Thanks to cycling advocacy groups throughout the state, Illinois will now have a new law for motorists that will not only help to improve cyclist safety but improves traffic flow as well. This law comes after years of motorist likely unknowingly breaking traffic laws or just putting cyclists in danger because they simply don’t know how to deal with a common occurrence – passing them.
Effective January 1st, not only will cyclists be permitted to use road shoulders instead of just the traffic lane, but motorists will also be able to pass them in no-passing zones. Passing cyclists has been an issue in almost every state. In most states, including Illinois, when a motorist approaches behind a cyclist in the traffic lane going much slower than the posted speed limit, most drivers are unsure of what to do. Do they violate the law and pass in a no passing zone? Do they try and pass them in the same lane anyway, putting the cyclist in danger? Hopefully, now they will know.
However, this new law is not without its stipulations. First and foremost, when passing any cyclist, whether they are in a traffic lane or move over to ride on the road shoulder, requires three feet of clearance between the car and the bicycle in order for drivers to pass them in any circumstances. However, in no passing zones, in order to legally cross over into the oncoming traffic lane, the cyclist must be going at least half of the posted speed limit.
While this will do wonders to help riders and drivers in Illinois safely share the road with each other, it is likely accidents will still happen. Not everyone hears of updated road rules after all. If you have been in a bicycle accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today.