LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More bicyclists have taken to Las Vegas valley roads during the pandemic and police are now stepping up enforcement against drivers who are not sharing the road.
Last year, 10 cyclists died in crashes statewide and police want to make sure that drivers are aware of the traffic laws regarding bicyclists.
Signs to “Share the Road” are posted along Fort Apache Road in the southwest part of the valley but police say, all too often, drivers who are pulled over don’t understand the law.
CCSD Police Sergeant Michael Campbell dressed as a cyclist Thursday morning to see how often vehicles violate the three-foot law which states a motorist should not come closer than three feet to a bicyclist.
“It’s tough when you get that woosh of a large vehicle pushing the bike over and you almost hit a curb,” Campbell said.
A device on his bicycle tells him how close a vehicle is when it passes him.
“Twelve inches was the closest that someone passed me. I was also passed by three box trucks, including one that passed within 26 inches,” he said.
Officers from multiple jurisdictions watched and issued tickets, between Charleston Boulevard and Desert Inn Road.
In December 2020, the cycling community was rocked when a box truck hit a group of bicyclists, killing 5 on U.S. 95 near Searchlight.
Jordan Barson, a suspected DUI driver, is facing charges after investigators said they found methamphetamine in his system.
The Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition says it was preventable.
“That’s why we’re trying to get out here and educate motorists about this law, to be aware. We don’t want anybody to have to go through what those families of the deceased are going through right now,” said Keely Brooks, Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition.
“We do have several laws on our books in the state that require folks to move over a minimum of three feet and then give the lane when they can,” said Andrew Bennett, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety.
The fine for not moving over for cyclists costs more than $300.