OPINION: Promote safety as new cycling law goes into effect

SUBMITTED BY DENNIS STARK

Dennis Stark, member of Nevada's Bicycle Advisory BoardThe media has done a thorough job recently of explaining the changes to Nevada State laws. As a member of the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Board, I would encourage everyone to be aware of the new laws and extend additional courtesy to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Governor Sandoval recently signed into law a bill that requires motorists to pass no closer than three feet to bicyclists. As a person who lives in a small rural community, and rides a bicycle, I know that roads can be narrow and speeds can be high.

Sometimes it is hard to see bicyclists and pedestrians and extra caution is necessary. As the Chairman of our State Bicycle and Pedestrian Board, Sig Jaunarajs, said: “I think that the legislative intent behind the new laws is to promote responsible and safe behavior on our roads, which benefit not just cyclists but all roadway users.”

Nevada is a great place to live, ride and walk. With the current economic conditions being what they are, we are seeing more bicyclists and pedestrians sharing the roadways.

The previous law required that motorists pass bicyclists at a safe distance but the new law with the 3-foot requirement is very specific. Law enforcement officers will, and should, enforce the new laws.

The State of Nevada has diligently been working on curtailing traffic accidents and fatalities, so let’s all do our part to be safe.

I would also suggest that you check out the various web sites, to include NDOT and the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Board, to familiarize yourself with not only the new laws but what these great organizations have to offer the public. Thank you and safe riding!

Dennis Stark is a long-time public servant and former manager of Lyon County. He previously served as manager of the cities of Lichtfield and Charlotte, both in Michigan.

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