Nevada considers complete streets, red light law for motorcycles & bicycles

I’m now visiting Nevada in my virtual meander across the American bike legislation tour of 2013. Of interest in the Silver State: voluntary funding of a Complete Streets program for your county, and a bipartisan run the red light rule for motorcycles and bicycles.

  • AB 117 – a motorcycle red light law to allow people on motorcycles and bicycles to run a red light. As any motorcycle rider and cyclist has experienced, traffic lights don’t always detect the presence of a bike (motorized or not). Sponsors Michael Sprinkle (D), Richard Carillo (D), David Bobzien (D), Paul Anderson (R), Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D), Lesley Cohen (D), Skip Daly (D), Andy Eisen (D), Michele Flores (R), James Healy (D), Ellen Spiegel (D), Heidi Swank (D), and Jim Wheeler (R) introduced this bill to allow those riding a motorcycle, moped, “trimobile” (?), bicycle or electric bicycle to proceed through an intersection against a red traffic signal after the person stops at the light if the light does not detect the vehicle.

     

    Twelve states currently have a similar law on the books: Illinois (outside of Chicago), Idaho, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arkansas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Kansas. As of this writing, AB 117 is in the Transportation Committee. Terry McAfee of the Nevada Bicycle coalition writes a little more about the common sense advantages of this Nevada Red Light bill.

  • AB 145 – Optional $2 Complete Streets Contribution on motor vehicle registration fee. When Nevada motorists pay their vehicle registration fee, this bill would add a voluntary $2 contribution towards a Complete Streets Program Fund. This contribution must be used only for Nevada’s definition of a Complete Streets project, meaning a project for “primary purpose of adding or significantly repairing facilities which provide road access considering all users, including, without limitation, pedestrians, bicycle riders, persons with a disability, persons who use public transportation and motorists.”

     

    The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, which would be tasked with collecting the funds through the state motor vehicle registration program, have already signaled their opposition to this bill, hinting that it may cost more for the department to implement the program than what it would collect. Introduced by Richard Carrillo (D) and James Ohrenschall (D). Currently in the Transportation Committee.

  • AB 123 – Pedestrians prohibited from texting while crossing the street. This bill introduced by Grady Munford (D), Tom Grady (R), and Joseph Hogan (D) makes it a crime for a pedestrian to manually type or enter text into, or to send or read data using, a cellular telephone or other handheld wireless communications device while crossing a highway.

     

    In Nevada (as in California and other states) a “highway” is legally defined to be any public right of way for vehicular traffic. 1st offense gets you a warning. 2nd offense is a $100 fine. Subsequent offenses within seven years will cost you $250 each. Fines for texting or calling while driving are graduated at $50, $100 and $250.