In Illinois, where you appear to be, the answer is no:
source: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publ...?Name=095-0231(d) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or
individual proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall
leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing
the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance
until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.
Basically, it appears that if you do something so reckless as riding like a salmon, you aren't protected by some of the laws.
No, fish don't get special protection from cars, but unless you're driving in the water, it's pretty hard to get within three feet of them. I don't know the rules governing boats well enough to say. But a couple months ago the salmon were in full force in the canal behind my house, and all sorts of boating traffic used the canal, too. So there probably isn't a specific law about this.
On the other hand, dams are generally required to have fish ladders.
Don't believe everything you think.
The law might not but for me the rule sure does. Wrong-way riders have put themselves in enough danger without any of us adding to it.
Laissez les bon temps rouler
Yeah, it applies to anyone, regardless of which direction they are traveling. As a motorist, they need to take whatever precautions necessary to protect human life. Pecking order is pedestrian, cyclist then other motorists. Right of way is only a legal concept, laws of physics take precedent over man's laws.
The unabridged Bicycling Dictionary: Dam, fish ladder, and salmon
In Austin, TX, the 3' passing law provides an "affirmative defense" to the charge of passing a vulnerable road user too closely if the vulnerable road user is somehow violating the law.
So going the wrong way, no lights at night, no brakes on the bike, having a joint in their pocket -- all of these should mean that the motorist can not be charged under that law. (Though a charge under the more vague state law that requires safe passing might still be possible.)
Here's the actual ordinance, if you want to read it.
I think I'd WANT it to, if I were you; the special brew of stupid may splash on you if you get too close.
We had a pair of salmon in the road up by Skykomish yesterday:
Don't believe everything you think.
That somebody else is breaking the law doesn't mean you can break the law.
That is, the fact that the salmon is breaking the law doesn't remove your obligation to obey the law.
Get a car, salmon!!!
Reverborama sent me.
One possibility is to simply pull over and stop. Something I did once several years ago and have been heavily criticized for in another topic.
Don in Austin
(h) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of the law.
Here's the full text of the ordinance.
I'm pretty sure the idea was that they didn't want any "innocent" drivers getting tickets for passing scofflaw cyclists too closely (especially if they didn't see the cyclist at all) because the cyclist was at fault for it, such as if they were doing things like riding without lights at night or the wrong way.
This ordinance was basically written for the state, and was even passed by the state legislature -- but Governor Hairdo vetoed it, so the City of Austin basically passed it as a city ordinance with few or no changes. In any event, it was likely written by motorists rather than cyclists -- and it shows.
Of course, as written, if the cyclist IS violating the law somehow (a joint in his pocket? no brakes?), the motorist can't be prosecuted (under this section) for doing things like intentionally using his car to threaten the cyclist. (Of course, there are other laws that would apply, so it's not a total head-scratcher.)
Last edited by dougmc; 11-24-11 at 03:48 PM.