The Chainlink

In each of my last 2 rides I have been right hooked by a car. I don't know if it counts if I don't get hit, but they were too close to call. Whether it counts or not, it's an incredibly dangerous and selfish move that seriously injures or kills. I am not sure if it's illegal to right hook around a cyclist, but I am so fed up with it that I want to call my state rep to suggest that it becomes illegal in Illinois.

Is it possible well-intentioned people aren't aware of how dangerous it is? Should there be an ad campaign to educate people?

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I feel your pain. It's a regular occurrence on my rides, too. Yes, turning right in front of a cyclists is illegal. It's no different than turning right in front of a bus.

It is illegal, and it is certain that many people who drive but don't ride bikes in the city don't know how dangerous it is. It would seem obvious - we're talking about bodies - but it isn't.

I was able to find the municipal code for that in Chicago, but could not for Illinois. What I would like to know is if I catch someone doing it with my camera, can I turn it in?

not unless you've entered into a kickback scheme, i mean "administrative revenue sharing program" with the city.

after all, the city needs to know that you haven't manipulated the image or the equipment in order to capture and report violations.

I did some bike riding in Urbana this weekend. Lovely place to ride. But on the Champaign side of town, the concept of "allowing the cyclist in front of you to pass through the intersection before you turn right instead of speeding past the cyclist so that you can turn right in front of him" seemed to be a foreign concept to some drivers.

No need to go all the way to Urbana for that kind of treatment - I got the same in Highland Park a few weeks ago. 

Like a previous poster mentioned, Chicago has a statute on the books, but once you get out to the ‘burbs, you’re SOL.

IDOT's 'Life or Death Campaign'.

Oooh, I didn't see you! campaign. 

"Nearly 85% of Illinois' crash related fatalities are drivers and passengers."

There, I fixed it.

Right hooks and doorings are the most common types of crashes here in the Chicago area.

I've had some close calls myself. 

Right turns:  Vehicle must be as close to the curb as possible.  Does not mention yielding to bicycles or pedestrians in crosswalk.

Here's the Chicago Municipal Code:

§ 9-16-020  Turning at intersections.

(f)   Turning right in front of a bicycle. When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at that intersection or at any alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle.

Unfortunately, many drivers seem to think that a few feet in front of you is "safely clear" and at that point they're free to change lanes/turn/slam on their brakes as they please, and it's the cyclists job to avoid them. 

This is most prevalent in situations where drivers approaching an intersection will accelerate to to get ahead of a cyclist before turning right. This type of behavior is unlikely to be considered illegal by most cops, and most drivers don't know or care if they're putting a cyclist in danger because in their mind, once they've passed them it's no longer their problem. 


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