No Lane Splitting For Nevada

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motorcyclecrash

We’ve been following the progress of Nevada’s lane splitting bill, AB236, very closely. Despite passing with the Nevada Assembly with overwhelming support, the bill was amended in the Senate Transportation Committee to allow lane splitting only in stopped traffic, at no more than 10 MPH. Today, the bill was voted on by the full Senate and lost by a landslide, 16 to 5.

This is extremely disappointing in many ways. We’d heard from one of our sources that the bill was amended to ensure it would make it through, but that didn’t happen. Early on, the support for AB236 looked like this could potentially be a template for other states to follow. Unfortunately, California continues to stand alone in the US, as the only state to allow lane splitting. Of course, lane splitting / filtering / lane sharing is legal, accepted and expected in much of the rest of the world where motorcycles are much more common as daily transportation.

The amended bill would have allowed splitting in such limited form it’s almost unbelievable that it didn’t pass:

Sec. 3. NRS 486.351 is hereby amended to read as follows:

486.351 1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person:

(a) Between moving or stationary vehicles occupying adjacent traffic lanes.

(b) Abreast of or overtake or pass another vehicle within the same traffic lane.

2. The provisions of subsection 1 do not apply to a police officer in the performance of his or her duty.

3. A person may drive a motorcycle between stationary vehicles occupying adjacent traffic lanes and traveling in the same direction as the motorcycle provided that:

(a) The person drives in a manner that is reasonable and proper, having due regard for the traffic, surface and width of the highway, the weather and other highway conditions; and

(b) The motorcycle, while driving between such vehicles does not travel at a speed which is more than 10 miles per hour.

Here’s the video of the vote:

This article first appeared on Lane Splitting Is Legal and is reprinted here with permission. Follow LSiL to keep up to date on all lane splitting news.

  • carbureted

    Well, it’s definitely hard to take a bill seriously when the person introducing it (Sen. Manendo) is laughing his head off making jokes while doing so. Yeah, he voted Yea, but if I was on the fence and not a rider, I would have voted Nay after that performance. What an unprofessional hack.

    • Kristofer Lassiter Houseman

      Sen. Manendo (D) voted Nay, just to clarify. I agree that he was very unprofessional and an embarassment to motorcycle riders.

      • carbureted

        Hmm. It looks like he voted Yea at the end despite his ridiculous back-and-forth switching of the vote. It doesn’t really matter though. Both of our feelings remain the same.

  • James Battaglia

    While I unsurprisingly support lane-splitting (when safe to do so) as a motorcyclist I think the real issue here is that American motorists are simply not adept enough to handle it. Perhaps when Americans start adopting better driving habits then we might have a chance to have motorcycle laws that are in keeping with the rest of the world. Until then we’ll have to tolerate the sea of hopelessly oblivious cell phone users who just happen to be driving a vehicle.

    • Jay

      Californian’s aren’t Americans? The experience of most of the rest of the world and California too was ignored in the Nevada decision.

    • carbureted

      I cannot agree with this statement.

      Plenty of other countries’ drivers have horrible driving habits (I know, for I live in one), but the difference is that these other countries have always been forced see motorcycles as equals to cars. Cities in Europe with tight, twisting alleys have always had motorcycles, and many Asian countries have thrived with motorcycles being a large part of the automotive workforce due to their minimal cost.

      Another related problem that basically cannot be remedied is the MINDSET while driving. As Americans, we view cars in lines, and if someone sneaks ahead (or cuts in), we get angry. I’m not sure about Europeans, but Asians CONSTANTLY sneak ahead of each other. The difference here is that no one (for the most part) gets angry. Everyone does it, and it’s accepted. You’re like one fish in a school. Therefore, moving to the front of the line is no big deal.

      There are other factors as well, but I don’t think it has to do with Americans being adept to handling lane splitting. They just don’t WANT to handle it.

      • James Battaglia

        Oh I completely agree with you actually (especially the notion of “cutting in line”.) Perhaps what I should have said was that Americans are *willfully* adept at driving. After all how many times have you been asked for help with something that was blatantly simple to accomplish without anything but common sense.

        People in the States are far too enabled and their adopting a boo-hoo attitude when a motorcycle jumps ahead of them (safely) ruining their cell phone appreciation time needs to stop

  • dontay

    Once again the focus is on the wrong issue. Lane splitting is not the problem, it’s the people crossing solid double yellow lines and merging in and out of the carpool lane. If there was a $1000.00 fine for crossing the solid double yellow lines, line splitting would not be not issue.

    • Brett

      Technically its not illegal to cross a double yellow, its just not advised. Its illegal to cross a solid white line. If you can safely pass in a double yellow area then go for it.

      • Dennis Bratland

        Kids, here we have a prime example of why you should never take your legal advice from what some guy says on the Internet. Crossing a double yellow is illegal in most US states, but it is allowed in a few. Read your drivers manual.

    • MrMotoWise

      And your statement is based on? “Dontay’s personal opinion”? Maybe you had a bad experience with the carpool lane or something…if you wouldn’t mind, please explain why you think this is the actual issue.

