A Quick Guide to Nevada Motorcycle Laws

Like all states, Nevada also regulates strict traffic laws for motorcyclists to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. Just like motorists, motorcyclists must also adhere to these laws on public roadways and highways.

Failing to do so can lead to legal penalties and put the motorcyclist in a bad situation in case of an accident. Despite suffering from severe injuries, property loss, or loss of life, the motorcyclist would not be able to receive any compensation for their losses if they did not abide by the laws established by Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the most important motorcycle laws in Nevada:

Motorcycle Driver License

All motorcyclists must acquire a Nevada Class M license to operate their motorcycles on the streets and highways. The candidate must complete an application and provide documents to apply for their license. They must also take the skills test on any motorcycle and pass it to get their license.

If you are caught driving without one, you may be charged with a misdemeanor offense and end up serving time for six months and paying a fine of up to $1000.

Motorcycle Equipment and Helmet Law in Nevada

Motorcycle drivers, as well as passengers, are required to wear helmets by Nevada motorcycle law. Failing to do so will end up in a ticket. The helmets in use must also meet the standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In Nevada, it is also required by law for motorcycles to be properly equipped with at least one and no more than two headlights. The taillight must be red to be seen from 500 feet away. The motorcycle must have both the front and rear brakes. The motorcycles must also be equipped with reflectors, electric turn signals, rearview mirrors on each handlebar, horn, footrests, and fenders.

If a motorcyclist gets into an accident with either of these pieces of equipment missing, it could be used against them in litigation and decrease their chances of winning the case.

Penalties for Breaking Nevada Motorcycle Laws

Like everywhere else, motorcyclists in Nevada are legally entitled to follow the state’s motorcycle laws or face penalties. While there’s a penalty for not following or breaking every law, here are some of the major and most commonly implied ones:

Lane Splitting

Most people love to ride a motorcycle for its sleek and lightweight frame that allows easy maneuverability. Unfortunately, the same aspect makes it tempting for motorcyclists to go around vehicles, switching lanes whenever convenient and moving faster by taking whatever space is available to them. This act is called lane splitting or lane filtering.

This move is illegal in Nevada, and motorcycles cannot move between vehicles even when the vehicles are stopped. The only exception to this law is police officers.

If a motorcyclist gets into an accident while lane splitting, they will not be able to get compensation or make any claims for their losses. They might be held 100% responsible for the accident. The law is referenced below and is applicable to some other aspects of this post.

NRS 486.351  Unlawful passing; driving abreast; prohibition on driving in extreme left lane; exceptions.
1.  A person, except a police officer in the performance of his or her duty, shall not drive a motorcycle or moped between moving or stationary vehicles occupying adjacent traffic lanes.
2.  Except as provided in subsection 3, a person shall not drive a motorcycle, moped or trimobile abreast of or overtake or pass another vehicle within the same traffic lane.
3.  Motorcycles and mopeds may, with the consent of the drivers, be operated no more than two abreast in a single traffic lane.
4.  A person, except a police officer in the performance of his or her duty, driving a moped shall, except:
(a) When preparing to turn left as provided in subsection 5;
(b) When doing so would not be safe; or
(c) In compliance with the directions of a police officer, drive in the extreme right-hand lane if the highway has two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic traveling in the same direction in which the driver is traveling.
5.  A person driving a moped as required pursuant to subsection 4 who is preparing to turn left may enter the lane from which the left turn will be made not more than one-quarter of a mile from where the left turn will be made.
(Added to NRS by 1971, 1470; A 1975, 10841979, 8572017, 629)


Lane Sharing

Lane sharing is when all the different types of vehicles can use one lane. This act is legal in Nevada, and motorcyclists can use one complete traffic lane. However, this does not mean that a motorcyclist can drive side by side with another vehicle in the same lane. Or even pass next to a stopped vehicle. This act is strictly prohibited, and legal actions might be taken against the motorcyclist.  

Despite following all the laws, motorcyclists often face dangerous situations that can lead to losses. Bad weather can often lead to loss of traction and serious injuries.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, we recommend you to get in touch with The Bourassa Law Group at (800)870-8910 and schedule a free consultation.

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