New Illinois State Law For Motorcyclists & Bicyclists Concerning Red Lights

A new state law that became effective January 1 allows motorcyclists and bicyclists to “run red lights” in certain circumstances.  The law is only applicable in municipalities with less than 2 million people.

The law is meant to solve a problem in that motorcycles and bicycles aren’t heavy enough to trigger sensors at intersections that would indicate the existence of waiting motorcycles and bicycles.  As such, motorcyclists and bicyclists can face seemingly interminable delays waiting for a green light if they are the only vehicles at an intersection waiting for the green light.

An excerpt from a December 30 CBS Chicago article on the subject, titled “Motorcycles, Bicycles Can Run Red Lights Under New Law” :

State Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton) says the new law means bikers can go through a red light if they wait a reasonable amount of time, but that amount isn’t yet defined.

“A reasonable amount of time, which was not defined in the bill, will be 120 seconds,” says Beiser. “So two minutes, that’s what we’ve come to agreement on and that was part of the governor’s concern.”

A definite period of time has yet to be legislatively enacted, although efforts are said to be underway to do so.

Of course, if a motorcyclist or bicyclist does attempt to “run the red light,” such efforts should be done with proper caution as such efforts can be hazardous for a number of reasons.

Additional information and possible updates can be found in the aforementioned CBS Chicago article as well as the January 4, 2012 Romeoville, Illinois Patch article titled “New Law Lets Motorcycles and Bikes Run Red Lights – Legally.”


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