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Wondering if anyone can clarify my understanding of the law.

Had a run in with a (very nice and professional) police officer in the north suburbs, who believed that cyclists are not permitted pass on the right.

The incident that sparked the debate was a "right hook" collision at a traffic signal, where the cyclist (me) filtered up on the right while the light was red. The officer said that I shared some of the fault because I should not have been passing the cars stopped at the light on the right.

I thought otherwise but have yet to find anything (outside of a Chicago ordinance) that says one way or the other.

There is this on the IL Secretary of State site but it does not reference a statute:

"If a motorist is turning right and a bicyclist is approaching on the right, let the bicyclist go through the intersection first before making a right turn. Remember to always signal when turning."

Am I mistaken here? Is this a protection only afforded to riders within the city limits?

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I agree with the cop, no matter what the law says, passing on the right, 'specially at an intersection, is an accident in the making.

I have a question about filtering on the right, what about the 3 foot law? Is a motorist seeing a cyclist passing on the right in close proximity going to think that that makes it okay to pass in the same close proximity while driving at 45mph.

Hopefully not, as the distinction should be obvious. But fair question. It is hard, I think, for us cyclists (many of whom also drive, whether frequently or rarely) to put ourselves in the mind of a driver who hasn't been on a bike since age 10.

i simply assume that every car in the line is turning right and not signalling. i tend to take the lane behind the rearmost car and only move until they do, or else i just go to the left and pass the lineup and get ahead of the lead car (providing they're stopped & there's enough room to maneuver safely into position.)

Also, when moving with traffic at the green light, i try to ride as far into the lane as i safely can, because if i'm hugging the right edge of the road, i'm essentially inviting a passing driver to throw a right hook.

At an intersection I get out to the left far enough that I can see any on coming traffic and the driver in front of me in his side view mirror. If I can see them it improves their ability to see me.

As far as I know, and I could be wrong, you are legally OK passing on the right on a bike anywhere in the state.

However, regardless of the law if you pass stopped traffic and continue past the lead car, especially if you come up as the light is turning green, you are putting yourself into a very dangerous spot.  While you may not have broken the law you have just put yourself in a spot a motorist may not be expecting anybody to be.  

It sucks how many people turn right both without a signal and without checking for traffic from behind but fact of the matter is many drivers rarely share the road with cyclists, especially in suburban areas, that they just aren't looking for you.

Personally, when passing stopped traffic coming up to a light I stop on car short of the lead or, if the light is about to turn or I am going to run the red, cut around them and pass them on the left.

This article is over 5 years old, but discusses the ambiguities:

In it, a spokesperson for the Illinois League of Bicyclists said it was a top priority in 2013 to get this changed.  Not sure if any progress was made.

This article from later that year discusses the change to the Chicago ordinance regarding this issue:



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