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Posts Tagged ‘laws’

Well, I just finished notifying the local hospitals that we’re going to be riding our bicycles en masse from Reno City Hall Plaza to Sparks City Hall and back. They didn’t seem too worried or inclined to staff up their emergency response machinery. Notifying them was required by the Reno Events Committee as part of giving us a permit to do the event.

What event am I talking about?

A Bicycle Parade

It’s the Bicycle Awareness Parade – a ride to celebrate new bicycle-friendly laws!

All the bicyclists in Northern Nevada (wishful thinking here) will be riding from Reno City Hall Plaza to Sparks City Hall and back on October 1st, from 9:30 until noon. Besides just having the fun of a big bike ride, we’re riding to bring awareness to the new laws affecting bicyclists that go into effect on that day:
• Prohibiting hand-held cell phone use and texting,
• Requiring motorists to give a bicyclist 3 feet of space when passing from behind, and
• Increasing penalties for a motorist causing injury to a bicyclist or pedestrian to those of reckless driving.

Imagine several hundred bicyclists, some in “3 feet please” jerseys or t-shirts, riding to promote bicycle safety! Won’t that make a big story on the evening news, telling motorists that a change in driving behavior is required!

You say you don’t have a “3 feet please” jersey to wear in the Parade? That’s okay, of course. But if you want one, there’s still time to shop online. Get a jersey or t-shirt from http://www.3feetplease.com. If you put “GoNV” in the discount box, $5.00 of the purchase price will go to the Nevada Bicycle Coalition to support safe bicycling in Nevada.

So save the date – October 1st, 9:30 ‘til noon – for a great, celebratory bicycle ride with all of your friends and neighbors.

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The PROBLEM

Nevada’s legislature passed two bicycle-friendly laws in the last session that become effective on October 1, 2011. The problem is that very few motorists know about them:

AB328 – increases penalties for a motorist who causes a pedestrian or bicyclist injury

SB248 – requires motorists to allow at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist from behind

These laws require motorist to change behavior so it’s important that they know about them (Duh!). However, no one has enough money to mount a big advertising campaign. So, how will motorists learn about their new responsibilities?

The OPPORTUNITY

The best way to reach the motoring public, and the cheapest, is through local news coverage. Let’s do something that will be fun and attract lots of press attention. Here’s the plan:

Let’s have a parade! Imagine 200 or more bicyclists, all riding together at a relaxed, fun pace, smiling, laughing and celebrating a Nevada that is more bicycle friendly than ever. What could be a more positive image for an occasionally hostile motoring public?

On Saturday October 1st at 9:30am, let’s get every person in Reno and Sparks with a bicycle to meet at the Reno City Hall Plaza at S. Virginia and First Street. At 10:30 we’ll ride from there to the Sparks City Hall. As the bicyclists assemble, the news media can interview the bicyclists and the politicians that support bicycling and get some good pictures of people enjoying their bicycles. The actual bicycle ride from Reno to Sparks will be mostly on 4th Street and Prater Way. The return route will be mostly on the Truckee River Bike Path. It’s about an 8 mile round trip.

Ideally, there will be about 100 bicyclist wearing their “3 Feet Please” jerseys or t-shirts. Wouldn’t that make a great group picture?

Don’t have yours yet? Order one today at http://www.3feetplease.com. If you put “GoNV” in the discount code box, $5.00 of the purchase price will go to the Nevada Bicycle Coalition to support efforts to promote safe bicycling in Nevada.

To add to the fun, the Nevada Bicycle Coalition is going to give away a “3 Feet Please” jersey to one person of the first 50 bicyclists to arrive at the Plaza. So come early to pick up a prize ticket!
Thanks to the Reno Bike Project for co-sponsoring this event.

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The 3 Foot Passing Bill, SB248, was passed by the Legislature, signed by the Governor and will become the law in Nevada on October 1, 2011. It’s pretty simple really. Motorists must pass a bicyclist no closer than 3 feet.

Here’s the language in the bill:

Legislative Counsel’s Digest:
Existing law prohibits the driver of a motor vehicle from overtaking and passing a bicycle or an electric bicycle unless the driver can do so safely without endangering the person riding the bicycle or electric bicycle. (NRS 484B.270) This bill requires a driver of a motor vehicle to overtake and pass a bicycle or an electric bicycle proceeding in the same direction by: (1) moving the vehicle into the immediate left lane, if there is more than one lane traveling in the same direction and it is safe to move into the lane; or (2) passing to the left of the bicycle or electric bicycle at a distance of not less than 3 feet from the bicycle or electric bicycle.

Critics say that it’s nearly impossible for traffic police to enforce this law. For me, feeling how close the FedEx trucks come when passing me, requiring a motorist to not pass “unless he can do so safely (current law)” must be not nearly specific enough. So it’s about education, not enforcement. So how will motorists get educated about this new law?

Get one at 3feetplease.com

You can help promote awareness of the new law by wearing a “3 Feet Please” t-shirt or bicycle jersey. They’re available at http://www.3feetplease.com, $15 for the t-shirt, $60 for the jersey, short or long sleeve. The jerseys run just a little bit small, so if you wear a loose fitting medium, this one will be fitted. If you put “GoNV” in the discount code box, $5.00 of your purchase will go to the Nevada Bicycle Coalition to help promote safe bicycling in Nevada and more bicycle friendly legislation in the future.

Here’s a link to the new law – http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/Bills/SB/SB248_EN.pdf

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