Attention drivers in Illinois

Not that anyone who reads my blog is the kind of jerk driver who tries to kill me on a daily basis, but maybe you could help pass this along to other drivers? Since nobody will probably even have the slightest idea about it?

ILLINOIS – A new share-the-road traffic safety law in Illinois gives bicyclists a little more breathing room.

Senate Bill 80, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law last week, requires motorists to make sure there is at least 3 feet of clearance to pass a bicycle rider.

Also, the law says bicyclists may now signal a right turn with their right arm extended outward, instead of using the left arm to signal all traffic maneuvers.

“They may now point where they’re going. That’s easier for drivers to understand,” said Ed Barsotti, executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists.

The new law also says bikes may move out farther into the traffic lane, where cars might turn right.

The goal is to prevent accidents in which right-turning drivers underestimate a bike’s speed, pass the cyclist then cut them off, Barsotti said.

Of course, just because it’s now illegal to pass a bike too closely, that’s not going to make a lick of difference to the drivers who think bikes should be ridden on the sidewalk, or are under the impression that bikes are legally required to ride in the bike lane at all times (and if there’s no bike lane, you shouldn’t ride your bike on that street).

And yes, I am fully aware that there are cyclists out there who blow red lights and stop signs and ride the wrong way on a one-way street. That doesn’t give you, a driver, license to try to kill me with a two ton weapon.

ETA – someone on Yelp just sent me a link to a whole site outlining the City’s plans for restructuring bike infrastructure. Neat stuff – http://www.bike2015plan.org/chapter1/chap1_obj3.html. Too bad we’ll probably be living in the suburbs by the time this all goes through.

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~ by Matt Stratton on August 20, 2007.

10 Responses to “Attention drivers in Illinois”

  1. Ummmm, I don’t think anyone is trying to kill you. Or any other bikers for that matter. 🙂

  2. Maybe not intentionally trying…whatever that means.

  3. I’ve got my bright yellow SHARE THE ROAD sticker from Maine on my bumper. That way they’ll never suspect I was the one to nail that biker, Stratton! BWAH-HAHAHAHA!

    I loathe riding my bike in traffic with cars coming within inches of my admittedly ridiculously wide handle bars. (Hey! I like my space! It’s like driving an SUV without the environment-screwing (o:). I love that they’re giving bikers more breathing room. Maybe now I’ll be able to expand my horizons beyond Bryn Mawr, Devon, and the bike path along the river up through the Skokie art park.

    I wish they’d make, like, every other street bike/bus traffic only. That would be sweet!

  4. I’ve got my bright yellow SHARE THE ROAD sticker from Maine on my bumper. That way they’ll never suspect I was the one to nail that biker, Stratton! BWAH-HAHAHAHA!

    I loathe riding my bike in traffic with cars coming within inches of my admittedly ridiculously wide handle bars. (Hey! I like my space! It’s like driving an SUV without the environment-screwing (o:). I love that they’re giving bikers more breathing room. Maybe now I’ll be able to expand my horizons beyond Bryn Mawr, Devon, and the bike path along the river up through the Skokie art park.

    I wish they’d make, like, every other street bike/bus traffic only. That would be sweet!

  5. I wish they’d make, like, every other street bike/bus traffic only. That would be sweet!

    Check out the link I added in my main post. They’ve got some nifty ideas up their sleeves for us cyclists…

  6. I wish they’d make, like, every other street bike/bus traffic only. That would be sweet!

    Check out the link I added in my main post. They’ve got some nifty ideas up their sleeves for us cyclists…

  7. Those are some awesome ideas! I’m totally moving to Portland or Vancouver until 2015 rolls around!

  8. Those are some awesome ideas! I’m totally moving to Portland or Vancouver until 2015 rolls around!

  9. Those are some awesome ideas! I’m totally moving to Portland or Vancouver until 2015 rolls around!

  10. I remember my parents made me read the bicycle rules of the road before they would let me go farther than a couple of blocks and even then I thought that not signaling with the arm on the side that you are turning was just retarded.

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