New Illinois Law Permits Bikers to Ride Though Red

Representative Dan Beiser

In the state of Illinois, beginning on January 1st 2012 it will be legal for bicycles to go through red lights, under certain conditions. This change in the law is due to the fact that underground sensors, which are used to trigger a red light to turn green at many intersections, are not sensitive enough to detect light objects such as bicycles and motorcycles.

Until this change was made bike riders had to choose whether or not to break the law and just ride through the red light, or wait patiently for a vehicle heavy enough to trigger the traffic light to change.

Dan Beiser, the Democratic state representative from Alton County, Illinois, explained that the new law allows bikers to go through the red light only after waiting “a reasonable amount of time,” for another vehicle to come by. What a reasonable amount of time is, however, has not been clarified.

“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.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued an amendatory veto on the grounds that the law did not stipulate a specific waiting time. Lawmakers overturned the veto however, reassuring the governor’s office that the time factor would be dealt with in the upcoming legislative session.

The new law only applies to municipalities with populations of less than two million residents; therefore this law will not apply in Chicago.

Alyssa Anderson

Alyssa Anderson has been involved in the world of business on several levels for many years. She was the CEO of a start-up high-tech company until its purchase by a global on-line e-business. Alyssa helped formulate marketing strategies for several other companies as an independent consultant, and she has advised local government on methods to achieve appropriate fiscal responsibility. Her opinions are well known through her many editorials which have been published throughout her career in a variety of local and national print media. She has been heard on radio discussing current issues affecting the business community and Alyssa hopes to bring her special brand of commonsense coupled with uncanny insight into her editorial responsibilities as the Business Page editor for Left Justified. Contact Alyssa at alyssa(at)

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