Tuesday, July 3, 2012

12-Year Old Peoria Girl Struck on Bike

News outlets are reporting on an accident that occurred late afternoon July 2, 2012 that resulted in a 12-year old girl being hospitalized. the 12-year old was reportedly riding her bicycle on the 3500 block of North Prospect Road when she was struck by a 51-year old female motorist. According to the Peoria Heights police, the young girl rode into oncoming traffic headed southbound on North Prospect, presumably from East London Avenue which feeds into the arterial road and is also the street on which the young girl resides with her family. Police report that the collision was unavoidable. The bicyclist was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center later that same evening. However, her condition has not been updated. The 51-year old motorist involved in the traffic accident was also hospitalized for undisclosed reasons. There have been no citations issued.

It is just as important for younger cyclists to understand the rules of the road as adults. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cyclists under the age of 16 accounted for 11% of all cyclist fatalities nationwide and 21% of all cyclist injuries from traffic accidents in 2010. These figures have actually decreased when compared to the figures compiled by the NHTSA for the year 2001. However, any further improvements in decreasing these traffic incidents from occurring through better and widespread education can only have beneficial effects. For children it is especially important for them to recognize that a bicycle is a non-motorized vehicle and under Section 11-502 of the Illinois Highway Code it is recognized to be subject to traffic laws:
"Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this Code, except as to special regulations in this Article XV [625 ILCS 5/11-1501 et seq.] and except as to those provisions of this Code which by their nature can have no application."
One general exception to this rule is that children under the age of 12 most often may ride their bicycle on the sidewalks. Parents and guardians should check the local rules in their city or town for the ages that may ride on the sidewalk. Bicycling is a fun activity and a useful form of transportation, but it is imperative for everyone who rides a bike to understand the rules to avoid a bike accident. Protect yourself by learning the laws and rules surrounding bicycle use.
If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All emails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.