Monday, June 15, 2015

What are the Laws Bicyclists Must Follow on Nevada Roadways?


Southern Nevada is a wonderful place to live. Given our sunny days, it is home to many children and adults riding bicycles on our roadways. However, according to ThinkFirstNevada.org:

• In the year 2000, 690 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles.
• In that same year, 51,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic-related crashes.
• More than 373,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for
bicycle-related injuries in the year 2000.

Bicyclists are vulnerable to severe injuries when they are involved in accidents. Today’s discussion is on the rights and responsibilities of both car drivers and bicyclists. The rules governing bicyclists on our roadways, are set forth in Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) 484B, entitled “Rules of the Road”.  The relevant sections of NRS 484B are set forth here:

   NRS 484B.270  Vehicles, bicycles and electric bicycles:
Driver’s duty of due care; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with person riding bicycle.
      1.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall not intentionally interfere with the movement of a person lawfully riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle.
      2.  When overtaking or passing a bicycle or electric bicycle proceeding in the same direction, the driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care and:
      (a) If there is more than one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, move the vehicle to the lane to the immediate left, if the lane is available and moving into the lane is reasonably safe; or
      (b) If there is only one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, pass to the left of the bicycle or electric bicycle at a safe distance, which must be not less than 3 feet between any portion of the vehicle and the bicycle or electric bicycle, and shall not move again to the right side of the highway until the vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle or electric bicycle.
      3.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle on the pathway or lane. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not enter, stop, stand, park or drive within a pathway or lane provided for bicycles or electric bicycles except:
      (a) When entering or exiting an alley or driveway;
      (b) When operating or parking a disabled vehicle;
      (c) To avoid conflict with other traffic;
      (d) In the performance of official duties;
      (e) In compliance with the directions of a police officer; or
      (f) In an emergency.
      4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, the driver of a motor vehicle shall not enter or proceed through an intersection while driving within a pathway or lane provided for bicycles or electric bicycles.
      5.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall:
      (a) Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle; and
      (b) Give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate and when necessary to avoid such a collision.
      6.  If, while violating any provision of subsections 1 to 5, inclusive, the driver of a motor vehicle is the proximate cause of a collision with a person riding a bicycle, the driver is subject to the additional penalty set forth in subsection 4 of NRS 484B.653.
      7.  The operator of a bicycle or an electric bicycle shall not:
      (a) Intentionally interfere with the movement of a motor vehicle; or
      (b) Overtake and pass a motor vehicle unless the operator can do so safely without endangering himself or herself or the occupants of the motor vehicle.


NRS 484B.777  Operating bicycle or electric bicycle on roadway.
      1.  Every person operating a bicycle or an electric bicycle upon a roadway shall, except:
      (a) When traveling at a lawful rate of speed commensurate with the speed of any nearby traffic;
      (b) When preparing to turn left; or
      (c) When doing so would not be safe,
 ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
      2.  Persons riding bicycles or electric bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or electric bicycles.

NRS 484B.783  Lamps, reflectors and brakes required on bicycles and electric bicycles.
      1.  Every bicycle or electric bicycle when in use at night must be equipped with:
      (a) A lamp on the front which emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front;
      (b) A red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Department which must be visible from 50 feet to 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle; and
      (c) Reflective material of a sufficient size and reflectivity to be visible from both sides of the bicycle for 600 feet when directly in front of the lawful lower beams of the headlamps of a motor vehicle, or in lieu of such material, a lighted lamp visible from both sides from a distance of at least 500 feet.
      2.  Every bicycle or electric bicycle must be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.


What Should Drivers Know?
    •    Drivers have to use “due care” to avoid colliding with a bicyclist.
    •    When a bicyclist in a Drivers travel lane, the Driver has to move to a left lane or if that is not possible, move over to the left, to allow 3 feet of distance between their car and the bicycle.
    •    Car Drivers must yield to the right of way of bicyclists when bicyclists are in a bike path or bike lane.
What are Bicyclists’ Responsibilities?
    •    Bicyclists must ride on the ride most side of the street, unless then are turning or passing a parked car or another bicyclist.
    •    Bicyclists cannot ride side by side with another bicyclist, unless they are in a bike path or bike lane.
    •    At night time, it is a bicyclists’ duty to have lights and red reflective tape on their bike for safety.
    

Next time, we will discuss the rules of the road when you see an ambulance or other emergency vehicle.

Monday, June 1, 2015

What are the Laws Pedestrians Must Follow on Nevada Roadways?


According to official Nevada records, 69 pedestrians died on our roadways last year. See, http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com/pedestrian.php for more information on fatalities and injuries on our roads. 

The rules governing pedestrians on our roadways, is codified in Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) 484B, entitled “Rules of the Road”.  Two relevant sections of NRS 484B are set forth here:


  NRS 484B.280 Duties of driver of motor vehicle to pedestrian; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian.
      1. A driver of a motor vehicle shall:
      (a) Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian;
      (b) Give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate and when necessary to avoid such a collision; and
      (c) Exercise proper caution upon observing a pedestrian:
             (1) On or near a highway, street or road;
             (2) At or near a bus stop or bench, shelter or transit stop for passengers of public mass transportation or in the act of boarding a bus or other public transportation vehicle; or
             (3) In or near a school crossing zone marked in accordance with NRS 484B.363 or a marked or unmarked crosswalk. ….

      NRS 484B.283 Right-of-way in crosswalk; impeding ability of driver to yield prohibited; overtaking vehicle at crosswalk; obedience to signals and other devices for control of traffic; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian.
      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 484B.287, 484B.290 and 484B.350:
      (a) When official traffic-control devices are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the highway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the highway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the highway as to be in danger.
      (b) A pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
      (c) Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle until the driver has determined that the vehicle being overtaken was not stopped for the purpose of permitting a pedestrian to cross the highway.

What Should Drivers Know?
    •    Crosswalks exist at any intersection, whether there are marked or not.
    •    Drivers have to yield to all pedestrians in crosswalks. So, this means, if there is an intersection, with a marked crosswalk or not, drivers must yield to the pedestrians.
    •    Drivers must stop or slow down before passing another vehicle, which stopped in a travel lane, until the driver has determined whether that car has stopped for a pedestrian.
    •    All drivers must, in the presence of a school crossing guard, wait for all persons including the guard, to completely clear the road before proceeding.
    •    Have to yield at all times to a blind person using a white cane or service animal.
What are Pedestrians’ responsibilities?
    •    Pedestrians have to use the sidewalk and the nearest crosswalk or pedestrian bridge.
    •    They must obey official traffic-control devices.
    •    It is their duty to stay in the right-hand half of the crosswalk, whenever practical.
    •    If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
    •    Crossing an intersection diagonally is not allowed, unless the intersection is specifically designed for this.
    •    Pedestrians must not suddenly walk into the path of an oncoming car, making it impossible for the car to stop.


Next time, we will discuss drivers’ duties to bicycle riders and laws bicyclists must follow on our roadways in Southern Nevada