Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys were happy to read an article on Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune announcing that the City Council passed an ordinance banning bicyclists from texting or talking on a cell phone unless using a hand-free system. This will give cyclists the same rules and regulations in regards to using cell phones that other motorists in the city of Chicago have.
A fine of $20 will be collected for the first offense, and could go as high as $500. In a recent blog post, our Illinois bicycle accident lawyers discussed a Chicago bike accident that involved a biker who had been texting. Texting and talking on the phone is not just dangerous for larger vehicles, or motor vehicles, but is especially dangerous for pedestrians and bikers due to the lack of protection.
When on the road, regardless of your means of transportation, it is important to stay alert and focused on the road ahead of you by avoiding distractions. Road.cc is a website dedicated to bicycle news, and they also reported on the issue of bicyclist cell phone use. According to Road.cc, there is a ban throughout Chicago on the use of phones for texting, sending e-mails, or using the Internet in school zones, and near construction sites. Bicyclists are road users as well, and they have the same responsibilities as drivers on the road. Diving distracted on a bicycle can cause crashes into inanimate objects, other bikers, pedestrians, and motor vehicles.
Early this year, according to ABC7News, Illinois created a campaign called “Drive Now. Text Later .” This campaign’s goal is to make road users aware of the distractions cellphones can create. Because of growing technology, the state understands that texting and cell phone use will not cease anytime soon, so in order to factor that into society’s needs, the state created this campaign to advertise the dangers associated with technology and driving. Surprisingly, some Illinois residents are unaware that texting while driving is illegal, so it is important to continue to raise awareness surrounding the dangers. As one Illinois State Trooper quoted in the report cautioned, “When you are behind the wheel, pay attention to driving. The text message can wait .”
Our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers support the ban for the safety of all drivers on the road, and also encourage cyclists to comply in order to stay focused on the road. Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians should have their eyes on the road ahead where they are going, instead of down at their phone. It is easy to lose focus, but it is also easy to avoid distractions. Driving distracted is completely avoidable and preventable. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another driver’s distractions please contact us to see how we may be able to help you.