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  1. #1
    Faster than yesterday
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    Passing on the right?

    Pretty simple question, I would think. But, the laws seem contradictory.

    As a bike in IL, you are supposed to ride as far right as practical and safe. This implies lane sharing.

    As a vehicle, you are not supposed to pass on the right. I would think this law applies to bikes too. So, are you legally supposed to merge with traffic at every stop sign? Or is there a virtual bike lane when bikes are present?

    I know what I do and what most others do as well, but what is the law's opinion?

  2. #2
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
    Pretty simple question, I would think. But, the laws seem contradictory.

    As a bike in IL, you are supposed to ride as far right as practical and safe. This implies lane sharing.

    As a vehicle, you are not supposed to pass on the right. I would think this law applies to bikes too. So, are you legally supposed to merge with traffic at every stop sign? Or is there a virtual bike lane when bikes are present?

    I know what I do and what most others do as well, but what is the law's opinion?
    In Maryland, it says to ride as close to the right-hand side of the road, 'as practicable as possible'.

    The loophole in both, IL and, MD, is practicality. The motorist can't define what is practical for a cyclist. Only the cyclist can decide, what is practical.

    That is why, I 'take the lane'. Because I don't trust motorists to use common sense.

  3. #3
    billyymc
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    I do whichever is to my advantage at the time.

  4. #4
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    I do whatever is safest for the situation. This includes sometimes running red lights and any other laws that would otherwise put me and others in peril.

  5. #5
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    A highly vigilant bike-hating LEO might be tempted to give a ticket. It might stand. The situation where one 2 wheeler passes another is more clearly reasonable under most state's laws. Passing on the right may still be worthy of a ticket.

    The entire lane-splitting issue remains unresolved on a national level. Standardization might help, but most don't bother knowing the law anyway.

  6. #6
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I look at it this way:

    If it's safe for the cars to pass me at 30 mph+ seconds before, why is it suddenly unsafe for me to pass those same cars that are now at a dead standstill?

    Chances of ever getting a ticket for it (without an accident involved) are practically nil.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  7. #7
    LCI #1853
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    "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." In every state, the same traffic rules that apply to cars and trucks apply to bicyclists, too.

    Passing should be done on the left, following the general traffic rule of "speed positioning," which means that faster traffic is in the left lane, slower in the right, if you're stopped you need to be at the curb or off the roadway.

    If the roadway is two-lane in your direction, you can pass on the right if the vehicle in the left lane is slowing, for example to make a left turn. Likewise, if there's a bike lane to the right of the rightmost traffic lane, you can legally pass on the right there, though you need to be really careful in watching out for a motorist making a right turn across or into your path because he/she doesn't see or isn't looking for you.

    For the most part, for cyclists, passing on the right isn't a good idea because motorists usually aren't anticipating anyone else to be there, and aren't keeping a good lookout. As I cited in the examples, it's legal, but just because it's legal doesn't always mean it's a good idea to try it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    I look at it this way:

    If it's safe for the cars to pass me at 30 mph+ seconds before, why is it suddenly unsafe for me to pass those same cars that are now at a dead standstill?

    Chances of ever getting a ticket for it (without an accident involved) are practically nil.
    My opinion as well. As long as I'm watching for cars with their right turn blinker on (when drivers actually use those things), I don't see how it's any safer to be left of the lane or in the lane.

  9. #9
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mondaycurse View Post
    My opinion as well. As long as I'm watching for cars with their right turn blinker on (when drivers actually use those things), I don't see how it's any safer to be left of the lane or in the lane.
    In Ontario a car with its right-turn signal has right of way when making a right turn.

    That said, I see a lot of cyclists who behave on the road like they have the right of way, regardless if the car has the turn signal.

    So in the event of a collision in this type of situation, short of the collision being video'ed, how does one prove that the turn signal was being used or not?

  10. #10
    Senior Member mmac's Avatar
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    The roads here tend to be too narrow, so I would merge behind a car.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
    In Ontario a car with its right-turn signal has right of way when making a right turn.

    That said, I see a lot of cyclists who behave on the road like they have the right of way, regardless if the car has the turn signal.
    This is also a problem. In Chicago, no one knows how to use their turn signals, and are apt to cut you off. Or, they turn on their blinker as they are turning. It's really amazing how people act like the very simple act of flicking a lever is not worth the effort.

