RENO, NV - In Nevada, 3 cyclists have died in the last 6 months after being hit by cars. The Nevada Highway Patrol is now making a concerted effort to enforce road-sharing laws between cars and bikes that have been on the books for 3 years, but are not well known or understood by drivers.
You've heard the expression "crawling with cops?"
That was the scene Friday on Old 395 in Pleasant Valley
More than 200 cars and trucks were pulled over by NHP troopers in a matter of five hours--most given just warnings about sharing the road with Trooper Doug Hildebrand.
“Sometimes some of the people are getting a little close to my bike when I'm riding down there. A dump truck came real close to me. The bigger the vehicle the closer it seems get,” says Trooper Hildebrand.
With his radio strapped to his chest, the trooper calls in the cars and trucks that don't move over.
That transmission goes to troopers in cars and on motorcycles parked on side streets.
Once that description is called in, his fellow troopers track down the car or truck and explain why they are being stopped.
“There is a bicycle on a road which has two or more lanes in a single direction; you've got to take the lane left of the bicycle,” explains Lieutenant Andy McAffee to one driver.
“In this case we have 2 lanes in each lane. If you are overtaking a bicycle, even if it is on the shoulder, you've got to take your vehicle to the lane to the left of where the bike is, if it is practical to do so,” says Lieutenant McAffee.
The law has been in effect since 2011.
As Trooper Hildebrand moves north and south on the roadway, his radio is never silent.
“Blue van, Nevada plates did not pull over. Red Ford did not pull over,” radios Hildebrand.
Just warnings are given out for now.
In the future the fines can run about $200.
But with so many stops, it's clear drivers are unknowingly breaking the law and need to become more familiar with sharing the road with more than just Trooper Hildebrand.
In order to be fair, the NHP won't just be cracking down on drivers.
In the months to come, you can expect troopers to conduct similar exercises targeting cyclists, to make sure they are also obeying the law.