The public awareness campaign launched by Las Vegas Cyclist Memorial aims to achieve zero collisions in Southern Nevada.
The December 10 tragedy that killed five Las Vegas cyclists has created a county-wide movement to make Southern Nevada safer for vulnerable road users. In January, the Las Vegas Cyclist Memorial (LVCM) launched Change Lanes for Bikes. It’s the Law! a public awareness campaign to educate motorists and cyclists about Nevada’s 3-Feet/Move Over passing Law (NRS 484B.270). Olympia Companies, developer of Southern Highlands and Skye Canyon, communities known for including designated bike lanes on major streets, has jumped on board, donating two billboards on the north and south sides of the I-15 near Starr Avenue that remind motorists to Change Lanes for Bikes. On average, the billboards have a reach of 132,000 annual daily trips.
“Las Vegas is growing rapidly. Creating a safer environment for our residents and guests takes a combination of policies that look toward long-term sustainability and education programs promoting the safety of pedestrians and cyclists,” says Chris Armstrong, vice president of Olympia Companies. “Support from our entire community is essential to initiate change.”
Nevada is one of 33 states to enforce a 3-Feet law and is one of five states to specify that motorists should move into an adjacent lane to the left if the lane is available when passing a cyclist. The campaign’s goal is to achieve zero collisions and end traffic fatalities of cyclists. More information is available at www.lasvegascyclistmemorial.com.
“Given the cycling boom spurred by the pandemic, we have more people than ever riding on the road for recreation and transportation,” says Keely Brooks, Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition (SNVBC) president; the organization spearheading the campaign and is part of the LVCM alliance. “If the message to “Change Lanes” is top-of-mind, people can make better choices on the road and help to achieve a rate of zero collisions.”
According to the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration, in 2018, there were 857 cyclists killed by motorists, up 6.3% from 2017. In Nevada, 35.6% of overall traffic fatalities are pedestrian and cyclists. If motorists are found at-fault in a collision with a cyclist or pedestrian, motorists may be charged with reckless driving. Other penalties include a driver’s license suspension. (NRS 484B.280)
LVCM is an alliance of advocacy groups working together to create lasting change and offer relief for the families of the LV5; the cyclists lost on Dec. 10, Aksoy Ahmet, 48, Michael Murray, 57, Gerrard Nieva, 41, Erin Ray, 39, and Tom Trauger, 57.
 Source: The National Conference of State Legislatures