    I would say at least half of people I see making turns do not signal. Since they're never going to learn, I guess it's better to just stay behind them.

  12. #12
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    In Maryland, it says to ride as close to the right-hand side of the road, 'as practicable as possible'.

    The loophole in both, IL and, MD, is practicality. The motorist can't define what is practical for a cyclist. Only the cyclist can decide, what is practical.

    That is why, I 'take the lane'. Because I don't trust motorists to use common sense.

    I try to stay as far right as I can without getting into broken glass and the sand and rocks that haunt the shoulders here in MD usually. I don't consider it practical to ride on stuff that will cause a blow out. I tend to think this lets the cars go by to the left, but allows me to stay on clean pavement and out of the crap.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
    Pretty simple question, I would think. But, the laws seem contradictory.
    As a bike in IL, you are supposed to ride as far right as practical and safe. This implies lane sharing.

    As a vehicle, you are not supposed to pass on the right. I would think this law applies to bikes too. So, are you legally supposed to merge with traffic at every stop sign? Or is there a virtual bike lane when bikes are present?

    I know what I do and what most others do as well, but what is the law's opinion?
    I don't see any contradiction in the IL laws. Lane sharing is implied only when it is safe to do so, and passing on the right is permitted under specific conditions.

    The FTR statute in IL reads:
    (625 ILCS 5/11‑1505) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑1505)
    Sec. 11‑1505. Position of bicycles and motorized pedal cycles on roadways ‑ Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
    (a) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable and safe to the right‑hand curb or edge of the roadway except under the following situations:
    1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motorized pedal cycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

    2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or

    3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, motorized pedal cycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right‑hand curb or edge.

    For purposes of this subsection, a "substandard width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    4. When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
    (b) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a one‑way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left‑hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
    (Source: P.A. 95‑231, eff. 1‑1‑08.)
    (Link: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...ehicle+Code%2E )

    As Pscyclepath pointed out, there are a number of situations where passing on the right is permitted. Here is a link to the IL law:
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...ehicle+Code%2E See section (625 ILCS 5/11‑704)

    As for merging with traffic at stop signs, it is required under some conditions. For example, on a road with 2 lanes in each direction, a cyclist making a left turn has to be in the left lane. A left turn from the right lane is illegal unless such a turn is explicitly allowed for all vehicles.

  14. #14
    Senior Member onyourback's Avatar
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    I think where the lane sharing argument fails for this situation, in Missouri at least, is that it is illegal to overtake another vehicle within 100 feet of an intersection. Does your state have a similar law?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by onyourback View Post
    I think where the lane sharing argument fails for this situation, in Missouri at least, is that it is illegal to overtake another vehicle within 100 feet of an intersection. Does your state have a similar law?
    In IL the 100 ft law applies to crossing the centerline, not just passing. So sharing would be fine in a lane that was wide enough for a bike and motor vehicle to operate side by side safely. In addition to intersections, the IL 100 ft law applies at RR tracks, tunnels, and bridges.

    Details at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...s+Vehicle+Code. Section (625 ILCS 5/11‑706)
    Last edited by Recycle; 09-22-09 at 03:36 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recycle View Post
    In IL the 100 ft law applies to crossing the centerline, not just passing.
    Yes, it's gotta be. (Unless the law is just badly designed to the point of uselessness.)

    If a line of cars are waiting in the right lane at a red light, the law can't intend for someone in the left lane to stop a half block before the light to avoid passing those other cars!

  17. #17
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    I look at it this way:

    If it's safe for the cars to pass me at 30 mph+ seconds before, why is it suddenly unsafe for me to pass those same cars that are now at a dead standstill?

    Chances of ever getting a ticket for it (without an accident involved) are practically nil.
    Agreed. I'm careful of getting right hooked at the intersection, though.

  18. #18
    Dogs like me. Ajenkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchxout View Post
    I do whatever is safest for the situation. This includes sometimes running red lights and any other laws that would otherwise put me and others in peril.
    Right....red lights are definitely a peril...sounds to me like an excuse for laziness.

    It's really simple. Red means stop, green means go. I just can't get worked up over all the "peril" in that.

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