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ILLINOIS - New law gives bicyclists some room to maneuver

jam1ecjam1ec Posts: 64
edited August 2007 in Commuting chat
Sounds like a good idea:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 7354.story

New law gives bicyclists some room to maneuver

Chicago Tribune staff report

August 20, 2007

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.
FCN : 1

Posts

  • 5pence5pence Posts: 17
    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.

    WTF did cyclists do before? Some kind of left arm across the body signal?
    Those Yanks are just weird!
    And besides, isn't the US 'standard' for the left hand operate the front brake lever? If so, what were they doing making all turn signals with their left arms?
  • jeffereejefferee Posts: 80
    Standard North American hand signals all use the left arm. Your forearm points up if you want to turn right, left if you want to turn left, and down if you're about to slow down or stop. See the URL below for a picture.

    http://www.bikemiamivalley.org/safety1.htm

    And yes, North American bikes have the front brake lever on the left, so you can't stop and signal at the same time (which is why I'm planning to switch the front lever to the right side...)
  • mazcpmazcp Posts: 953
    jefferee wrote:
    Standard North American hand signals all use the left arm. Your forearm points up if you want to turn right, left if you want to turn left, and down if you're about to slow down or stop. See the URL below for a picture.

    http://www.bikemiamivalley.org/safety1.htm...
    That right-turn signal is totally bizarre...it's asking for trouble!
  • mazcp wrote:
    jefferee wrote:
    Standard North American hand signals all use the left arm. Your forearm points up if you want to turn right, left if you want to turn left, and down if you're about to slow down or stop. See the URL below for a picture.

    http://www.bikemiamivalley.org/safety1.htm...
    That right-turn signal is totally bizarre...it's asking for trouble!
    It is a hangover from the time before automobiles were mandated to have turn indicators. Quite difficult to signal out the passenger side window. It was adopted as the general standard and applied to bicycles (and motorcycles which I don't think were mandated to have indicators before 1972).

    As far as the whole right-handed-front-brake, it's what I've been doing for well over a decade, since I have also ridden motorcycles.

    As an aside, when I started cycling on something with handbrakes (as a youth) I was told by many "don't ever try to use that dang front brake, you'll die or worse", which attitude may be why the left:front::right:rear nonsense is still standard over here.
  • NigeyyNigeyy Posts: 140
    It's pretty funny as most drivers (at least in the area where I live) have no clue what the (theoretically) correct right turn arm signal is (mind you, they also don't know you are supposed to give way at roundabouts -seriously -but that's another story).

    Personally, cycling in the States, I've always used extended straight out arm signals -I think even the clueless can guess what you are signalling. And yes, brakes are reversed over here -left brake is the front brake. I've never bothered to change to the UK settings as I just got used to it.

    Regarding the original post, I think this is just a plain waste of time -I mean, what are they going to do, start measuring the gap between you and a car when it passes you? How can they? And I certainly can't see police officers wanting to enforce this law anyway or even attempting to.
    5pence wrote:
    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.

    WTF did cyclists do before? Some kind of left arm across the body signal?
    Those Yanks are just weird!
    And besides, isn't the US 'standard' for the left hand operate the front brake lever? If so, what were they doing making all turn signals with their left arms?
    Fight Cystic Fibrosis: do something. http://www.cycleforhaylee.org http://www.cff.org
  • misterbenmisterben Posts: 193
    Nigeyy wrote:
    Regarding the original post, I think this is just a plain waste of time -I mean, what are they going to do, start measuring the gap between you and a car when it passes you? How can they? And I certainly can't see police officers wanting to enforce this law anyway or even attempting to.

    No, but I think that some drivers will at least overestimate the required distance.
    mrBen

    "Carpe Aptenodytes"
    JediMoose.org
  • NigeyyNigeyy Posts: 140
    That would be nice... but I'll say right now, I'd take a bet with a very large substantial amount of money that over 90% of drivers in Illinois could not state the mandated distance between cyclist and car without guessing or looking it up!

    This kind of regulation is "feel good" legislation. Completely useless and doesn't address the issues of better road user education, better road design or better prevention or supplants existing regulations (e.g. reckless driving, failure to stop, etc, etc). Having said that, this kind of law might work in the UK -not sure, but I'm very sure it's a waste of time over here. The only time it will be used is depending on if the police decide to charge the offender (doubtful or laughable, take your pick as it will be extremely difficult to find an officer who will want to do this, or for it to be successfully prosecuted in court short of video tape evidence) or if its part of a plea deal to avoid a greater charge(s). Of course, none of this helps the cyclist.

    Boy, I'm sounding rather cynical today!
    misterben wrote:
    Nigeyy wrote:
    Regarding the original post, I think this is just a plain waste of time -I mean, what are they going to do, start measuring the gap between you and a car when it passes you? How can they? And I certainly can't see police officers wanting to enforce this law anyway or even attempting to.

    No, but I think that some drivers will at least overestimate the required distance.
    Fight Cystic Fibrosis: do something. http://www.cycleforhaylee.org http://www.cff.org
  • misterben wrote:
    Nigeyy wrote:
    Regarding the original post, I think this is just a plain waste of time -I mean, what are they going to do, start measuring the gap between you and a car when it passes you? How can they? And I certainly can't see police officers wanting to enforce this law anyway or even attempting to.

    No, but I think that some drivers will at least overestimate the required distance.
    It gives you some footing when they complain about you smashing out their window with the butt of your pistol.
    "Well, officer, he's supposed to give me a metre, and if I can reach his window, he's too close."
  • jam1ecjam1ec Posts: 64
    it seems like a step in the right direction giving cyclists more rights and a more logical signaling convention. Not sure i can see motorists being fined for only allowing 2 feet but it is still progress.
    FCN : 1
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