Illinois, Chicago in particular, has striven to be a bike-friendly state and has put specific laws in place to protect cyclists while they are riding on roadways. For the most part, bicycles are to be treated as any other vehicle on the road in regards to right-of-way and general traffic laws. However, there are Illinois state statutes that are targeted to bicycle riders as well as to how motorists should interact with bicycles on the road. These laws are in place to ensure that Illinois is a safe place for bicyclists to ride and prevent accidents whenever possible.
State Of Illinois Cycling Laws
The ultimate goal of most Illinois traffic laws, including those regarding bicycles, is to prevent accidents and keep everyone on the roadways safe. Bicyclists and pedestrians are especially protected under the law due to the extent of injury that can happen when a vehicle crashes into these vulnerable individuals. Not only must bicyclists obey the rules of the road, motorists are also expected to use extreme caution to avoid crashing with a cyclist. Some of the statutes that pertain to cyclists riding on the roads in Illinois under ILLINOIS VEHICLE CODE 625 ILCS 5/ include:
- Sec. 11-1502. This section states that bicyclists should be granted all the same rights and duties as other vehicles on the road.
- Sec. 11-1504. For their own protection, cyclists should not cling to or attach themselves to any vehicle on a roadway.
- Sec. 11-1505. Bicyclists should position themselves whenever possible to the far right of a roadway except under certain circumstances, including when turning left, overtaking another cyclists or vehicle, to avoid obstructions and when avoiding right hand turn lanes.
- Sec. 11-1505.1. When traveling on a roadway, cyclists should ride no more than two abreast and should not impede traffic.
- Sec. 11-1507. This section refers to equipment that is required by bicycles. This includes a front headlight and rear red reflector for night riding and all bikes must have functional brakes as well as side and pedal reflectors.
In addition to the laws that pertain to bicyclists, there are laws and statutes that also are targeted to motorists that share the roads with bicycles.
- Sec. 11-1003.1. This section states that all drivers must “exercise due care” to avoid colliding with any person riding a bicycle.
- Sec. 11-1407. To prevent bicycle dooring accidents, this section prohibits opening a vehicle door into oncoming traffic. When safe to do so, doors should only be opened long enough to load or unload passengers (for additional information on bike dooring look here).
- Sec 11-603. When passing a bicycle on the left, drivers must maintain a safe distance, at least three feet, until they are past the bicycle.
- Sec. 11-902. When turning left at an intersection (see here), drivers must yield to bicyclist that are traveling in the opposite direction that are in or approaching the intersection.
When these laws are broken, motorists can face a penalty. However, what is more concerning is when disregarding these laws leads to an accident involving a motor vehicle and a cyclist. If the cyclist is injured, these laws can help prove liability on the part of the driver for causing the accident. As in any vehicle accident, if a driver hits and injures a cyclist, they can be responsible for paying for medical costs, wages losses and other expenses the victim may be facing.
Are you a bicyclists injured in Illinois?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is dedicated to helping Illinois bicyclists get the compensation they deserve when they are injured due to the fault of driver. Our Illinois bike attorneys will review your case for free and advise you of your legal rights without any cost or obligation on your end.
Learn about how Illinois laws protect bicyclists: