Many auto accidents occur because motorists disregard the law and run red lights on Illinois roads. These incidents are often some of the deadliest and most damaging collisions that occur in the state. So it may seem surprising that as of this year, motorcycle laws and bike laws change to allow riders to ignore red lights in certain situations.
Last year, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation which permitted operators of bicycles and motorcycles to proceed through red lights if it became apparent that their two-wheelers were too light to trigger the sensors that are buried at roadway junctions.
These sensors notify the traffic signals that a vehicle is waiting to pass through the intersection. Before this law, these individuals were sometimes forced to either break the law or wait for a passenger vehicle to come along and “trip” the sensors.The law reads that…
…if the bicyclist or motorcyclist waits “a reasonable amount of time” and the traffic light still does not change, he or she may proceed through the intersection if it is safe to do so.
Although a designated time period was not written into the legislation, lawmakers are saying that two minutes is a reasonable amount of time to wait in these situations. (It is also important to note that this law does not apply within the Chicago city limits.)This new law could possibly affect the outcomes of some auto accident lawsuits filed in Illinois. Whereas a motorist who runs a red light is almost always held responsible for any resulting injuries or deaths that stem from a subsequent collision, that axiom may not apply in certain situations where a bicyclist or motorcyclist runs a red light. Therefore, it may be harder to prove that a bicyclist or motorcyclist is at fault in an accident where he or she proceeds through a red light.