By Yasmeen Schuller
If you aren’t familiar with Ride Illinois, they are a non-profit organization “working statewide for better biking conditions”. You’ll definitely want to check out their resource-rich website with valuable information on bike safety, what to do if you’re in a crash, as well as routes, guides and maps.
Recently, several of The Chainlink’s ambassadors and race team took the Ride Illinois Bike Safety Quiz. They shared their thoughts about the quiz and their understanding of the bike laws in Illinois. If you ride regularly, it’s important to become familiar with the laws in the state as well as the cities/municipalities you ride in.
Over 60,000 people have taken the bikesafetyquiz.com since its launch in 2013. The Bike Safety Quiz has four different options depending on who you are and how you use the road. There are quizzes for both child and adult cyclists as well as motorists and driver’s education students. While the quiz is useful to all cyclists and motorists of all ages, schools and drivers education programs are definitely a target audience for this quiz, and over 80 high schools have used the quiz in their classrooms. Teachers can set up class codes and track student progress on the quiz. Parents and local bike advocates can help by encouraging their schools to incorporate the use of the quiz in their local elementary, high school, and drivers education programs.
Who took the Bike Safety Quiz?
Most of the Chainlink members who took the quiz commute to work often (51-90% of the time) or daily (90-100% of the time). Even though they have lots of regular bike commuting miles, nearly everyone had a law or two that surprised them. Jasmin, a Chainlink ambassador thinks the quiz is a “great reminder” for cyclists.
A few answers that surprised our quiz takers…
Did you know, technically, a red light is not required, only the reflector? The surprise for most is that if you do use a rear light, you must also have that reflector (outside of Chicago). Ride Illinois is working to get a state amendment passed that will legally allow a rear light to take the place of a reflector. City of Chicago already updated their municipal code to recognize rear light as legal.
Did you also know cyclists are legally allowed to ride two abreast “as long as the normal and reasonable movement of traffic is not impeded”? To be clear, riding 2 abreast is legal by state law but can vary in municipal codes including Chicago where single file is required unless it’s a bike lane/path. Always a good idea to check the local codes.
After they took the quiz, we asked the Chainlink members to share their thoughts about awareness and knowledge of bike-related laws.
Which laws do they wish more cyclists are aware of or follow more carefully?
“Stop at stop signs. It makes us all look bad when you don’t.”
“The laws about not being required to be all the way over to the right.”
“Taking the lane when it enhances safety for the cyclist.”
“Be predictable, which following the rules of the road enhances.”
Which laws do they wish more motorists are aware of or follow more carefully?
“We can take a whole lane if necessary. Give cyclists room!”
“Not many motorists seem to know they need to make sure there is at least three feet of clearance before safely passing a cyclist.”
“Cyclists have the right of way in the crosswalk too.”
“Distracted driving. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been clipped by someone swerving and looking at their phone or almost doored by someone staring at their phone and opening their car door.”
Do you have any tips or recommendations for cyclists and/or motorists?
“Cyclists, be bold, but courteous and patient. Motorists, be patient and alert.”
“Everyone get off your phone. Everyone.”
“More promotion of this quiz (to motorists) and inclusion of more bike-related information in drivers’ education, continuing drivers’ education.”
“Be gentle with each other, think about safety more than speed.”
What did the Chainlink members think about the quiz?
“Should be a mandatory refresher for all traffic participants.”
“I think this quiz should be mandatory for anyone unlocking a Divvy bike or buying a bike in the city from a shop! It's a simple educational tool.”
“The visual graphics are very helpful. Good quiz. Everyone should take it.”
Take the quiz, it only takes a few minutes and you may be surprised with what you learn. And after you are done, share the quiz with your friends and family. If they ride a bike or drive a car, this is important information everyone on the road should know.