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Police raise awareness of 3-foot bicycle law to motorists

Local law enforcement agencies joined to raise awareness of Nevada’s “3-foot rule” for motorists during an enforcement event Dec. 30 on a trio of Summerlin roads.

The “3-foot” law states that drivers must move over to give adequate room on the road.

An officer rode a special laser-equipped bicycle bearing a device that measured the distance between passing cars and the bicycle. As the officer biked seven laps from Hualapai Way to Desert Foothills Drive and onto West Charleston Boulevard, he called out violations to more than a dozen officers staged along the route.

By the afternoon, 170 cars were stopped for violations or warnings, 184 citations were handed out, and around 30 warnings were given to drivers. Over 300 cars were called out for violations, more cars than the 16 staged officers could handle at a time.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department, Clark County School District police, Henderson Police Department, University police and North Las Vegas Police Department participated in the event.

Michael Campbell, a sergeant with the CCSD police, said that often a single car had two wide-open lanes and failed to move over.

“I don’t know if they didn’t see me at all or were focused on the road and had tunnel vision, but they weren’t moving over,” Campbell said.

He also said that instead of giving him a chance to pass by driveways, where drivers were preparing to head into, drivers sped up, drove around him and cut him off. Then, drivers would come 3 feet away from him and dart into the driveway.

The closest a driver came to the bicycle was 12 inches, Campbell said.

“I’m a pretty big guy and was wearing a bright-blue jacket and had a blinking red light while biking,” Campbell said. “I was hard to miss; people were either not paying attention or didn’t see me at all.”

The majority of drivers are unaware of the state’s 3-foot law, according to a survey by the traffic safety office.

“It’s worse than I expected,” Campbell said. “If there were more officers today to get to all the cars I called out, there would’ve been twice as many citations.”

Contact Mya Constantino at mconstantino@reviewjournal.com. Follow @searchingformya on Twitter.

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