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.”

25 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.

  13. Jeff says:

    A proposal to stack the deck against motorists, when a jury determines who is at fault for an accident:

  14. Pete says:

    What the bikists really want is for the law to be changed to say the car driver is always at fault when there is a collision involving a bike and a car, even if the hipster ran a solid red light.

  15. Jeff says:


    The fact that a cyclist advocate lawyer is proposing this change to the Illinois pattern Jury Instructions is not surprising. The proposed change would turn established law inside out by:

    (1) holding drivers to a standard greater than the reasonable care standard and holding bikers to a lesser standard of care;

    (2) invading the province of the jury to determine the reasonable standard of car for the driver and the cyclist;

    (3) ignoring Illinois law on comparative negligence.

  16. Jeff says:

    Its that same “motorist is always at fault” nonsense that is behind the typical Streetsblog propaganda story, trying to fix blame for a tragic accident on the motorcyclist, where all evidence is to the contrary:

  17. B says:

    The streetsbloggers routinely mislead their readers. Early in the year they were classifying all sorts of things as pedestrian deaths. It was hilarious what they would do on that subject and others. I am surprised I wasn’t banned from commenting there for calling them out on it and generally being disagreeable.

    As to that story, it is prime example of the problems with protected bike lanes I have called to their attention multiple times. Yet their attitude is to double down on complexity.

    Bicycling in chicago was really easy before they did all this bike stuff. But I learned how to bike in the suburbs so chicago’s wide curb lanes, slower traffic, numerous side street routes, etc just made it a cakewalk when I moved into Chicago.

    Anyways… I found out they had the law prohibiting gutter passing changed to allow bicycle riders to do it. A really horrid change. Now they want to allow bicycle riders to run red lights and such… I see a disaster.

  18. Jeff says:


    The more that laws are modified/infrastructure built to allow unsafe cycling, the greater the danger on the road.

    For example, many bike advocates push for contra flow lanes on one way streets, to allow bikers to go against the flow of traffic. The problem with this is that once you normalize this behavior, you have cyclists riding the wrong way EVERYWHERE, not just in the established contraflow lanes.

    I’ve seen at least half a dozen bikers going the wrong way down a one way street over the last few week. One of whom almost ran into me as I was waiting to turn west onto a one way street. As I was getting ready to turn west, a biker came flying east (the wrong way), obscured from my view by a truck illegally parked right at the corner. I had to stop suddenly to avoid him, or he would have run smack into my left front fender.

  19. Greg says:

    A couple of months ago, I was driving west on Fullerton near Clark, and started to turn left into a driveway to head back east. Now mind you, Fullerton is one lane in each direction. As I’m turning, I hear a guy yell, and a bike almost hits me. Again, its a one lane road, and he was to my left, passing traffic in the middle of the road. I pull into the driveway, and he starts screaming at me, calling a “fucking faggot ass bitch” several times. He opens my door and starts screaming at me to get out of my car. I said no several times. He’s screaming “I’m filing a police report, you hit me” and I said “Fine, I’ll wait here till the cops get here.” He keeps screaming at me telling to get out of my car, and I’m staying calm, saying no. He screams about me making a U turn, and I said “No, I was turning into the driveway.”

    Some guy walks by and tries to calm him down, and this guy screams “Fuck you, he almost hit me.” The other guy says”I’ve been hit too, but it doesn’t help to scream.” The rider keeps screaming “Fuck you” so the bystander just walks away.The guys phone rings, so he answers it and says “Yeah. I’ll be there in a minute. Some fucking faggot almost hit me.” He hangs up and says “This is your lucky day – you’re lucky I have to be somewhere.” He screams some more and then says “Do you hear me!” I said “sure.” He says “I don’t think you do!” and screams some more and then rides away.

    I actually think he was really pissed because I stayed calm.

    I actually wish he had stayed and called the cops. He was riding down the middle of the street, trying pass traffic on the left, completely illegally.

    But I’m sure I helped him feel real macho, telling all his friends how he told off the “fucking faggot ass bitch” who hit him. So I did my good deed for the day and made some guy feel like his penis was really huge.

    Yes, this guy was an idiot, and i am relaying the story with some humor, but it gives a good example of how some – certainly not all – bikers think no matter what they do, how illegally they ride, its up to drivers to watch out for them and its not reciprocal.

  20. Pete says:

    If he was in your driveway threatening you, you’d legally be in the clear to beat his ass down with his own bike lock. Cops would believe you over him.

  21. B says:

    I’ve caught up to and yelled at a few motorists. I say what I need to and leave. But they deserved it because they did indeed operate unsafely and illegally. I’ve also had my confrontations with bike riders doing illegal things like gutter passing. (which is sadly now legal) The last time I yelled a driver was a few weeks ago. I was in a subdivision making a left turn. I had signaled, taken the lane, signaled, moved to the left edge of the lane, signaled, started my turn and a driver passed me on my left on the wrong side of the road. I had to abort my turn to live and then I followed the motorist to where she parked and gave her a piece of my mind. idiots.

    Jeff, the streetsbloggers and the this 21st century bike crowd is just a mess. In about 1998 or 99 I said the hell with bicycling groups online and otherwise because they couldn’t stand my driving views. These political groups are always ‘us and them’ and I tend to blow their circuits as a bicycling and driving enthusiast of sorts. Anyways back in the 1990s it was a vehicular bicycling militancy that was in charge, and I was in agreement with them on most things. Today it’s this ‘baby on board’ generation of permanent children. That’s why we have all this nutty bicycling infrastructure, changes in laws, etc. They want separate and superior or something. Then when it kills they double down on it. Each ‘solution’ to the problems the last one caused is nuttier than the last. Now they want bike lanes between the sidewalk and BRT stops. idiocy. One design after the next that assumes bicyclists don’t have to turn, never turn mid block into driveways, alleys, etc, and never go more than a ‘don’t break a sweat 8mph pace. Eventually as their designs become more and more unworkable they’ll just aim to get cars removed from the roads.

  22. Jeff says:

    Greg, Pete, B:

    What is this all leading to? I think that bike activists are pushing for “strict liability” for motorists who are involved in collisions with cyclists. That is liability without a showing of any negligence. Never mimind that this would be totally contrary to establiahed law in this country.

  23. B says:

    What are they aiming for or what are the people using them as useful idiots aiming for?

    The activists are aiming for government to give them the upper hand over other people. That’s what people use government for, to get the advantage over others, live off others, etc and so on.

    The people using these groups, funding these groups, the foundations etc are aiming to make driving too expensive for the poor and middle classes. Imagine what driver at fault no matter what would do to insurance rates. Even if there wasn’t a single claim the risk alone would cause a significant increase.

    Once I understood how the american ruling class works and what their plans are things make sense.

  24. Pete says:

    In other words Agenda 21, B.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>