LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A public awareness campaign on bike safety will emphasize Nevada’s law requiring motorists to allow space for cyclists.
“Change Lanes for Bikes. It’s the Law!” will deliver the message to both drivers and cyclists.
Nevada is one of five states to specifically mandate that motorists should move into an adjacent lane to the left if the lane is available when passing a cyclist. The minimum “3-Feet” law says motorists must leave space and is more widely enforced in 33 states, according to a news release.
A recent event to highlight the required space for cyclists resulted in 180 citations in just a few hours.
The Las Vegas Cyclist Memorial — a new cycling advocacy alliance formed after five cyclists died in a December crash on U.S. 95 near Searchlight — and the Southern Nevada Bycycle Coalition launched the safety campaign on Thursday.
The campaign’s goal is to help Southern Nevada achieve zero fatalities among road cyclists.
“In 2020, many bike retailers in Las Vegas sold out of inventory during the pandemic. This means we have more people than ever riding on the road for recreation and transportation,” said Keely Brooks, Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition (SNVBC) president; the organization spearheading the campaign and is part of the LVCM alliance.
“If the message to change lanes is top-of-mind, people can make better choices on the road and help to achieve a rate of zero collisions,” Brooks said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2018, there were 857 cyclists killed by motorists, up 6.3% from 2017. In Nevada, 35.6% of overall traffic fatalities are pedestrian and bicycles.