New Bike Law Gives Cyclists the Right of Way in Illinois
House Bill 5912 amends the state’s vehicle code to assign the same right-of-way privileges to cyclists that car drivers have. In essence, it clarifies that bicycles are vehicles.
Known as “Dennis’s Law,” the stimulus for the law came after a judge’s ruling on a 2015 fatal accident in which 68-year-old Hampshire, Illinois, resident Dennis Jurs was killed in a collision with a vehicle.
The driver involved in the accident was stopped at a stop sign before proceeding through an intersection. He then failed to yield to Jurs, who did not have a stop sign. In a ruling later that year, a Kane County judge dismissed a citation against the driver for failing to yield the right of way on the basis that a bicycle is not a vehicle.
The new amendment explicitly states that cyclists “shall be granted all of the rights” of vehicle drivers.
The law sailed through the Illinois House and Senate nearly unanimously, with only one vote against it and 164 in favor.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:
Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing Section 11-1502 as follows: (625 ILCS 5/11-1502) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1502) Sec. 11-1502. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights, including, but not limited to, rights under Article IX of this Chapter, and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this Code, except as to special regulations in this Article XV and except as to those provisions of this Code which by their nature can have no application.