City Council Passes Stricter Traffic Laws For Motorists, Bikers

The 2013 Bicycle Safety Ordinance got passed at last week’s Chicago City Council meeting increasing fines for traffic infractions on both drivers and bikers.

The new law increases fines for bicycle riders from $25 for an infraction to $50 to as much as $200.

But the ordinance also means heavier fines for motorists. Motorists who “door” a bike rider will see fines double from $500 to $1000 and increases the fine for opening a door into traffic to $300.

The city says about 250 drivers were ticketed in dooring incidents in 2012.

According to DNA Info, Mayor Emanuel praised the new law because he feels both motorists and bike riders have shared responsibility for traffic safety.

Emanuel said the city’s residents have to agree to share the road. “We are bicyclists, we are drivers,” he said. “I want bicyclists to know they have a responsibility just like drivers.”

Emanuel said it was a two-way street for cyclists and drivers — as well as passengers, adding, “They have to drive and ride responsibly.”

Read the full story, “Mayor Applauds New Bicycle, Auto Rules of the Road.”

13 Responses to City Council Passes Stricter Traffic Laws For Motorists, Bikers

  1. Drew says:

    Doesn’t mean crap if the CPD isn’t actually going to enforce bicyclists

  2. Maybe PEAs will get new opportunities.

  3. David says:

    It doesn’t mean anything if the CPD isn’t going to enforce it on car drivers…

    250 fines for cars opened into traffic is nuts. I have personally seen over the past year two cases of cars “dooring” other cars,and I have been nearly doored at least 10 times. It is a very dangerous practice and the city needs to crack down on it.

  4. Drew says:


    These are Moving Violations.

    While PEA’s are sworn municipal enforcement officers (in the loosest sense of the term), Movers are the Sole Purview of the Police Department.

    To give that enforcement power to the PEA’s, a few things would have to happen first…

    1) City Ordinance must be pasted to deputize the entire staff.
    2) ANOV and Mover Training required at the Police Academy before tickets could be issued by PEA’s.

    And the result would be that PEA’s would then have the Legal Power to Arrest for Misdemeanors and Felonies as well as be required/entitled to Carry Firearms and other Police Only equipment on and off duty.

    Do we really need that in this screwed up city?

  5. Drew,
    It was a JOKE ..

  6. Drew says:


    Long assed day. My humor detector isn’t working well today

  7. B says:

    The problem is that cops don’t actually know the vehicle code, especially when it comes to bicycling. If they actually do crack down I expect bicyclists to be fined for various non-violations like choosing not to use the bike lane, or using the left lane to pass slower motorists or not riding in the gutter. While not in Chicago I’ve had a few run-ins with cops who decided that my legal riding was illegal because it was different from the way most people act on bicycles.

  8. Jeff says:

    The Tribune reports that prior to the installation of the Dearborn bike lanes and bike signals, the rate of cyclists ignoring red light signals on Dearborn was 70%. If that is also the rate for cyclist red light offenses throughout the city, ticket writers could write tickets for red light running all day long.

  9. Drew says:

    Jeff…the CPD is notoriously LAZY with Traffic Enforcement in this city unless they are actually a “Traffic Car” in which case they sit on LSD and catch the occasional Speeder or Pickup Truck with no Cap (no trucks allowed on LSD Law).

    I have ridden my Bike on the Sidewalk right by the 019 District station on my day off….past by Cops in the 48th Ward where there are signs posted
    “No Bikes On Sidewalk, Offenders Subject to Arrest”…done the same going west on Logan Blvd or South on Independence Blvd…blown a light In Front of a Squad…

    They don’t do shit.

  10. Drew says:


    Bike Vehicle requirements are the same as Motor Vehicle requirements.

    Motorcycles are legally allowed to ride tandem to a single Lane…so are cyclists. Cyclists are required by State Vehicle Code to stop for red, yield for yellow, Stop at all Stop Signs, stop for pedestrians in Crosswalks, ride the correct way down a 1 or 2 way street…the same stuff you are required to do while driving an Electric or Gas/Diesel powered vehicle.

    The only real difference is that you don’t HAVE to have a DL …but you are required to carry some type of State Issued ID in case of accident or police contact.

  11. B says:

    Drew, thanks for confirming that people don’t know the vehicle code.
    First, bicyclists in Illinois are allowed to ride two abreast. That’s the most glaring error you made.

    (625 ILCS 5/11-1505.1) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1505.1)
    Sec. 11-1505.1. Persons riding bicycles or motorized pedal cycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than 2 abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for their exclusive use. Persons riding 2 abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane subject to the provisions of Section 11-1505.
    (Source: P.A. 83-549.)

    The biggest problems with people who use word-of-mouth law is that they get angry with me for following written law. I’ve had drivers become angry because I took the lane and stopped in the queue at red signals and stop signs. One became enraged because he couldn’t cozy up to the bumper of the SUV in front of me. I’ve had drivers pass me on the left when I was signaling a left turn and was left of center of the lane. The list of things go on and on and cops are generally no exception to these poor behaviors driven by a misunderstanding of seeing a bicyclist follow written law. But these things they haven’t hassled me on.

    Most of the crap I’ve gotten from cops had to deal with the very common idea that bicyclists always have to yield to motor vehicles. Of course no such law exists. One Lake County cop demanded I ride in the 2-3 inches of pavement to the right of the white line. He did not understand the word “practicable”. Most people don’t. Another cop got very angry because I sounded my horn when the driver of the car he was in brush passed me (violation of the three foot law) when I was bicycling 25mph in a 25mph zone. I’ve had cops demand I ride on the sidewalk. I could go on. But few drivers let alone cops understand the ‘full rights’ part

  12. Drew says:

    I said that I thought.

    Tandem in a single lane = 2 abreast to the same lane.

    Debating my grammatical choice doesn’t mean I was wrong..

    I understand the Full Rights part of Illinois Vehicle code…and I actually will Stop a damn Bicyclist for violations of the Rules of the Road more often than I will someone in a gas Powered Vehicle because you are more likely to survive an accident in a Car or Truck than you are while Riding a Bike.

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