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New bill considers lane-splitting for motorcyclists

Victoria Spilabotte

New bill considers lane-splitting for motorcyclists

CREATED Apr. 26, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Share the roads is the message from motorcyclists who may get free reign on Nevada Highways to weave in and out of traffic.

YouTube video shows a maneuver called lane splitting where a motorcycle travels between cars crossing the lane divider. 

"In this state we should be able to split lanes because it's so hot it overheats the bikes," Henderson Harley Davidson salesperson, Joe Murphy, said. "We really need to split lanes to keep our bikes cool."
 
Lane splitting is illegal in Nevada but a new bill, AB236, could change the rules of the road. 
 
"To be stuck sitting in traffic is really not that safe for motorcycles," Dan Boyle, owner of Proshop Motorsports and Marine, said. "They get rear ended a lot."
 
Boyle said it's safe to lane split when a motorcycle is traveling under 30 miles per hour. The new bill states motorcyclists can only lane split when conditions are safe, the motorcycle doesn't travel more than 10 miles faster than the other vehicles, and the motorcycles doesn't exceed 30 miles per hour. 
 
But law enforcement officials fear lane splitting could put lives in jeopardy. 
 
"Drivers are not used to seeing motorcycles," Trooper Loy Hixson, Nevada Highway Patrol, said. "A vehicle may be tempted to make a lane change and that's where we can see an accident occur.
 
Some motorcyclists are wary of lane splitting too. John Hubbard admits he would need practice to avoid distracted drivers if he tried the maneuver.
 
"You've got people texting and people on cell phones quite often so they are not paying attention," Hubbard said. "You would have to be very cautious, that's for sure."
 
AB236 passed in the Assembly and is waiting on a vote in the Senate. If the bill passes lane splitting would be allowed at the start of 2014.

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