Jaguar’s New Technology Aimed At Protecting Bicyclists published an article last month discussing Jaguar’s new “bike sense” technology, which is aimed at protecting bicyclists and Jaguar drivers from being involved in traffic accidents.

Bike Sense system uses sensors on the car to detect approaching bicycles and motorcycles, and alert the driver with sights and sounds that the driver instinctively associates with those two types of vehicles. So if a bicycle is approaching from the rear right side of the car, the audio system in the car will generate a bicycle bell sound from one of the speakers inside the cabin, in same direction as the approaching bicycle. The system will also be able to monitor the speed of approaching bicycles and motorcycles, and the top of the driver’s seat will extend to tap the driver on the right or left shoulder.

In addition to warning the driver by sound and by touch, Bike Sense will also use a matrix of LED light built into the window sills, the dash, and windscreen pillars, with lights glowing amber and switching to red as a bicycle approaches.  Bike Sense will also be able to detect pedestrians crossing the road in front of a moving car who are obscured by other objects.

This technology is still in testing stages but could be installed in Jaguar vehicles by the end of the decade. This is incredible technology in my mind. It is especially relevant in big cities such as Chicago that are bicycle friendly. There are always safety concerns for pedestrians and bicyclists in Chicago and Mayor Emanuel has done a solid job of promoting safety initiatives such has safer crosswalks with stop signs and designated bike lanes. Technology like “Bike Sense,” if developed by other car makers, could make a huge difference in the safety for both pedestrians and bicyclists in big cities like Chicago.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago auto pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Chicago Believes Traffic Lights For Bicyclists Are Working

I have written in weeks past about
designated bike lanes on Dearborn in downtown Chicago, and the Chicago
 reported recently, the city believes that these designated
lanes along with bicycle specific traffic lights, have kept bicyclists safe and
obeying the rules of the road. The
bicycle-specific traffic signals on Dearborn are part of a federally funded
experiment involving the two-way bike lanes, which are protected from moving
vehicle traffic by plastic posts and a parking lane over much of the 1.15-mile
route between Kinzie and Polk streets.  Monitoring by the Chicago Department of Transportation shows
that cyclists stopping for red lights has improved by 161 percent since
cyclist-specific traffic signals, which glow with the image of a bike on the
lens, were installed on Dearborn in December. “Cyclists will really
abide by a signal if they have one,” Chicago Transportation Commissioner
Gabe Klein believes.  

hasn’t been necessary because people for the most part are obeying the
laws,” said Cmdr. Al Nagode of the Chicago Police Department’s district that includes the Loop. “We’ve had a handful of
citations that we’ve written both to drivers of vehicles and to some bikes when
we see something egregious.”

Police Department has no reports of traffic accidents between cyclists and vehicles or
cyclists and pedestrians since the two-way bike lanes were installed, Nagode

sure there have been some close shaves here and there,” Klein said.
“Cyclists need to pay attention. You cannot drift into the other lane. I
think it will take time for people to get used to the new traffic pattern, but
so far it has gone pretty well.”

report is good news for Chicago cyclists and drivers. There are often
complaints from both types of commuters about the other. Although the sample
size (6 months) is still small, it would be safe to say that these bicycle
specific lanes and traffic lights are working. The goal here is to make the
road safe for everyone – – bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians. It will be
interesting to see if the city expands the bicycle only lanes to other major
roads throughout the city.

you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago car accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney
Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

Chicago Mayor Proposes Fine Hikes For Reckless Cyclists And Dooring Accidents

According to a report from the Huffington Post and WGN
 this week, Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has proposed several fine
hikes for bicyclists who disobey traffic laws and also against motorists who
commit a dooring accident (these are accidents where a driver opens their door
on a road causing a collision with a bicyclist).

Currently, bikers caught disobeying
traffic laws face a $25 fine for all offenses. Under Emanuel’s proposed
ordinance, that fine would be increased to an amount ranging from $50 to $200,
“depending on the severity of the violation.”

