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New Illinois Law Expands Rights of Bicyclists

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Earlier this month Governor Bruce Rauner signed Illinois House bill 5912 into law.  This bill, also known as Dennis’s Law, expands the right of bicyclists in the state of Illinois.  The law will go into effect on January 1, 2017, and clarified that bicyclists are entitled to the same right-of-way as motorized vehicles and, further, “shall be granted all the rights” of drivers of cars and trucks.

Whether bicyclists enjoyed the same rights as drivers of cars was unclear in Illinois previously.  This came to a head when Dennis Jurs, a Vietnam veteran and bicyclist, was killed in a crash with a driver who allegedly failed to yield right of way to Mr. Jurs.  The driver was ticketed, but that ticket was later dismissed by a Judge who found that a bicycle was not a “vehicle” and, thus, could not have the right of way.

The hope is that the clarifications brought by the new law will help make roadways safer for both bicyclists and drivers.  Action was needed as Illinois has been among the top states for bicyclist fatalities in the past.  Biking accident fatalities have been rising in the state of Illinois over the last few years.  In fact, two fatalities have occurred in Chicago alone during the month of August of 2016.

New Law Hopes to Reduce Biking Accidents

Each of these accidents impacts a family in an incalculable way.  Every one of these accidents is a tragedy and we are happy to see the Illinois General Assembly step up and bring hopefully meaningful reform that will help reduce the number of these accidents and deaths in biking incidents.  If you’re a driver or bicyclist involved in an accident, call 911 immediately.  Assure that both you and everyone involved are alright.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car, trucking, or biking accident, call one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch for a FREE case consultation at: 618.641.9189 | 314.242.2930 | info@hm-attorneys.com

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