Monday, November 7, 2016

Shorter Days Are Ahead - Bike Lights Are Required Under Illinois Bike Laws

The unseasonably warm temperatures and brilliant sunlight over the past week are misleading. Daylight Savings time is in effect again and until the Winter Solstice our days in Illinois will get shorter and shorter. It is important to remember that bike lights serve many purposes for the bicyclist - and they are the law in Illinois.

Bicycle Lights Are Important

Bike lights are critically important for all bicyclists. A headlight in particular provides the rider greater visibility and makes you more visible to motorists.

Illinois Bicycle Laws Require Lights And Reflectors

Lights for bicyclists riding at nighttime are required by Illinois law. According Section 11-1507 of the Illinois Rules of the Road, bicyclists must have the following on their bikes:

A lamp on the front that emits a white light that can be seen for 500 feet; andA red reflector visible from 100 to 600 feet by a car with its headlights on. A rear red light may also be used.
The fact that the law says that a bicyclist may use a rear red light in addition to a rear reflector is probably just due to some less than precise legal drafting. The bottom line is a red reflector AND a rear red light are better than a reflector alone. This is why the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers strongly recommend that all bicyclists use a rear red light in addition to a red reflector and a bright light in the front.

Jason Jenkins of the Active Transportation Alliance has put together a very helpful and informative short video on bike lights and what a difference they can make. Jason's advice regarding buying the most durable and bright light you can afford is solid advice. No one wants unnecessary expenses, but bike lights can make the difference between getting in a bike crash and getting home safely.

Illinois Bike Law Attorneys

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.