Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

Cyclists Rights in Orland Park

Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1502 makes it clear that cyclists have the same rights as motorists when traveling on our state’s streets and highways.

We hear plenty about where people think riders shouldn’t be allowed, but MJB Law wanted to focus on the many rights bicyclists actually have. There may be some rights Orland Park cyclists didn’t know they could count on. There are many rights protecting cyclists that careless drivers are either ignorant of or simply don’t care about.

This proclamation of rights is our way of raising awareness about the entitlements all riders share. We hope it allows more cyclists to make it home safely after each ride.

How Much of the Lane Do Cyclists Have a Right To on Illinois Roads?

Man riding bike with helmet on

Cyclists have the right to every lane if they are moving as fast or faster than vehicle traffic. However, if they are traveling slower, they should ride as close to the right side of the right lane as much as possible. This means near the curb or edge of the road.

But in certain situations, slower riders can utilize other lanes.

Our state published The Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road 2024 to go over the rules bicyclists and drivers are held to.

It includes a list of circumstances in which riders have a right to use the left lanes:

  1. When overtaking or passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  2. When preparing for a left turn.
  3. When necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, motorized pedal cycles, animals, surface hazards, or a lane that is too narrow (less than 14 feet) for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
  4. When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
  5. When riding on a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes.

Additional Rights for Illinois Cyclists

Right to Room in The Lane. Riders have the right to adequate room in the lane. Drivers should not pass a cyclist if there is less than three feet of room to do so.

Right to Ride Alongside Another Cyclist.  Riders can ride beside one another. But riding more than two abreast is not allowed on roads used by motor vehicles. However, Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1505.1 states that riders should only ride two abreast when it doesn’t impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

Riding on Sidewalks. Riders can ride on sidewalks in places where it’s permitted. Cyclists on sidewalks must yield to pedestrians at all times. The State of Illinois doesn’t have a restriction on cyclists riding on sidewalks. However, Chicago does restrict sidewalk riding to those 11 years old and under. Orland Park

Right to Leave Bike Lanes. Riders must use bike lanes if they are available. However, The Illinois handbook explains they have the right to leave the bike lane if there’s an obstruction in the way.

Right to Carry Cargo. Riders cannot carry things in their hands. They need two hands to steer their bikes. However, they can use attached baskets, panniers, saddlebags, or a plastic crate to carry items.

The Right of Cyclists To Expect Respect From Drivers

Illinois legislators make it clear that drivers must show riders care and respect anywhere they meet them. If they don’t show the most caution possible, they can be fully liable when accidents occur. They can also face criminal charges.

The Rules of the Road Handbook explains the duty this way:

“If a person drives recklessly, unnecessarily close to, or toward a bicyclist, and it results in a crash, the motorist may face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the injury. Bicyclists may need to ride outside a bike lane, and motorists should be prepared to move safely around them. The bicyclist must be aware of the direction a vehicle is traveling when properly completing a left or right turn.”

Protecting Cyclists on Orland Park Roads

The right cyclists would cherish the most is the right to expect full attention from drivers. If drivers had their eyes on the lanes and their mirrors at all times, many frightening bicycle impacts simply wouldn’t occur.

Sadly, bicyclists are vulnerable to the mistakes of drivers and have very little protection in a collision. The injuries are often severe, and victims usually need help in paying for the best medical available.

Orland Park Bicycle Accident Lawyer Michael J. Brennan serves Chicago Bicycle Accident victims. He is an advocate for safe rides. He also gets aggressive with insurance companies to make sure injured cyclists get every benefit they need to pay for their recovery and get back on their bikes again. Contact MJB Law for a free legal consultation if you or a loved one have been hurt.

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