Last week Chicagoist published a post on the increased enforcement of traffic laws against bicyclists. We have often reported on the need for cars to recognize bikes as legitimate travelers on our city’s streets. However, at the same time, it is vital that all bicyclists understand that their treatment must be mirrored by proper adherence to all traffic laws. Far too often area bicyclists are running red lights, peddling in crosswalks, and committing other violations of basic road rules leading to a Chicago bike accident.
Many area travelers know that an antagonism often exists between drivers and bicyclists. Each side often assumes that the other is unfairly using the roadways while failing to travel safely. The misunderstandings often lead to risky behavior by both drivers and cyclists, resulting in increased accidents.
Decreasing the amount of Illinois bicycle accidents requires a two-part approach. On one hand, all travelers must be made aware of the laws. For example, drivers must understand that they are required to give bicyclists enough room to travel and must look before opening their doors while parked. Similarly, bicyclist must know rules like their requirement to travel as far to the right as possible and walk their bikes in crosswalks.
Once the rules are understood, proper enforcement must be conducted to ensure that all travelers actually follow those known rules. In many cases, drivers and bicyclists know well what the rules are but are intentionally violating them-like when bicyclists drive through red lights or stop signs.
It is only by focusing on both elements will our streets be as safe as possible for the co-existence of bicycles and cars.
Traffic safety laws are in place for all travelers to remain safe when out and about. The laws apply to all, no matter what form of transportation is in use. Our Chicago injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe that laws should be upheld and safe driving practices should always be followed. In this way, we can ensure that our roads are as safe as possible.
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