According to various news outlets, the Illinois passed HB 1784 last week, which allows motorists to pass cyclists in no-passing zones and permits bicycling on road shoulders. Under the new law, a driver is allowed to cross into the oncoming lane in a no-passing zone to safely pass a cyclist who is riding at less than half the posted speed limit when there is sufficient distance to do so. Drivers must not exceed the speed limit and pass with at least three feet of clearance.The new law will take effect on January 1, 2018.
The purpose of the law is aimed at preventing vehicles from trying to squeeze by a bicyclist while in the same lane, which can lead to sideswipe crashes.
This seems like an obvious bill to pass, but sometimes the obvious isn’t always codified into state or local law. I think this is important (especially in Chicago), where we are seeing more an more bicyclists on city streets and major roads throughout the state. Now motorists should not be hesitant to safely switch lanes in order to avoid contact with a bicyclists. Motorists can now do this legally.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago bike accident or Chicago car crash, please call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
The Chicago Tribune published an interesting story today regarding a DePaul University study that looked at the safety benefits of bicyclists stopping at all traffic lights. DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development found that just 1 cyclist in 25 comes to a complete stop at stop signs, and 2 out of 3 go through red lights when there’s no cross traffic.
It must be pointed out the bicyclists in Illinois are required to obey the same rules of the road the vehicles follow and can be ticketed for the same violation. The question is whether it is safe for bicyclists to follow these same rules 100% of the time.
The study proposes that Illinois cities consider changing their laws and allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, and some red lights as stop signs, thus permitting cyclists to maintain their momentum. It’s known as the “Idaho stop” for a 1982 law in that state. The Idaho stop recognizes that sometimes it is safer for a cyclist to get out in front of traffic so he or she can be seen, rather than waiting obediently at the light and risk getting smacked by right-turning traffic when the light goes green. The DePaul study does not advocate the Idaho stop at all signaled intersections, and it suggests choosing those with lower traffic volumes or limiting it to late at night when traffic is light.
The Idaho Stop makes sense, especially in a heavily congested city like Chicago that has thousands of bicyclists commuting everyday. If every bicyclist came to a complete stop at every stop sign and every stop light, then I think we would see more traffic accidents. I think it would be more difficult for motorists to stop on time and we would see more vehicle and bicycle collisions.
If will be interesting to see whether the Illinois legislature takes a look at this study and decides to amend the current law.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Those who live in Chicago know that this is one of the great towns in the country for bicyclists. There are endless miles of bicycle lanes on the roads throughout the city. Add the lake front and thousands of acres of parks, I think this is one of the best cities to get out and ride your bike. Unfortunately there is a downside to all bike lanes: the threat of dangerous collisions with automobiles.
In a move to help protect bicyclists, Governor Quinn signed a new safety bill. The bill will establish new penalties for motorists that drive recklessly or unnecessarily close to bicyclists. A second piece of legislation will create “Share the Road” Illinois licenses plates. The money from the license plates will fund education campaigns. Quinn says the new laws will keep bicyclists safe and remind drivers to be alert for bicyclists.
I think this is a positive step towards protecting bicyclists, which will hopefully make drivers more aware when driving throughout the city.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago bike 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 www.BLGCHICAGO.com