Anyone driving a motorcycle or similar type of vehicle in Nevada knows that there are plenty of laws that need to be followed. It can be quite overwhelming as the Nevada Revised Statues has an entire chapter dedicated to these types of vehicles and what they can and cannot due.
One such statute discusses passengers and that is NRS 486.181. It has a simple title (“Carrying Passengers”) and is not very long but does explain some specifics that must be adhered to.
It also explains what a driver must do and if not what they can expect to get a ticket from law enforcement.
If you have ever been hurt in a crash or issued a traffic citation that involved a motorcycle then contact Ticket Busters for assistance.
We offer a free legal review to examine all aspects of what happened and will determine a good course of action which could include fighting the ticket with the goal of getting it dropped completely. In many cases, our legal team will be able to have the citation reduced to a non-moving violation and that is very important.
Tickets that are non-moving usually do not reach your insurance company which means that your premiums will not increase.
These types of tickets also do not normally require traffic school.
As you can see, making a quick call to Ticket Busters can make your life much easier and less expensive in the future.
Our goal is to always educate our customers on not only the laws but also what their rights are.
Safety was the main concern when the lawmakers in Carson City drafted the Rules of the Road and we can respect that. After all, accidents especially those involving motorcycles can be fatal. However, we also want to ensure that our clients are not being falsely ticketed for something.
That is why our initial consultation will be utilized to review all of the details of your case so we can find out what exactly happened. As part of our education process, we will empower you, the motorcycle driver, to fully understand the NRS you were cited for.
What the Law Says About Carrying Passengers
NRS 486.181 has three different sub-points and discusses how passengers are supposed to be handled. In many cases, when we think of the various statutes in Nevada our minds shift to the drivers. Just because this statute discusses passengers does not mean that the driver of the vehicle is off the hook.
Since they are driving and technically the ones responsible, they will be issued the citation regarding their passenger.
So it is up to you to control them in a way that follows the laws here in Nevada.
Motorcycles Prohibited to Carry Passengers Unless Designed to Carry Passengers
The first point to the NRS is very straightforward and should not only be followed to avoid getting a traffic ticket but also because it can prevent a serious injury or even death. It reads:
A motorcycle or moped shall not be driven upon a highway while carrying more than one person unless such motorcycle or moped is designed by the manufacturer to carry more than one person.
As obvious as this seems, there have been many cases over the years where multiple people are seen stacked up and riding on a motorcycle at high speeds in between traffic. This can occur on the various surface streets in Las Vegas or even on the main highways. It sounds like a death wish to act like this but it still happens. As the statute reads, that is allowed but only if the vehicle is equipped to carry the number of people that are actually riding.
These vehicles are not very big so typically two people are the maximum that can ride however it does depend on the manufacturer’s design.
This example can be tricky for law enforcement because the initial thought is that only two people are allowed to ride but based on the design of the vehicle that may not always be the case.
This is another example where your free initial consultation with Ticket Busters will help.
If you were cited for violating this NRS but your motorcycle or moped was designed for the number of passengers you were cited for then we can definitely fight that. Most drivers in Nevada get a traffic ticket and simply pay it as they do not want to spend additional time to combat the citation.
We never recommend that because you do have various rights and in many cases, fighting the ticket will have a positive result for you. As mentioned earlier, we want to educate you on your rights.
Where Motorcycle Passengers Are Allowed
The second point to this statute discusses where a passenger is allowed to ride:
2. A passenger shall ride:
(a) Behind the driver and astride the permanent or regular seat which was designed for two persons;
(b) Astride another seat firmly attached at the rear of the driver; or
(c) In a sidecar attached.
This aspect of the NRS is detailed however it probably is not necessary because the first point already indirectly referenced these details.
The first point stated that passengers could only ride where the motorcycle company designed people to ride. This point discusses where each passenger can ride in order to be legal for the law but if the manufacturer designed these areas then the driver and passengers are already in compliance per the first point.
In any case, we will look into this further but these laws can be confusing for most people. For those that are not formally educated in Nevada law all of these rules can be quite overwhelming making it easier for most to just pay the fine for their ticket and move on.
When you contact Ticket Busters you gain access to our legal team who know these statutes inside and out. We will be able to understand your situation and determine if you truly were in violation of the statute.
If your motorcycle, moped or other similar vehicle was built with a side car attached to it then that is an acceptable location for a passenger to ride.
The side car could also be used to carry goods and supplies but the main purpose for them is for a person to ride so that makes you compliant with this law.
Another popular place for someone to ride is directly behind the driver of the motorcycle. Typically there is ample space which was specifically designed for this purpose in that location. If there is a second seat on your cycle then again you are compliant and should not be cited a ticket by law enforcement.
Footrest Required for Passengers
The last point to this Nevada Revised Statute is a complement to the others:
3. Every such motorcycle or moped designed for transporting a passenger shall be equipped with footrests adjusted to fit such passenger.
If a seat was designed for a passenger then there needs to be a footrest that can be adjusted. Since each person is different in size the footrest needs to be adjustable.
This is one aspect of the law where some people can get hit with a ticket. Even though there is a designed seat, if there is not a footrest then a driver would be violating the statute. In some cases, especially when a passenger is seated directly behind the driver, if a footrest is not present sometimes the two will share the footrest.
Each situation and scenario will be different which is just another reason to contact an attorney to help you navigate the legal system.
TL;DR: Basically, as a Nevada driver, you just need to know that you cannot have a passenger on a motorcycle unless that particular vehicle was designed for that purpose.
Your passengers need to be in the area of the vehicle which was designed for them and that is typically the area directly behind the driver or in a side car. If you follow those rules then as you have read should not be in violation of the law. Other states may be different and many people are residing here who have moved from other areas.
As we alluded to earlier, these laws and verbiage can be quite confusing which is why it is always a good idea to seek out legal assistance after getting a traffic ticket in Nevada for any reason.
Issued a Ticket? Contact The Ticket Busters
The Ticket Busters office has a vast array of professional attorneys that are fully dedicated to you. We have assisted thousands of people in southern Nevada and our reputation is second to none.
We help all motorcyclists in Las Vegas and beyond as well as the passengers that ride with them. We will investigate your issue promptly and will preserve and seek out evidence when necessary. If need be we can negotiate with the city or county that issued your ticket as our goal will always be to get your citation reduced or thrown out completely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to carry a passenger on my motorcycle?
Yes, it is legal to carry a passenger on a motorcycle as long as it is designed for two or more people and there is a footrest for the passenger which is adjustable.
What if I get a ticket for carrying a passenger?
If you are issued a ticket then contact The Ticket Busters to speak with an attorney who can help navigate your legal situation. Our experienced attorneys will be able to advise you on what your options are and how we can assist in reducing or getting rid of your ticket.