Illinois Motorists Can Now Legally Pass Bicycles in a No-Passing Zone

joliet criminal attorneyYou know it is illegal to pass a moving vehicle in a no-passing zone. But did you know that you can now pass a bicyclist in a no-passing zone under a new state traffic law that went into effect on January 1, 2018?

When Can a Motorist Pass a Bicyclist?

Drivers can now pass to the left of a bicycle in a no-passing zone if:

  • The bicycle is traveling at less than half the posted speed limit;
  • The driver does not exceed the speed limit; and
  • There is enough space to pass safely.

The new law requires motorists to have at least three feet of clearance between their vehicle and bicyclist to safely and legally pass the rider.

For bicyclists, the law permits them to ride on the shoulders of roads – a practice already used by many bike riders for safety reasons. They also can now use red tail lights instead of the standard reflectors when riding in the dark. The tail lights should emit a steady or flashing red light which is visible from 500 feet away. These tail lights can be used in addition to reflectors or as replacements.

Improving Roadway Safety in Illinois

This new law is an effort to improve traffic flow on roads and increase safety for bike riders. It was proposed by Ride Illinois, a nonprofit bicycle advocacy organization aimed at improving rider safety across the state. “This new legislation legalizes some common motorist and bicyclist traffic practices,” said Ed Barsotti, the chief programs officer of Ride Illinois. “The intent is to make the roads safer while improving car-bicycle interactions.”

Sharing the roads with bicyclists has long been an issue for Illinois drivers, who often experienced difficulty passing bicycles legally, especially on long roads without passing zones or designated bike lanes. Since crossing over the centerline in a no-passing zone could result in a traffic violation, drivers would often try to pass too closely to bicycles, which could result in sideswipe accidents. This new law aims to reduce this type of crash by providing drivers with the ability to pass bicyclists safely and legally.

Contact a Will County Traffic Violations Attorney

If you have been charged with a traffic violation involving a bicycle, or if you have any questions about your rights as a motorist or cyclist, the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba can provide you with the answers and representation you need. Contact an experienced Joliet traffic Violations Lawyer today by calling our office at 815-740-4025.

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