In most states, the basic rules of the road are fairly similar. So much so that many people are unaware of the nuances of each state. It is important to familiarize oneself with the local traffic rules whenever traveling in or moving to a new state. Below are some of the most helpful rules to know to navigate Chicago roads.
Chicago police have been cracking down on drivers who do not yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Many may have noticed the placards in the middle of the street in busy areas that alert drivers to stop for pedestrians. These placards are usually in crosswalks where there are no stop signs or blinking red lights to alert drivers. Drivers should pay special attention when they encounter such crosswalks, especially around schools where new speed cameras have been set up.
Chicago has areas where blowing one’s horn is not allowed. Such laws are found in local neighborhood or municipal ordinances. In many instances, a sign will be displayed alerting the driver about this. Of course, many drivers continue to display brusque behavior and blow their horns more for emotional emphasis rather than a necessity. But if you get a ticket, don’t say I didn’t warn you….
Opening Car Doors in Traffic
If you plan to parallel park in the city of Chicago, you must open your door after looking thoroughly for traffic. 625 ILCS 5/11-1407. If your door is in the way of moving traffic, you cannot leave your door open longer than necessary to load and unload objects or people. In Chicago, it is imperative to look out not only for oncoming cars but oncoming bicyclists.
Speaking of “dooring” the poor bicyclists, be aware of bicycle lanes around the city. There are new bicycle lights, such as the ones on Dearborn Street in the Chicago Loop, which direct traffic in these new lanes. Cars must watch out to make sure they are not obstructing these lanes. However bicyclists will now be considered more like vehicles and they may be more heavily ticketed for causing obstructions to traffic especially in the busy areas.
Disabled Drivers and Parking
Disabled drivers displaying the correct signage or tags used to be able to park without having to feed a meter in the city. That is no more. Now every driver is required to pay the meters. It is imperative to look for the white signs with the green lettering indicating a zone where paying a meter is required. There are still some free parking zones around the city, but they are usually confined to the less popular areas.
Be aware that in order to park on the streets of Chicago, it is imperative to have a city sticker if you are a city resident. Some non-city residents have even been ticketed. It is a pain to contest the ticket but it may be easier to find a garage space.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in a road accident please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.