New law concerning bicycle riders.
Most of us now know of the new law regarding the use of handheld devices (phones, gaming devices, etc.) while operating a motor vehicle that came into effect October 1st, 2011. You can’t do it unless you have a hands-free capability.
There are a few other new laws that went into effect also on October 1st. One is aimed at bicycle rider safety. It doesn’t address the riders, but the drivers of motor vehicles around the riders.
Drivers of motor vehicles have to a give a berth to bicycle riders as they pass them, much like the law concerning stopped emergency vehicles. Drivers MUST move to the next lane to the left that the rider is occupying or if that is not possible, wait to pass on the rider’s left, giving AT LEAST a three foot clearance as the motor vehicle passes.
And, for those aggressive drivers, you can be charged with reckless driving if you chose to intentionally cut it close to a bike rider or cause the rider to crash.
I remember when a neighbor and I chose to ride our bicycles to work and a large 4X4 truck purposely accelerated and swerved across our path to access the right turn lane. The driver, a particularly eloquent, vocal anti-bicycle lobbyist, resorted to yelling at us as we had no right to the roadways as were not “motor vehicles”. We asked if we could “educate” him regarding the laws regarding motor vehicle operator’s responsibilities and the laws pertaining to the rights of bicycle riders. Okay. The conversation wasn’t that long or that civil. He got the point and left waving goodbye at us.
Bike riders have to adhere to the traffic laws as if they were driving a motor vehicle. Red lights mean stop and stay stopped until the green is lit. Riders have to use hand signals when changing lanes or turning. Lights have to be used at night, front and back. You can be charged with DUI on a bike too.
Nevada has the new driver’s handbook on their website (DMVNV more here) and it’s updated with the new laws.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt for the rookie drivers as well as the experienced to take a look at it and keep abreast of the laws, new and old.
Refreshers are always a good thing.
by: Dave Robbins, Publisher VegasNewsReview.com