Both the state of Illinois and the City of Macomb have laws governing the way cyclists ride on the street. Here are a few things you should know:
Traffic laws apply to everyone riding a bicycle. A cyclist has all the same privileges as a motorist, and all the same responsibilities.
When riding at a speed less than that of normal traffic, a cyclist should ride as close as reasonably possible to the right edge of the road EXCEPT:
- When passing another vehicle, including another bicycle
- When preparing for a left turn
- When necessary to aviod objects such as parked cars, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or other objects
If a lane is too narrow to permit a cyclist and a vehicle to safely travel side-by-side, you may ride in the center of the lane.
Note: Illinois state law requires a minimum distance of three feet between a vehicle and a cyclist when passing.
When making a left turn, you may choose to do so as a vehicle, or as a pedestrian.
When turning as a vehicle, move to the left side of the leftmost lane prior to turning.
When turning as a pedestrian, stay on the right side of the lane, crossing in the crosswalk when safe.
Cyclists are required to use hand signals to communicate their intent to other drivers. Illinois state law defines the required hand signals:
- Left turn – Left hand and arm extended horizontially
- Right turn – Left hand and arm extened upward -or- right hand and arm extended horizontally
- Stop or slow down – Left hand and arm extended downward
According to state law, “Signals need not be given continuosly if the hand is needed in the control of operation of the bicycle.” Remember, safety first!
In the City of Macomb, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in the “downtown” area, which is the area between Carroll Street on the north and Jefferson Street on the south, and McArthur Street on the east and Campbell Street on the west.
If you’re going to be riding at night, state law requires that a white light visible from 500 feet be attached to the front of the bicycle, and a red reflector visible from 100 to 600 feet must be attached to the rear.