According to recent reports, Richard J. Pettay of Carson City struck and injured bicyclist Clarence M. Aldridge of Bakersfield while both men were heading east on Highway 50. The two men were both in the highway’s right lane and entered a tunnel with Pettay’s semi-truck following Aldridge. The two-lane tunnel contains no bike lane, and the speed limit is 35 miles per hour.
According to state troopers, Pettay did not see Aldridge and the front of his vehicle struck the rear of Aldridge’s bicycle. The collision threw Aldridge from his bike, causing him serious injuries. Aldridge was later airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center.
After the accident, Pettay exited the tunnel and stopped. Officers state he is cooperating with the investigation, though they did not say whether he tried to offer aid to Aldridge.
While Troopers say no alcohol or drugs are involved, charges are pending.
Protecting Our Cyclists and Pedestrians
As the weather gets warmer, Nevadans seek healthy and pleasant alternative travel methods. Many people choose cycling and walking rather than driving. Unfortunately, the increase of cyclists and pedestrians on the roads coincides with an increase in injuries involving negligent motorists.
Nevada law takes the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians very seriously.; In 2011, the state enacted two new laws to ensure that motor vehicles give the much more vulnerable foot and bike travelers a minimum distance when using the same road. State Bill 248, known as the “three feet please law,” requires motorists to give cyclists at least three feet of distance while passing. State Bill 248 is augmented by Assembly Bill 328, which states that if a motorist strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist who is obeying traffic laws, that motorist will be charged with reckless driving. Penalties may include the revocation of the driver’s license.
The Nevada Department of Transportation reports that hundreds of bicycle accidents occur in Clark County alone every year. Cyclists suffer more than 400 injuries and deaths due to collisions with motorists ever year. Pedestrians suffer a comparable number of injuries and deaths.
Cyclists and pedestrians who have been wrongfully injured by a motorist need to immediately take steps to protect their legal rights. People who delay may end up funding their own recovery. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a reckless motorist, you may have the right to pursue full restitution. Contact the law firm of Bernstein & Poisson, which has spent 30 years fighting for clients in Nevada. for a free consultation.