I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of the cold! Particularly after the endless winter we’ve had here in Chicago, I’m ready to pump-up my tires and put some miles on my bike.
However, before we hop on our bikes, its a good idea to review some common sense bike safety– for yourself— and for your child. The below is a synopsis of bike laws in Illinois provided by the League of Illinois Bicyclists and the corresponding codification in the Illinois Vehicle Code that may help protect you during the upcoming bike season.
When riding on roadways and bicycle paths at less than a normal traffic speed, ride as close as practicable and safe to the right-hand curb edge of roadway except:
- When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, or
- When preparing for a left turn, or
- When reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, motorizing pedal cycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lands that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. A ‘sub-standard width lane’ means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to safely travel side by side within the lane.
- When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
- When riding on a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes. Here, bicyclists may ride as near as the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable (625 ILCS 5/11-1505)
Bicyclists may choose between a vehicular-style left turn or pedestrian-style left turn. For vehicular-style left turns, proceed as if driving a vehicle, moving to the left land or left-side of a single lane prior to the intersection. For pedestrian-style left-turns, riding near the rights side of the roadway, cross the intersecting roadway, stop (as much as practicable out of the way of traffic), yield to any traffic and proceed in the new direction, while obeying any traffic control device or police officer. (625 ILCS 5/11-1505, 801, 1510).
Riding Two Abreast
Riding two abreast is permitted as long as the normal and reasonable movement of traffic is not impeded. Riding more than two abreast is prohibited except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. (625 ILCS 5/11-1505.1)
Signals shall be given from the left side as follow: Left turn– hand and arm extended horizontally. Right turn– hand and arm extended upward, except bicyclists may extend the right hand and arm horizontally and to the right side of the bicycle. Stop or decrease of speed – hand and arm extended downward. (625 ILCS 5/11-806) Signal not less than the last 100 feet before the turn, and while the bicycle is stopped waiting to turn. Signals need not be given continuously if the had is needed in the control of operation of the bicycle. (625 ILCS 5/11-1511)
Use of Sidewalks
Local ordinance may prohibit bicyclists from using sidewalks. Where permitted, bicyclists must yield to pedestrians and give audible signals before passing pedestrians. Bicyclists using sidewalks have all the rights and duties of pedestrians. (625 ILCS 5/11-1512)
Lights and Other Equipment on Bicycles
For night riding, a front lamp with a white light visible from at least 500 feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear visible from 100 feet to 600 feet are required. A rear light visible from 500 feet may be used in addition to the red reflector. Equipment required on new bicycles sold includes pedal reflectors, side reflectors and an essentially colorless front facing reflector. (625 ILCS 5/11-1507)
Two or More on a Bike
Bicycles shall not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, except that an adult rider may carry child securely attached to his person in a back pack or sling. (625 ILCS 5/11-1503)
The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provision of this Code. (625 ILCS 5/11-1501)
Cars passing bikes
The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. (625 ILCS 5/11-703(d))
Bike Accident Lawyers For You!
Chicago Injury Center represents people of all ages who have suffered an injury in a bike crash. We encourage you to talk with us before you talk with an insurance company. Our bike accident lawyers can assist in the investigation of the case and in presenting your injuries to the insurance adjusters and lawyers evaluating your claim. As with all of our personal injury matters, our services are free if we do not recover for you. Why not call us today?