  • Kr Tong

    This is something we should be worried about in california as well. If you ever ask non motorcycling friends, coworkers, and clients what they think about “lanesplitters” their answer is an unequivocal “fucking hate them.”

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com/ Sasha Pave

    Damn, if a liberty lovin state like Nevada shoots down lane splitting, we have a bigger battle than I anticipated.

    It’s sad how ignorance and fear can drive policy discussion.

    • Cdreeder

      news flash! harry reid is democrat! No guns, no freedom, no life. pro obummer communists who won the election on illegal immigrants voting illegally..welcome to the “New Party” of fear and hopelessness and change of our constitution.
      .

  • http://twitter.com/tuscanfoodie Tuscan Foodie

    And AMA is just sitting there, taking my money and obsessing nly about two issues (open lands for motocross and no to helmets law). Way to go. Isn’t it time for another association to be created, one that represents the interests of motorcyclists who are currently really NOT represented by AMA?

    • roma258

      I would seriously love for this to happen. Will not give my money to AMA for this exact reason.

      • http://twitter.com/tuscanfoodie Tuscan Foodie

        Then how do we do it? I am serious. Rideapart, why don’t you do something like this? Or at least offer a platform for action?

        • roma258

          No idea, there’s a pro-lane splitting Facebook group for Oregon that I’m aware of. Couple local guys lobbied for free downtown parking in Philly (unsuccesfully). I’m sure there are other localized efforts.

          If there is a motorcycle industry type with political connections who wants to start Progressive Riders of North America (PRON), I would happily join as a charter member.

          • Cdreeder

            I would not use the word “progressive”..just saying.

    • el_jefe

      I agree that AMA should take up this issue. But I encourage everyone to read about the things (other than OHV land use) they do fight for including their “Justice For All” campaign aimed at protecting vunerable road uses like motorcyclists and cyclists alike. http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/Resources/JusticeForAll.aspx

      • http://twitter.com/tuscanfoodie Tuscan Foodie

        The problem is that the two high visibility issues AMA spends the most time are the two I put up there: open roads for motocross and no to helmets law. I receive their magazine every month and I had never noticed the justice for all campaign. So they also have a communication problem, apparently.

  • Hbg Blue Rose

    The AMA is NOT the only forum for biker rights. Look into ur local ABATE team and start voting for local politicians that have BIKER RIGHTS interests!

  • Gonçalo

    I will be ending my affiliation with AMA this year. They have done nothing on this topic. As for the Bill being voted down, I can understand why. This is the outcome of when you ask people who are completely ignorant of a subject to make major decisions regarding its safety. These politicians would pass a bill outlawing motorcycles if they were presented with one.

  • Alan

    I have been riding motorcycles for 35 years, and I don’t think that “lane-splitting” is very smart. I would rather be patient and wait in line with traffic.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      That’s a shame. By sitting in traffic, you’re both exposing yourself to an undue amount of risk and failing to reap the benefits motorcycles bring to transportation. Learn how to split safely and a whole new world will open up to you.

      • carbureted

        Agreed, Wes. If you’re a seasoned lane splitter, you will not be caught unaware if/when a car pulls into your path.

        As someone who practices lane splitting everyday (I live in Seoul), I am constantly looking not only many cars ahead for drivers edging closer to the lane line (a good indicator that they want to change lanes), but also through multiple windows of drivers ahead of me to look for distractions as well as to notice them checking their mirrors in order to begin movement.

        If you practice these techniques, lane splitting in quite safe. I am MUCH more concerned when I am no longer in control of my own fate while sitting at the back of the line where I could easily be rear-ended by an inattentive motorist.

        Maybe, Alan, you live in a rather rural area? In that case, I could begin to understand your willingness to be patient, but getting to the front of the line for safety’s sake is always a better choice.

    • Cdreeder

      Metro cops do it here ALL the time!

  • carbureted

    Agreed. I wrote the same thing about Sen. Manendo above. His childish actions are not suitable for a high ranking position anywhere, much less the public sector.

  • http://twitter.com/tuscanfoodie Tuscan Foodie

    I used to be a lobbyst for the auto and motorcycle industry in Europe, so I am happy to help. It seems to me that the situation in the US with the AMA is the same it was in France back in the 70s. There was a French Federation of motorcyclists that did dumb stuff representing only a certain type of “motards”. So people very unhappy about it created the Federation Francaises des Motards en Colere, the French Federation of Angry Motorcyclists: http://www.ffmc.asso.fr/?lang=fr. As much as I dislike the French for their arrogance, this association is amazingly active nd well organized, and they have by far the best motorcycle magazine (Motomag) that I have ever read. I wish something like this happened here.

  • Bram

    Whilst most lawmakers have academic qualifications coming out of their ears, sadly few of them have enough common sense to boil an egg.

  • Cdreeder

    the Skooners (MC) in Las Vegas, did their own lobbying against helmet here in nevada, it is a money pit! and they are getting closer but they are paying lawyers a lot of money to fight it.

  • susannaschick

    I just stumbled across a site about lanesplitting, which posted the AMA’s response to their questions on this topic… http://bit.ly/11t3Qju looks like now that the CHP has issued official guidelines, AMA is “looking into it”