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Watch out for bicyclists

A few days ago the Reno Police Department identified the name of the bicyclist that was killed in an accident with an SUV north of Golden Valley Road on Virginia St. His name was Patrick Gavin and he was 77 years old. The driver of the SUV is a female resident of Reno and is currently cooperating with the investigation.

It is sad that these accidents result in deaths. Imagine how long this person rode bicycles before he died, and how frequently he rode them. Remember in 2011, the accident in Reno where the trash truck driver was turning from Mill Street onto Kietzke Lane and a female cyclist was killed?

Drivers need to give bicyclists some space. Not only do motorists and bicyclists need to have a clearance of three feet, but bicyclists also have to ride three feet away from parked vehicles. There is a reason that the three foot law passed in the 2011 legislative session here in Nevada. Safety is key.

If you see that a bicyclist is about to pass a parked vehicle, do not attempt to pass a bicyclist because you will end up going into oncoming traffic and have a greater probability of getting in a vehicle accident. Take a few extra seconds and be patient. There is a reason that we have to take driving tests in order to get our license. Having a driver's license is a privilege, not a right. Rules can always change.

Let's face it. Reno, Sparks, Carson City and surrounding communities are becoming more bicycle-friendly. Gas costs are going up and some people don't have as much need for a car because public transit and bicycles are becoming alternatives, in addition to motorcycles and scooters.

In summary, drivers and bicyclists have to be courteous to each other so that deadly accidents can be prevented. It is a two-way street, the bicyclist keeps an eye out; the driver also keeps an eye out.

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