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Nevada Conducts Pedestrian Check Points as State Slowly Moves to Re-Opening

pedestrian-jogging-over-crosswalk

As Nevadans enter the spring, a year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, they finally see some hope to return to normalcy. Earlier this month, Governor Sisolack announced relaxations in certain policies, among other positive news surrounding the pandemic. While many casinos, hotels and other businesses in both Reno and Las Vegas are increasing capacity, police are conducting pedestrian safety checkpoints in these areas.

Covid-19 Restrictions in Nevada.

It was announced that COVID-19 vaccines can now be given to Clark County’s food and hospitality workers. In addition, anyone over the age of 55 with underlying health conditions can apply to receive the vaccine. As more and more Nevadans get vaccinated, state officials hope that certain elements of normal life can return. The Clark County School District and Washoe County School district have both discussed opening schools to a certain degree. Additionally, the Center of Disease Control announced that those who have received the vaccine can gather indoors without a mask with other with the vaccine. [1] [2]

Governor Sisolak also lifted certain restrictions mid-month, allowing the capacity of gyms, casinos, and other public places to increase. In addition, President Biden announced that all adults should be able to sign up for vaccines by May 1st, aiming to get a large majority of Americans vaccinated by July 4th. With the addition of many Americans receiving a second stimulus check, Americans are primed to start living their lives again.  [3] This news brings hope to Nevadans who have been living under quarantine and restrictions for a year.

Pedestrian Safety

As public places are reopening with higher capacities, local law enforcement officers are focusing on pedestrian safety in Reno and Las Vegas’s downtown areas. In Reno, during the first week of March, Reno Police patrolled the highly populated areas to check on pedestrian crosswalks, stop lights, etc. [4] Ninety-six people, including both drivers and pedestrians, were given citations. Drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians at cross walks as well as pedestrians who did not use a marked walkway or bridge were included in these citations.

As drivers, here are some basic rules when it comes to pedestrians:

  • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
  • Yield to pedestrians and cyclists when turning.
  • Look before opening your door.
  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles.
  • Allow three feet when passing bicyclists or pedestrians walking on a road without a sidewalk. [5]

When it comes to pedestrians, here are some safety tips:

  • Walkers are encouraged to use signaled crosswalks when possible. Use extreme caution if crossing at an intersection without signals.
  • While it may seem obvious, look both ways before crossing the streets. If a car is approaching quickly, it is better to wait.
  • Never run between cars into the street. This increases the chance of low visibility for the driver and the chance of getting hit.
  • Wear clothing that allows drivers and people to see you. That means no dark clothes after dark or early in the morning. Try wearing bright clothing or clothes with reflective panels.
  • Exercising outdoors at dusk or at night can be dangerous without some type of reflective device on your clothing, even if you are wearing bright colors. While donning reflective shoes is common, it is best to also wear a vest or tape.
  • Keep alert! Again, while this may seem obvious, paying attention to the road can help save the most lives.

So far this year, there have been 20 pedestrian related collisions in Nevada. The average over the past five years is 200 incidents. In 2019, this number was 235 while in 2020 the number was 190, partially due to less crowds due to the pandemic.  One of these incidents occurred in late March when a Reno pedestrian was struck on the ramp at Keystone Avenue. The incident left the person injured but killed their dog [3]. Another incident occurred in the downtown Las Vegas area where a pedestrian was hit early in the morning. These incidents occurred during the dark, once again serving as a reminder to pedestrians to wear reflective gear and carry a flashlight when walking during these times. To drivers, it is a reminder that they should slow down at night, and never drive under the influence.

[1] https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2021/03/11/las-vegas-food-service-hospitality-workers-can-get-covid-vaccine/4653584001/

[2] https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974145170/covid-19-relief-and-cash-payments-near-cdc-says-vaccinated-can-gather-without-ma

[3] https://www.fox5vegas.com/coronavirus/cvs-pharmacies-in-nevada-to-start-offering-covid-19-vaccine-appointments/article_1c5e315c-8274-11eb-9e72-132d0ccac5df.html

[4] https://thisisreno.com/2021/03/reno-police-conducting-pedestrian-safety-patrols/

[5] https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/share-road-tips-drivers-cyclists-and-pedestrians

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