Proposed Changes to Chicago’s Bicycle Safety Ordinance
Bike accidents in Chicago happen every day. They are a serious problem on our roadways and as we are now experiencing warmer weather, more city residents will choose biking as their main method of transportation. In an attempt to make the roads safer for cyclists and drivers alike, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed several amendments to the city’s current bike ordinances and traffic laws to make the streets safer for bikers.
The proposed changes would seek to give cyclists more freedom to maneuver the lanes in the city. However, penalties would also increase for bikers who violate traffic laws and motorists who obstruct the path of bikers. Emanuel is proposing an increase in fines for both groups of commuters in a measure that suggests both groups can work together to make Chicago roads safer. Fines for cyclists who disobey traffic laws would double from $25, to a ticket ranging from $50 to $200 depending on the offense. Fines would also double for drivers involved in “dooring” accidents, from $500 to $1,000.
Dooring accidents are very common in the city and occur when a driver opens the door to their parked car into the path or a biker. These accidents can cause very serious injury to the biker or even death. Along with ordinance changes, Emanuel also announced the “Look! Before Opening Your Door” campaign that would affect 7,000 taxicabs in the City. This campaign would provide drivers with a sticker to place in their cabs reminding passengers to check the bike lanes before opening their door. We will begin seeing these stickers in cabs this summer.
Overall, the new Bike Safety Ordinance of 2013 is an attempt to increase the awareness of all Chicago residents. Emanuel hopes that stricter penalties against cyclists and motorists alike will provide a shared sense of responsibility in making Chicago roads safer for all commuters. Emanuel is not trying to discourage residents from biking. In fact, the Mayor would like to encourage more residents to use bike transportation by providing safer roadways for cyclists.
Bike injuries are a serious matter in Chicago. Roadways can become more like battlegrounds for bikers and drivers at times. If you have suffered injury while biking from a dooring accident, call a Chicago bicycle accident attorney from The Horwitz Law Group. Our personal injury attorneys will offer you a free consultation and advice on how to take action to receive compensation for your injuries. Call today (312) 641-9200 or visit https://chicago-personal-injury-lawyers.us/practice-areas/other-practice-areas/bicycle-accidents/ for more information.