As warmer weather arrives to Nevada, an increasing number of bicyclists can be found on the roads. Because of this, it is critical that drivers and bicyclists alike prioritize traveling safely to minimize the risk of a potentially tragic accident: in recent years, bicyclist deaths have accounted for about two to three percent of all traffic-related deaths in Nevada. On a more positive note, however, Washoe County just implemented a promising bicyclist safety initiative that aims to address this problem.
During the weekend of May 4, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) kicked off National Bike Safety Month by finishing up its Green Bike Stamp initiative. Through this initiative, vibrant green bike lanes were installed on some roads to reduce accidents between drivers and bicyclists. Scott Gibson, the RTC Project Manager, says that they are “putting these [lanes] in to try and enhance and highlight bicycle lanes and bicycle space, particularly in transition zones, so drivers are aware that there may be conflicts with cyclists and make them more aware of looking out for cyclists.” In other words, the new bike lanes are designed to tackle the issue of motorist-bicyclist collisions.
Las Vegas Metro Police Deputy Chief Andy Walsh notes that “there [are] two sides to this issue and it’s the motorists and bicyclists that have to really work together if we’re going to have an impact on this.” On that note, there are a number of preventative measures that motorists and bicyclists can follow to share the roads safely
- Give bicyclists a three-foot distance
- Move into a separate lane if possible
- Slow down and abide by traffic laws
- Be extra cautious while traveling through an intersection
- Use signals before turning
- Follow the same street rules at cars and abide to traffic laws
- Use a bicycle lane whenever one is available
- Get off your bicycle and walk it across crosswalks
- Wear a properly fitted helmet
- Add reflectors and lights to your bike and wear reflective clothing if riding at night
- Travel in the direction of traffic
- Use your hand to signal when you will be turning
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