Chicago Laws Applicable to City Bicyclists
Chicago has maintain its nationwide reputation of being one of the largest cities in America that encourages bicycling. Its glowing success was achieved by investing and building an effective bicycling infrastructure all while promoting bicycle awareness and education.
With over 200 miles of shared, buffered and protected bike lanes, the city has over 13,000 bike racks and bicycle parking areas with many of them located near bus stops and CTA rail stations. In an effort to maximize the promotion of riding bicycles, the 2020 Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan will increase the bicycling network to more than 600 miles. It will also provide more bicycle pathways in densely populated areas and construct more infrastructure in areas that have lower ridership.
Bicyclists within the city are legally required to obey all Chicago bicycle laws, including operating the bike safely and signaling when making a turn.
Chicago bike injury lawyers encourage all bicyclists and motorists to obey the traffic rules, regulations and laws as a way to provide a safe road environment to everyone. Bicyclists within the Chicago area are required to obey every traffic regulation and to no one follow rules that help motorist and riders to anticipate and respond to each other sharing the roadway. Basic safety rules include:
- Ride the Bicycle in a Straight Line – The bicyclists should avoid weaving in and out of traffic, while maintaining a safe distance at a minimum of four feet away from parked vehicles to avoid a “dooring” accident.
- Never Ride the Bike on the Sidewalk – Chicago bike laws specifically prohibit any bicycle rider 12 years or older from riding a bike on the sidewalk unless it is a designated bike route.
- Travel in the Direction of Traffic – Riding a bicycle against the flow of traffic is extremely hazardous and illegal.
- Follow Designated Lane Markings – Chicago bicycle laws permit bike riders to follow all designated lane markings, meaning the bicyclist should turn left using the mark left turn lane. Right turns should be made from the farthest point on the right not obstructed by parked vehicles. All other cycling should be performed in the farthest point to the right in the direction the bicyclist is going.
Common Bicycle Safety Laws
Enforcement of all bicycle safety laws is necessary to keep the entire Chicago community safe from harm. The MCC (Municipal Codes of Chicago) have been enacted to maintain bicycle safety. Some of these laws that pertain to bicyclists include:
- Code 9-52-030: Bicyclists must operate their bike at a safe speed.
- Code 9-52-045: Bicyclists must signal when turning.
- Code 9-52-110: It is illegal to talk on a cell phone or text while bicycling.
- Code 9-52-080: Night riders are required to have a front headlight and rear red light or red reflector.
Many bicycle laws pertain to drivers sharing the roadway with bike riders and are enforced to emphasize responsibility behind the wheel. A violation of a bike law often results in extensive penalties for the motorist and is often used to build a solid case for financial recompense in a filed claim or lawsuit. The most common bicycling laws that pertain to motorists include:
- Code 9-16-020e: Drivers making a left-hand turn are required to yield the right-of-way of every approaching bicyclist or those in the intersection.
- Code 9-16-020f: Drivers must yield to bicyclists when turning right.
- Code 9-40-060: Motorists should never drive, stand or park in a designated bicycle lane.
- Code 9-40-160: Drivers are required to use due care to avoid being involved in a crash with a bicyclist.
Legal Representation for Chicago Bikers Injured in Accidents
If you have suffered serious injuries caused by another’s reckless driving behavior or violation of Chicago bicycle laws, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation. However, litigating bicycle crash cases are often complex, where victims are required to prove how others are at fault. Because of that, many injured parties will hire Chicago bike injury lawyers to file a claim for compensation.
The skilled personal injury attorneys that Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers specialize in bike accident cases. Our dedicated team of legal experts have access to necessary resources and perform diligent investigations to assist our clients in obtaining the recompense they deserve. Our extensive experience in bicycle law have helped us successfully litigate cases resolved by negotiating out-of-court settlements and presenting evidence in front of a judge and jury in a lawsuit trial.