Drivers would face harsher penalties
for reckless driving as well. Under the proposal, WGN reports the fine for
motorists who “door” a cyclist — hitting bikers with a car door while entering or exiting a vehicle —
would see their fines double from $150 to $300.

According to WBEZ
(NPR News), 
there were 577 reported doorings in Chicago from 2009 through September
7, 2012. 
City and transportation
officials had previously noted many bicycle doorings still go unreported.

There is no doubt
that the roads in Chicago can be dangerous for both bicyclists and motorists
and that for each most co-exist together. Both motorists and bicyclists are, at
times, guilty of negligent behavior and they must be accountable, especially
when a vehicle collision occurs. Hopefully, if these measures will provide the
impetus for both cyclists and motorists to obey the rules of the road, as they
will no longer be facing just a slap on the wrist (i.e. a $25 fine).

If you or someone
you know has been seriously injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or a Chicagodooring accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a
free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

Is Transportation Secretary LaHood A Hipster?

U.S. Transportation Secretary was asked this question in an interview with theThe Huffington Post  this week, and shockingly, he said he did not know what that term meant. That’s a good answer Ray.  Regardless, the secretary lauded major metropolitan cities such as Chicago for their efforts to increase bicycle safety.  He stated that his department would be looking into measures to encourage automobile drivers to observe better safety standards when it came to bicyclists cohabiting the roadways.

LaHood praised various cities for restructuring transportation policy around cleaner forms of transit, singling out the construction of bike lanes to encourage biking as particularly effective. But with additional bikers on the road come additional risks. And as head of the Department of Transportation, LaHood noted  his “concern” over the “way that bikers are treated when they are on streets. I’m concerned that people that are driving cars have a level of respect for bikers, and that’s the reason that we have these bike lanes,” said LaHood. “Bikers have as much right to the streets as anybody driving a car and I am concerned about [their safety].”

Chicago, under Mayor Daley, was on the forefront of increased bicycle use around the city with separate lanes being created on almost every major street. Incoming mayor, Rahm Emanual, plans to follow through with what Daley started. Emanuel has pledged to create a “world-class bike network” and has hired Gabe Klein, former head of Washington D.C.’s Department of Transportation, to fill that role in the Windy City. Further, this blog reported a few weeks back that Illinois is finally recognizing dooring accident as actual motor vehicle accidents that require police and parties fill out mandatory Illinois Crash Reports.

Ray LaHood is probably not a hipster, but it is good to see that his administration is taking bicylce safety seriously and are looking for ways to decrease bicycle accidents.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago car accident, then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at

IDOT Instills New Dooring Policy To Protect Bicyclists

I wrote a few weeks back about attempts by bicycle advocates to bring media and legislative attention to dooring accidents, which would hopefully lead to the protection of bicycle riders. The Active Transportation Alliance, a safety advocacy group that represents bicyclists, had appealed to IDOT officials, without success, since last year to collect dooring data as a means to understand the extent of the problem.The Chicago Tribune reported today that Governor Quinn announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation  (IDOT) will use new rules about the reporting of dooring accidents.

From here on out  police departments across Illinois will be required to record “dooring” accidents on Illinois traffic crash forms.  The dooring data will be incorporated into annual traffic accident summaries compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Officials described the policy shift as a starting point to help reduce dooring crashes, which can result in injuries and deaths.

“Anyone who rides a bike can tell you that dooring is a serious issue,” Quinn said. “One of the best ways we can increase public safety is by making sure we’ve got the best and most comprehensive data possible. That’s why we’ve made this change.”

Currently, Chicago has its’ own bicycle protection laws, which include fines up to $500 for opening a vehicle door in the path of a cyclist. A city ordinance also requires drivers to stay at least 3 feet away from bicyclists; prohibits left or right turns in front of cyclists; and bans driving, standing or parking in a bicycle lane.

This a positive step towards the protection of bicyclists, especially in areas with heavy bicycle traffic, like Chicago. Hopefully the data collected will help legislators and IDOT develop specific laws and studies that will help prevent dooring accidents in the future.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago dooring accident or Chicago car accident, then contact Chicago car crash attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at