Support the Vulnerable Highway User Law

Nevada Cyclists and Friends,

You can make a difference with an e-mail or letter! A brief note is all that is required.

On Tuesday, the Vulnerable Highway User Law was considered in the Assembly Transportation Committee. It is AB 328. This law adds a new point to the NRS 484 reckless driving section, to state that anyone who violates due care for pedestrians, pedestrians in a crosswalk, speed violations in school zones, negligent manslaughter, or strikes a vulnerable highway user (bike or pedestrian) with a car can be cited for reckless driving and face enhanced penalties. Three cyclists and one pedestrian advocate testified in support of the bill, there was no opposition.

The bill must pass out of committee and pass the full Assembly by April 15-next Friday.

Please send this out to everyone you know and contact Assembly members and ask them to support AB 328. This bill makes the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.You can also fax letters of support to the fax number below. Please send your support today! This bill must pass out of committee or it will die.

Thank you for your support!

Kelly Clark and Terry McAfee

Toll Free: 1-800-978-2878, OR 1-800-995-9080, OR 1-800-992-0973
Toll Free Fax: 1-866-543-9941

Here is a link to the bill text. Read the “Legislative Council’s Digest” for specific information about the bill. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/Bills/AB/AB328.pdf

Here is a list of the NV Senate and Assembly Transportation Committee members:

SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE:

  • Shirley A. Breeden – Chair sbreeden@sen.state.nv.us
  • Michael A. Schneider – Vice Chair mschneider@sen.state.nv.us
  • John J. Lee jlee@sen.state.nv.us
  • Mark A. Manendo mmanendo@sen.state.nv.us
  • Dean A. Rhoads drhoads@sen.state.nv.us
  • Mike McGinness mmcginness@sen.state.nv.us
  • Elizabeth Halseth ehalseth@sen.state.nv.us

ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE:

  • Marilyn Dondero Loop – Chair mdonderoloop@asm.state.nv.us
  • Jason Frierson – Vice Chair jfrierson@asm.state.nv.us
  • Kelvin Atkinson katkinson@asm.state.nv.us
  • Teresa Benitez-Thompson tbenitezthompson@asm.state.nv.us
  • Steven Brooks sbrooks@asm.state.nv.us
  • Richard Carrillo rcarrillo@asm.state.nv.us
  • Olivia Diaz odiaz@asm.state.nv.us
  • Joseph Hogan jhogan@asm.state.nv.us
  • Dina Neal dneal@asm.state.nv.us
  • John Hambrick jhambrick@asm.state.nv.us
  • Scott Hammond shammond@asm.state.nv.us
  • Randall Kirner rkirner@asm.state.nv.us
  • Mark Sherwood msherwood@asm.state.nv.us
  • Melissa Woodbury mwoodbury@asm.state.nv.us

Thanks for your help.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly or me at:

Terry McAfee – tmcafee@gmail.com
Kelly Clark – in2theblue@att.net

Thanks,

Terry

***

Not sure what to send? What we’re looking for:

1. Short messages of support, like this: “I’m a bicyclist/pedestrian in Nevada and I support AB 328, the Nevada Vulnerable Highway Users Law introduced by Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez Thompson.”
2. If you want to add more detail, you can say something like: “By amending the reckless driving section to include striking a pedestrian or bicyclist as reckless driving, this law would do much to make sure that Nevada motorists pay attention to bicyclists and pedestrians and learn to share the road with these vulnerable users.”
3. And you could add any personal story you might have about being struck while walking or biking in Nevada by a motor vehicle.

***

Here’s a sampling of the emails of support. This is a good example of why we need this law!

April 7, 2011
I’m writing this email in the hopes that it will benefit all cyclists.

My name is Dean Deming and I have lived in Reno since I was 4 yrs. old.

On a warm day in mid July of 2010 I went for a bicycle ride out 4th st. toward Verdi. As I was passing through the mogul area I was getting ready to turn onto Silva Ranch Rd just by the freeway underpass. As I was getting ready to turn right I heard an engine revving up behind me. As I glanced back I saw a vehicle coming hard at me. As I turned right the vehicle came up on my left and almost hit a car that was at the stop sign at the intersection there. As we made our way through the turn the driver looked over at me and then swerved her car into me. This pushed me into the dirt on the shoulder. I’ve been riding a long time and I somehow didn’t crash as I made my way through the dirt. I got back on the road and followed the vehicle into the neighborhood off the first right turn. She made a very circuitous route through the area and back to her house. As she got out of her car I asked “What was that all about?” she then yelled “Fucking bicycles are always a pain in my ass, why don’t you fuckers ride somewhere else?” I then yelled back that we had as much right to the road as she did and that she should take a chill pill and lighten up. I then called the sheriffs’ dept. and related my story to the dispatch operator. An officer then came and asked me what had happened. I related my story to him and I said “what are my choices?” He then informed me that since the driver was not in her car that he could do nothing. I was stunned. “What if I were dead, what would you do then”? He informed me that I could go to the main station and fill out a report if it would make me feel better which I did not do knowing it wouldn’t do me any good. I later found out that this deputy was absolutely in the wrong and that he could have and should have cited the driver.

In another instance I was riding my bicycle down Skyline drive when I heard a vehicle approaching from behind. Out of habit I turned to glance back and was shocked to see a guy hanging out the window of a truck with a shovel in his hands getting ready to hit me. I stared at him in a kind of standoff and he pulled the shovel in and they sped off down the street. In this instance I was so shaken that I couldn’t follow and didn’t even get a plate number. All I remember is that it was a landscaping truck with the box bed on the back and was white with a rack on top. When I relate this story to people they literally cannot believe it.

On another ride I was actually struck by a vehicle as I was making my way up McCarran blvd. toward Manzanita. The driver was very upset and very apologetic and actually paid for my doctor bills and for my bike to repaired. The police officers at the scene asked me if I wanted to press charges and I declined due to the drivers apologetic attitude. People that witnessed the whole thing couldn’t believe that I wasn’t dead. One lady on the scene was hysterical thinking she had just witnessed a death right in front of her. I can only thank an overworked guardian angel that I am here to write this story now.

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