too high a speed or when traffic is moving well. My personal limit (keeping in mind I don’t commute, so I don’t end up splitting very often) is that if traffic is moving fast enough for me to use second gear or higher, I’ll ride with traffic. If it’s not, I’ll split lanes in first gear.

    • Stuki

      I’ve learned that about California now. I live in CA, and used to assume things were the same everywhere. It must be pretty sad to live in a place where one is harassed for basic acts of common sense are even The People’s Republic doesn’t see fit to bother with. What is wrong with people in these places??

      I realize that many states don’t have cities large enough that traffic reaches LA like levels, but even in towns like Jackson Hole, there can be some slowdown around downtown at Saturday night with cages wallowing around at 2mph looking for parking, while ritualistically waiting for some snail that has put his blinker on because he hopes someone in the vicinity may soon leave their spot. Sitting on a narrow bike behind that kind of spectacle, instead of simply sneaking by and sticking ones bike somewhere it will fit but cars won’t, has got to be about the ultimate in utter silliness. Trumped only by arguing that others on narrow bikes ought to do just that, because “Since I’m a flabby, overgrown hippo wasting my life rotting away in traffic, so should everyone else, darnit…..”

      I guess idiots will be idiots, but it is truly sad that such vermin get to interfere in the lives of their betters. In states that pride themselves on being bastions of Good Old ‘Mericun Freeedom, to boot. Heck, forget California, I bet you can lane split in Pyongyang if you can find a way to obtain a bike there. And Moscow in the Communist era. And I know for sure you could in Caracas, even when that mean, bad, totalitarian Socialist Chavez held court down there. And somehow doubt even someone as bloodthirsty as Che “Mr Motorcycle Diaries” Guevara would harass his poor subjects for THAT.

      But you can’t in the “free state” of Wyoming, USA???? WTF! Wonder how long cowboys up there, back in their more civilized era, would put up with being barred from “lane splitting” passed burro drawn haycarts down main street, before they would do to those making up and enforcing such idiotic laws, exactly what said lawmakers and enforcers had coming to them…..?:

      • http://twitter.com/Mr_Paynter Mr Paynter

        We can even lane-split in deepest darkest Africa, so yeah.
        Goodluck with that! It really makes no sense to me!

  • Eric Shay

    Air cooled bikes, read Harleys. So I guess that’s a thumbs up to pirates.

    • http://twitter.com/ShareTheLane Lane Splitter

      Whatever works. In CA, there’s a lot of involvement from the “Harley crowd” on the lane splitting issue. ABATE has a lobbyist working on it. To my knowledge, the AMA isn’t doing much (if anything) in this area.

      Full disclosure: I’m a member of both, and don’t own a Harley.

  • HoldenL

    I have toyed with the idea of getting a legislator here in Florida to introduce a bill to allow lane-splitting. I like the argument being used in Nevada: keeping air-cooled engines from overheating. That one could be convincing to some people, especially legislators who are weekend pirates.

    And I like Stuki’s idea of waving the flag and making lane-splitting about Freedom (and Baseball and Apple Pie). I want that argument to work; unfortunately, in South Florida there are camera-equipped packs of crazy riders who stunt on the highways, and they really, really, REALLY piss off drivers — and so the Freedom argument might get pushback from drivers who say all riders abuse their freedom.

    It’s so shitty that there are a lot of drivers who feel like lane-splitters “cut in line” unfairly. I filter all the time, even though it’s illegal here, and every once in a while an angry driver tries to drag-race when the light turns green. Silly drivers.