weather icon Clear

Nevada ‘trick’ riders might face tougher penalties with new bill

CARSON CITY — Nevada might create stiffer penalties for motorcyclists who take to public roads in packs, blocking or weaving through traffic to perform stunts that police say put others and themselves at risk.

Las Vegas police, among other supporting agencies, say current laws aren’t tough enough to justify the resources officers need to track down offenders, who often ride without license plates and speed off from police, unpursued out of safety concerns.

Former Metropolitan Police Department officer and freshman Assemblyman Tom Roberts, R-Las Vegas, sponsored the bipartisan bill along with eight other lawmakers.

If passed, it would make operating a vehicle in an unauthorized display of “trick driving” on a public road a form of reckless driving. The crime would be classified as a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine.

“This is an issue that the current reckless driving laws don’t cover in statute,” Chuck Callaway, representing Metro, told the Assembly Committee on Judiciary early Monday after playing a 2017 video of motorcyclists running red lights and performing tricks on the Strip.

Callaway said police have reached out to motorcyclist groups to organize legal trick-riding events, but officers have been rebuffed because they “want to do it illegally,” posting video of their exploits on social media.

“They want to be in the spotlight,” Callaway said. “They don’t want to go out at midnight on a country road and do it. They want to do it on the Strip on a Saturday when everyone’s around because they want the notoriety.”

In addition to misdemeanor penalties, offenders could lose driving privileges or have their vehicles impounded. A provision calling for possible vehicle forfeiture is likely to be removed or tweaked following a Supreme Court decision last month against local forfeiture statutes.

Some lawmakers on the panel expressed concerns that the law might inordinately penalize specific demographic groups, such as younger adults or those who stand to lose their only means of transportation. Callaway said the law was not designed to target any specific group.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re young or old,” he said. “It should apply equally to everyone.”

The bill remains pending before the committee.

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Sisolak signs public records reform bill into law

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that strengthens Nevada’s public records law, making it easier and cheaper for people to get public records and providing for fines if public agencies willfully flout the law.