The Chicago Municipal Code affords rights and protections to bicyclists in the city and helps keep them safe by providing a set of rules to abide by that will reduce the chances of an accident. Whenever a bicyclist chooses to share the road with other forms of traffic it is important that he or she is aware of these laws and adheres to them. While it is extremely important that drivers do their part in respecting the rights of bicyclists, it is equally important that those choose to ride a bicycle do so in a responsible manner. Following are the rules of the road for cyclists as prescribed by the Chicago Municipal Code.
The Rights and Duties of Bicyclists
- Bicyclists are to be given the same rights as other traffic when occupying the street.
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic control devices— including signals and signs— in the same manner drivers are obligated to.
- Violation of any of these laws may result in a $25.00 fine.
The Use of Sidewalks in the City
- Riding bicycles on the sidewalk in any business district is against the law, as it may cause an accident with pedestrians sharing the sidewalk.
- No person over twelve years of age may ride on any sidewalk unless it is specifically marked and designated as a bicycle route.
- Whenever it is possible to use a sidewalk, bicyclists must do so. The exception is in the event that the sidewalk is not designated as a bicycle route and/or is located in a business district.
- Violators may be subject to a $250.00 fine.
- When riding on the sidewalk, pedestrians must be given the right of way. When passing a pedestrian, bicyclists must make their presence known through a vocal signal in order that the pedestrian does not accidentally move into the path of the bicycle.
- Pedestrians must be given the right of way whenever a bicyclist enters a sidewalk from a street, alley or building.
The Use of Roadways in the City
- Bicycles are prohibited on some major streets such as Lakeshore Drive. These streets are marked with signs and these warnings must be heeded.
- When using roadways, bicyclists must travel single file and as far to the right as possible. The right of way must be given to moving vehicles.
- Bicyclists must yield the right of way to moving vehicles whenever entering the roadway from an alley, street, building or sidewalk.
In addition to rules regarding the operation of bicycles, the Chicago Municipal Code also requires that cyclists equip, park and maintain their bicycles in accordance to applicable laws. These laws are for the prevention of accidents due to the lack of proper equipment or equipment failure.
Required Equipment and Maintenance
- Every bicycle operated past dusk must be equipped with a headlight that is visible from at least 500 feet away.
- Bicycles must have reflectors that are visible from at least 200 feet away or a rear lamp that is visible from the same distance.
- Brakes must be able to cause the wheels to skid on dry pavement when applied. Brakes must be maintained to this standard.
- Bicycles must have a permanent and attached seat.
Passengers and Packages
- Bicycles may not carry more passengers than the bicycle is designed to carry. Carrying additional passengers may cause harm to the passenger and increase the likelihood of an accident.
- Packages and other articles may be carried on bicycles so long as the package does not interfere with the ability of the cyclist to operate the bicycle.
By following the laws outlined in the Chicago Municipal Code, bicyclists can do their part in making the streets a safer place to ride and drive. It is impossible to prevent all accidents but if you are aware of the rules you must abide by, you will be far less likely to cause or be involved in an incident.
The following legal codes refer to the specific laws that protect Cyclists:
9-52-010 – Rights and Duties – This law guarantees the bicyclists the same rights on a road as the driver of a motor vehicle. The person riding the bicycle receives the right to travel on any public road so long as he or she follows the.
9-40-160 – Drivers to Exercise Due Care – Drivers are required by law to make every effort to avoid hitting pedestrians, bicyclists, anyone riding a horse or similar animal or anyone using a method of transportation that requires physical effort to operate. An effort must also be made.
9-16-020 (f) – Turning Right in Front of a Bicycle – This law states that if a driver is overtaking a bicycle at an intersection and going in the same direction as the cyclist, he or she may not make a right turn in front of the bicyclist. This maneuver is.
9-16-020 (e) – Right of Way to a Bicycle on Left Turn – If a driver is approaching an intersection and intends to make a left turn, he or she must give the right of way to any person on a bicycle traveling in the opposite direction.
9-40-060 – Driving, Standing or Parking on Bicycle Paths or Lanes Prohibited – This law states that drivers are prohibited from driving or parking in any area that is specifically designated for use by bicyclists or pedestrians. The only exception to this rule is if the driver must do so in order to.
11-1407 – Opening and Closing Vehicle Doors – This law protects bicyclists in the event that the owner of a vehicle opens his or her door in front of the cyclist and causes an accident. It requires that any door that is on the side of a car.
11-703 – Overtaking a Vehicle on the Left – Because bicyclists receive the same rights as vehicles on the road, drivers must follow the same procedure to pass a bicycle as they would when passing any vehicle. Bicycles must be passed on the right …