RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com)--According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, 400 people have died in Nevada intersections over the course of five years. A new law taking effect on October 1st is aimed at making intersections safer for all motorists.
All throughout Nevada, motorcyclists or bicyclists pull up to a red light and they wait. Sometimes their bike will trigger the sensor in the intersection, giving them a green arrow, sometimes it won't. What happens next, Lt. Eric Spratley with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office says can be extremely dangerous.
"Cyclists will then do some sort of illegal maneuver, they pull out of the turn lane in an illegal lane change at an intersection. They'll make a right turn on the next street, do a u-turn and come back the opposite way," says Lt. Spratley.
Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle from District 30 in the Reno/Sparks area says his constituents approached him about the idea of being able to legally turn left on a red light. He says after doing some research, he decided to sponsor Assembly Bill 117-making it legal for motorcyclists or bicyclists to make a left turn on red after waiting through two light cycles.
"When you consider the statistics that 83% of all fatal or near fatal accidents with motorcyclists or bicyclists happen in intersections, getting them out of the intersection as soon as we can legally and responsibly, that becomes the job of lawmakers and that's why I chose to do this," says Assemblyman Sprinkle.
Law enforcement across Nevada have come up with the "Safe On Red Campaign", aimed at educating all motorists on the road of the new law. Pretty soon you'll see billboards, PSAs, and hear commercials on the radio.
The goal is to make Nevada intersections safe for everyone on the road.