NCWV wrote: This law sounds awful. It is difficult to enforce and in some instances could be dangerous. What about areas where the bicyclists are riding up a two lane road where there is no bike lane going a lot slower than the other traffic. Is a car supposed to cross the yellow line just to pass? The bicyclist shouldn’t be there in the first place. The law should not punish drivers in all cases as it is not always their fault. The whole situation should be solved with education and more bike lanes not with punishment.
“Is a car supposed to cross the yellow line just to pass?”
The short answer is, “Yes”. If the obstacle in the road was a bale of hay or a farm tractor blocking the lane, wouldn’t a motorist cross the yellow line just to get around it? In rural Nevada, most motorists would cross the yellow line at 70 miles per hour and think nothing of it. The alternative in many cases is to come dangerously close to the bicycle rider. It’s a misconception that a motorist can NEVER legally cross the yellow line.
“The bicyclist shouldn’t be there in the first place.”
The only roads where bicycles are prohibited in Nevada are limited access freeways. It would be nice if there were a network of connected bike lanes but today a bicyclist has to share roads without bike lanes to get from point A to point B.
“The law should not punish drivers in all cases as it is not always their fault.”
This is a law governing how close a motorist can come to a bicyclist when passing in an otherwise lawful manner. I’m a motorist and a bicyclist and I can’t imagine a situation where, as a motorist, I would be forced to pass with less than 3 feet clearance. That’s because I can’t imagine a situation in which I would be forced to pass. Is this a “the devil made me do it” situation? In every situation where, as a bicyclist, I “took the lane” and blocked cars from passing me, I delayed motorist behind me less than one minute. In every case, I “took the lane” because the lane was too narrow for us to safely share it side by side.
“The whole situation should be solved with education…”
Exactly! The point of this legislation is to let motorists know that less than three feet is too close. I don’t think anyone is expecting a lot tickets to be written.
“… and more bike lanes…” Amen, brother!
A motorist needs to be able to see about 150 to 200 yards ahead before deciding if they can pass a cyclist safely, because bicyclists often travel 20 mph or more. If a motorist can’t see a safe distance ahead, they need to be ready to stop. Education should emphasize that motorists may cross a double yellow line in order to provide bicyclists three feet clearance when passing. There are conflicting rules for a motorist on a road like Gieger Grade. Many motorists believe they shouldn’t have to cross a double yellow in order to pass a cyclist. But travel lanes are often only 11 feet wide, and cars are typically about 6 feet wide. Cars have to cross out of their lane every time they pass a cyclist when there is no bicycle lane.
I don’t think a cyclist has to ride closer than between one to two feet from the right hand side of the road for it to be considered as far to the right as practical. Cyclist need a one foot drift allowance, and they can fall into traffic if their tires go off the edge of the road surface.