New law aimed at reducing Chicago bicycle accidents, cycling accidents throughout Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law into effect today aimed at reducing the number of serious and fatal Chicago bicycle accidents and cycling accidents elsewhere in Illinois, the Examiner reported.

The legislation signed Monday at the Campbell Street Bicycle Shop in suburban Arlington Heights provides new consequences for motorists who travel carelessly or too closely to bikes on the road and will create a “Share the Road” license plate. Profit from the plates will go toward education campaigns.

As our Chicago injury lawyers recently reported, the city has been named the 10th best in the nation for bike riding by Bicycling Magazine. The city’s bike plan aims to increase cycling infrastructure by 50 percent to 150 bike-lane miles. Overall, the system will grow to 500 miles.

But Illinois bicycle accidents continue to threaten the health and safety of riders. In 2008, 27 riders were killed and nearly 3,400 were seriously injured in bicycle accidents.

The League of Illinois Bicyclists hailed the new laws, which will make it a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony to drive recklessly near or toward a cyclist. The penalties will depend on whether or not a rider was injured.

If you have been injured in a cycling accident, contact the Chicago bike accident attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.