LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — It was a crash that stunned the Las Vegas cycling community.
In December, NHP troopers say a box truck struck a group of bicyclists in early December on U.S. 95 near Searchlight, killing five people.
Jordan Barson, the driver who investigators say is responsible, is facing 14 felony charges, including five counts of DUI resulting in death.
Close friends of the victims, like Heather Fisher of Save Red Rock, are devastated.
“We don’t ever want this to happen again,” said Fisher. “We can’t ever let this happen again.”
In their memory, the Las Vegas Cyclist Memorial Coalition, made up of several nonprofit bike groups, is now pushing for safer roadways.
“We’re just really trying to get people to pay attention, learn the laws, abide by them, and actually help everyone get home alive,” said Pat Treichel, founder of Ghost Bikes Las Vegas.
Treichel is one of several amplifying their first campaign: ‘Change Lanes for Bikes. It’s the Law!’
Per the state’s “3-Feet, Move Over” passing law, Nevada drivers passing a cyclist must move into the left adjacent lane if safe.
If they are unable to do so, they must stay at least three feet away.
Treichel says while the law has been around, it hasn’t been put into practice.
“There’s been so little awareness out there as far as the law is even on the books,” he said. “A lot of the motorists just don’t understand it’s out there.”
Fisher says following the law could mean the difference between life and death.
“It could make all the difference,” she said. “You have that wiggle room, that extra safety buffer area. But if you are right next to a bike, it could just go like *that*, something could go wrong.”
Michael Anderson, a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer who was on the ride, hopes a continued push for safety and education will honor his friends’ legacy.
“That day, December 10, 2020, is the worst day of my freaking life,” he said. “I don’t want anybody to have to go through that. If we can change everything now, maybe – maybe – this won’t happen again.”
For more information, follow Las Vegas Cyclists Memorial.