Chicago Bicycle Safety Laws

Chicago and Illinois bicyclists are required to follow the Illinois Vehicle Code. It may seem to many that the code was not written with bicyclists in mind. That would be true given the fact that the law found in the Illinois Vehicle Code is primarily designed to protect the safety of those using motor vehicles rather than bicycles.

In recent years, Chicago has become more aware of the need for bike safety laws to protect the ever increasing number of Chicago bicyclists using the streets and roadways in the Chicago community. It has become dangerous navigating Chicago area streets and roadways on a bicycle.

Chicago’s Municipal Code, Title 9, deals with vehicles, traffic and rail transportation. But the ordinances adopted by the Chicago City Council have included penalties for bicycle safety violations by motorists since their enactment in 2008.

For example, there are penalties that come with fines where motorists crash into a bicyclist. These City of Chicago ordinances include references to bicyclists and also protect pedestrians.

Chicago’s ordinances include a rule that motorists must yield to bicyclists when turning left at an intersection. The law also prohibits a right turn in front of bicyclists, which is similar to the Illinois statute prohibiting a right turn in front of a mass transit bus. (625 ILCS 5/11-801(c)).

The Chicago ordinances relating to bicycle traffic and safety also include how a motorist may overtake a bicycle or a pedestrian on a roadway. That particular ordinance is consistent with the Illinois statute.

The Chicago City Ordinance 9-80-035 prohibits the opening of a vehicle door in the path of a bicyclist. This is consistent with the Illinois statute that prohibits the opening of a vehicle door into moving traffic. (625 ILCS 5/11-1407).

The Chicago City ordinances relating to bicyclists come with specific fines for drivers who violate these ordinances. Fines found in the Municipal Code of Chicago regarding Chicago bike safety range from $150 to $500.

Bicycle accidents can cause very serious injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, please call us for an immediate free consultation. Please call us 24 hours a day at (312) 346-0045 or toll free (800) 583-8002 or complete a contact form online. We are able to give you a free and confidential evaluation of your case. There are no legal fees for this advice. As a driver of a bicycle, it is important to remain alert and vigilant at all times.

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