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May 27, 2015

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Bills would reduce emissions testing, repeal motorcycle helmet law

State Sen. Don Gustavson

State Sen. Don Gustavson

CARSON CITY — Bills introduced in the Nevada Senate on Monday would reduce vehicle emissions testing in Clark and Washoe counties and repeal the state’s motorcycle helmet law for riders 21 and older.

Vehicle emissions testing would be reduced to every four years for newer vehicles and every two years for other cars and trucks.

Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, sponsor of both bills, said they would not result in more smog or motorcycle deaths.

A similar emissions bill was approved in a Senate committee in 2011 but never got to the floor for a final vote, Gustavson said. “I’ve got lots of support for this,” he said.

The smog inspection stations might oppose the bill, but the certificate fee for the emissions test — which does not include the inspection fee — would be raised from $6 to $12 for the two-year check.

As far as Nevada’s motorcycle helmet law goes, 31 states have repealed similar laws and research has shown little change in motorcycle crash death rates, Gustavson said. Most injures from crashes are to the arms, legs and other parts of the body — not the head, Gustavson said.

The exemption from the helmet law would apply to those 21 years old or older who have at least one year of riding experience and pass a safety course.

Passengers also would not have to wear helmets, as long as they are at least 21.

Cyclists would still have to wear goggles or glasses if the bike does not have a windshield.

Gustavson said some people won’t buy motorcycles in Nevada or attend motorcycle rallies in the state because of the helmet laws. That results in lost revenue from tourism and sales taxes, he said.

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