Reno police will be making an effort to enforce bicycle related traffic rules this weekend, as part of a $36,000 grant from the NV Department of Public Safety, so you would be wise to stay within the law. Here is a link to the laws for Nevada – http://www.bicyclen evada.com/ law.html. Reno’s are virtually identical with one exception. Bicyclists are specifically not allowed on sidewalks in the downtown Reno area. Actually, Nevada law prohibits sidewalk bicycling, too, but not so specifically that you can point to the statute.
I’d be extra careful to avoid:
Riding against traffic on the wrong side of the road
“Blowing” through stop signs
Ignoring traffic signals
Riding at night without proper lights
“Fixie” riders without brakes should be especially cautious as this violation was specifically brought to my attention by the RPD leader of this enforcement effort. Nevada law requires bicycles to have brakes and its easy to enforce.
On the plus side for us, Reno PD will also be giving parking tickets to motorists who park in bike lanes. Yea!
The weather should be good for bicycling this weekend. Get out and enjoy it!
Nevada Bicycle Coalition
(please join us on Facebook – http://www.facebook .com/home. php?#!/group. php?gid=26427616 1544)
I am rebuilding my fixie and thought I should review the NV law, to make sure I don’t need two hand brakes, and came across the comments above regarding the brakes requirement. NRS 434.513 says,
“2. Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.”
That sounds like a skid-stop to me, granted the inconsistency that ‘a brake’ does not make ‘the wheels skid’.
Has the argument that a skid-stop meets the skidding on dry pavement been challenged in NV?
My apologize for not emphasizing that ‘a brake’ is singular while ‘wheels’ is plural. I don’t think the law really intends that both wheels must skid from the same brake. In that case we are all in trouble.
The irony that I am using the language to justify a skid-stop as a brake, while also disregarding the literal wording, is not lost on me.
Setting aside questions of whether or not it is wise to ride on a sidewalk, can you elaborate:
“Actually, Nevada law prohibits sidewalk bicycling, too, but not so specifically that you can point to the statute.”
When it comes to the law, things that are not prohibited are allowed.
In Arizona, e.g., there is no prohibition in state statutes.
It is actually a bit of a mess:
And it leads police to do entirely incorrect things; such as citing cyclists who ride in crosswalks (which, again, is not illegal) “conter-flow” for not riding as close as practicable to the right hand edge. This is entirely wrong.
Nevada law says that a bicyclist has all of the rights and duties of a motorist. It also says that it is illegal for a motorist to drive on a sidewalk except in crossing and only with the permission of the land owner. Thus, it is illegal for a bicyclist to “drive” on a side walk. There are a couple of other statutes that address sidewalks like that but it relies on essentially the same logic. Regarding crosswalks, I’ve been told that if you are struck while riding in a crosswalk, i.e. instead of walking like a pedestrian, the motorist will not be ticketed.
In Arizona, just as Nevada, a bicyclist has all the rights and duties of a motorist (actually, a “driver of a vehicle”) — “WHEN RIDING ON THE ROADWAY OR ADJACENT SHOULDER”.
This is the applicability statute.
So since sidewalks are not part of the roadway or shoulder, the prohibition against driving on sidewalks (which arizona also has) does not apply to cyclists.
Thus sidewalk cycling is not prohibited by Arizona state law, but is often be regulated by local (city) law. No cities in Arizona (that i have ever found) regulate cyclist crosswalk usage, and we in fact have an Arizona Supreme Court (Maxwell) that explictly makes a turning motoritst liable for a collision with a cyclist in a crosswalk; a wrong-way cyclist at that.
In Arizona, many times if a cyclist is struck in a crosswalk, the police will not ticket the motorist — but will ticket the cyclist (for violating non existent law; i.e. they mis-apply some other law. Here it is popular to charge cyclists with the “stay to the right” law, which cannot apply in a crosswalk). But this is simply a reflection of lack of knowledge (or possibly bias against cyclists) on the part of the particular law enforcement officer.
Leaving aside the question of why Arizona is playing such a prominent role in this conversation, Ed, it appears that Bicycle law and law enforcement is just as confused in Nevada as in Arizona. I put your last comment to the NDOT and NDPS managers of bicycle programs for their take on the issue. They generally agreed that reaching the conclusion that sidewalk bicycling is legal or illegal in Nevada is challenging to say the least.
One quoted NRS 450.250 as applicable to the discussion:
NRS 450.250 says “a person who willfully and intentionally rides or drives, or causes to be ridden or driven, any animal, vehicle or other thing over or upon such a sidewalk, without permission of the owner or occupant, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $20, in addition to the costs of prosecution.”
He noted that “permission” is not defined and might include a government official granting blanket permission in a speech or that making it illegal to bicycle on a sidewalk inside a downtown district might be tacit permission to bicycle on a sidewalk outside of a downtown district.
The other referred the question to the Nevada Attorney General for an opinion.
The lack of clarity in the actual Nevada Revised Statutes as well as in the minds of law enforcement and the general public is worrisome. It seems to me that any effort to improve bicycling safety needs to rest on a good legal framework to be effective.
In California, there are signs (along mostly busy streets) where bike routes don’t connect very well stating it is legal to ride on sidewalks.
In reading about the handbrake laws I found the standard “must be able to skid wheel” clause in the Nevada law.
In the above article it states that and RDP representative explicitly called out riding without hand brakes as a violation.
Ironically, without hand brakes you can ONLY skid your wheel (unless you stick your foot on the front wheel, which isn’t really good for a speed-check, and is universally not considered a brake).
In many states and other countries the drivetrain counts as a brake, and the laws have been adjusted to reflect that (requiring at least one brake on each wheel). Does anyone know if the drivetrain is explicitly not a brake in Nevada?
“The lack of clarity in the actual Nevada Revised Statutes as well as in the minds of law enforcement and the general public is worrisome. It seems to me that any effort to improve bicycling safety needs to rest on a good legal framework to be effective”
Terry — you can say that again!
There are lots of these little practically unknowables/grey areas whatever.
If you want to have some fun, you can consider whether or not DUI applies to bicyclists.
I looked at a handful of other states, and some are and some aren’t and some are essentially a tossup:
(i didn’t look at NV).
Good reminders! I like this blog!