In Illinois, cyclists have same rights as drivers

Updated 11/4/2017 7:10 PM

How good is your knowledge of laws protecting pedestrians and cyclists? Here's a recap of some new and old rules you might not know.

• Drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, even if there are no stop signs or traffic lights. That law was instituted in 2010, but many motorists are still oblivious of it, experts say.


• Bicycles matter. On most roadways, not including highways, cyclists have the same rights as vehicles. Cars must yield the right of way to bicycles, just as they would to other vehicles.

• Bicyclists have to follow the rules, too. "When riding your bicycle on Illinois roadways, you must obey the same traffic laws, signs and signals that apply to motorists," the Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road say.

• But a bicyclist may go through a red light if traffic is clear and the light hasn't turned green in two minutes.

• Drivers who pass a cyclist must do so slowly and leave at least 3 feet of passing space. The 3-foot rule also applies to pedestrians walking on the shoulder.

• Do yellow flashing lights at a crosswalk mean slow down? Actually, the flashing lights are intended to draw attention to the crosswalk and drivers must stop for pedestrians when they are present.

Source: 2017 Illinois Rules of the Road, 2017 Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road

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