Lane-Splitting Divides Nevada Drivers

Unless there's an accident on the straightaway through Washoe Valley, traffic flows pretty smoothly.

But if for some reason it was bumper to bumper would you mind if a motorcycle rider went down the center line at no more than 30-miles an hour?

“Well in a lot of cities particularly in California the guys on the bikes do it and it's quite hazardous. You see them get in areas where they are going to cause an accident. Someone is going to hit them,” says one driver we talked to.

“Being a motorcycle rider myself been doing it for years, I approve of it only if it is done at safe speeds,” says Alvin Mullins a local resident.

Under AB236 lane splitting would be legal under Nevada Law.

Proponents of the bill say its needed for two reasons.

For motorcycles that have air cooled system, idling in traffic can actually cause the cycle to shut down.

But secondly they say its just safer for them to get out of the way during traffic jams.

“At those lower speeds, that's when people are very inattentive. Maybe they are texting or one the phone or having an hamburger or whatever, putting makeup on. I see it all the time. So that is when it is most dangerous for us,” says Rick Eckhardt an proponent of AB 236.

Eckhardt says he believes if passed the bill could be a model for the rest of the country.

That's because motorcycles will only be able to split lanes at a top speed of 30 miles and hour and then only when they believe it is safe to do so.

Traffic flow, highway width and surface as well as weather will all have to be taken into consideration.

If AB 236 passes and it is signed by the governor it won't go into effect immediately.

Nevada's Department of Public Safety estimates it will take at least 6 months to educate Nevada drivers on the new law, and that will cost taxpayer money.