The Latest in Motorcycle Safety

Hearing Impaired Nevada Rider Class

Nevada Rider in partnership with the Deaf Centers of Nevada held a first of its kind motorcycle safety class for hearing impaired riders in Northern Nevada last September. With over four months of preparation and coordination, participants walked away with valuable, lifesaving motorcycle information.

Minor changes were made to how the class was conducted including the implementation of an eCourse and having an additional instructor present. This helped maximize on-bike time to ensure a safe and productive learning environment. The Nevada Rider program and the Office of Traffic Safety would like to thank: Cary Graves from the Department of Motor Vehicles, Debbie Helms and Casey McCullough from the Deaf Centers of Nevada, rider coaches Daniel Banda and John Rodgers, and interpreters Kristie and Alex.

MOTO 101 Program Launch 

Data shows that 38% of traffic fatalities age 20 and under were motorcycle riders. Data also shows that 40% of those riders were not licensed, and presumably had not taken a motorcycle safety course. Through collaborative efforts between the Nevada Rider Motorcycle Safety Program and Zero Teen Fatalities, an informational session for high school students—MOTO 101—will launch in February 2018.

The 90-minute session will include topics such as the risks of riding, techniques to reduce the risk, the importance of formal training, the importance of being licensed, and the 2018 statute changes on instruction permits and mandatory training for ages 16-17. The session will include a classroom-based portion and a riding demonstration. The entire session will be conducted by a Nevada Rider licensed motorcycle instructor. MOTO 101 will be promoted through Zero Teen Fatalities presentations at high schools in Las Vegas, Reno, and Elko.

Motorcycle Dealer Outreach

Dealerships are often the first point of contact for prospective motorcycle riders. Since motorcycle dealers are seen as the experts on motorcycles, engaging dealerships to support State efforts to communicate the need for riders to wear proper riding gear and to take formal training is a logical step to ensure safer riders. Messages such as “Look Twice for Motorcycles” displayed in the dealerships also reach non-riders that visit dealerships with family or friends.

Components of the program include placing brochures in acrylic countertop displays at dealerships and offering to participate in dealer events with the Nevada Rider outreach trailer. A SMARTrainer-Motorcycle Traffic Simulator is permanently mounted in the Nevada Rider outreach trailer and will be staffed by Nevada Rider licensed instructors. The trailer can be requested by dealers and will also be available for State agency events.

For more information on MOTO 101 or Motorcycle Dealer Outreach, please contact Pete Vander Aa at

Nevada Awarded $15,000 Grant to Support Drowsy Driving Prevention Efforts

In May, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) announced that Nevada was one of four states receiving a grant to educate law enforcement and communities on drowsy driving. This November, the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety provided training for law enforcement through the Joining Forces Program at the Drowsy Driving Summit hosted in Reno. Officers obtained an understanding of the science behind drowsy driving and the skills needed to recognize drowsy driving behavior. Officers will educate the public on the seriousness of this issue, and collect more comprehensive data for future discussion. Information will be distributed during traffic stops with fliers. Information provided to commercial truck drivers will include a coupon for a free coffee.

NDOT Installs New Milepost Signs

As part of numerous highway improvement projects that are currently underway through NDOT, new highway mile marker signs are being installed. The new signs provide increased visibility since the sign is placed with the top of the sign five feet above the roadway and the signs are more than twice the size of the existing markers. The larger size improves readability and helps drivers communicate their exact location in times of need.

The markers are also being installed further off the side of the road and mounted into the ground with concrete, meaning they are less prone to be accidentally knocked over by vehicles pulling to the side of the road. This also allows them to be easily replaced in the same exact location should they get damaged.

NDOT displays these milepost markers along state roadways as an important resource for drivers. They help drivers determine how far away your destination is, give an exact location when calling for roadside assistance, and most importantly, provide critical information for emergency personnel when responding to crashes. They are also used by roadway engineers and maintenance staff to reference certain areas of roadway.

Technologies Can Reduce Cell Phone Distracted Driving

The Federal Government reports that more than 3,000 people each year are killed on U.S. roadways due to distracted driving. Approximately 70% of drivers also admit to using cell phones despite knowing the dangers of distracted driving.

What many people do not know is that app developers are helping make your phone a device to combat distracted driving. Apps are being developed to help drivers stay focused on driving by blocking phone usage while driving, which in turn helps to prevent the number of distracted driving crashes and could save thousands of lives per year.

Most are available for smartphones and are available through wireless service companies that specialize in these types of apps. These safety tools can be activated by adding a service through your wireless plan, by downloading an app onto your phone (many are free), or installing a device in your vehicle that adds a virtual barrier around the driver. Each allows the customer to set up an account and choose various settings.

The most simple technologies will block you from using your phone for calls, texts, and emails while the vehicle is in motion. Other more advanced technologies have the ability to block audio features, keep you from accessing the camera, and can even track your speed and sudden stops.

A great benefit to parents with teen drivers are the apps that will email or text a parent notifications that provide helpful information. The LifeSaver app uses GPS monitoring and can block the ability to use the phone while driving, let parents know when their child arrives at their destination safely, and can even allow parents to set up rewards for their teens when they demonstrate safe driving behaviors.

Other apps let users interact with their phone while driving handsfree. (available for both Android and BlackBerry) has one-touch activation and announces callers by name, reads text messages and emails aloud, and can be set to auto-respond without the driver needing to touch the device. Overrides for dialing 911 come standard with blocking devices and most apps will allow passengers to use a phone.
To help us all be safer and have less distracted driving on our Nevada roadways, NDOT encourages the use of apps to help change driving behaviors. For more information, please visit the National Safety Council online.