Chicago Considers Ordinance Against Endangering Bicyclists
According to an ABC syndicated news report, the Chicago City Council is considering imposing fines ranging from $150 to $500 on motorists who endanger bicyclists.
The proposed ordinance includes fines on motorists who turn left or right in front of someone on a bicycle; pass with less than three feet of space between car and bike; and open a vehicle door into the path of a cyclist.
The council’s Traffic Committee approved the legislation Wednesday, and moved it on to the full council for consideration. However, the action came after some aldermen complained there should be equal treatment for rude bike riders, including the city’s bicycle messengers.
I’m all for equal treatment under the law, so if they can come up with some fair way to fine cyclists who endanger pedestrians and motorists, more power to them. My one concern is that cyclists will start being fined for “inconveniencing” motorists, rather than endangering them. There is precious little I can do to really endanger a motorist. I try to do my best to stay out of their way and behave like a car, I certainly hope a well behaved cyclist wouldn’t end up with a ticket.
The proposed ordinance came about after Mayor Richard Daley, an avid rider, had his own unhappy encounters with motorists.
This just goes to prove we need more politicians on bikes. If they were out there, riding the streets with us, they would have a much better understanding of the dangers we face on a daily basis.