How smart of a cyclist are you exactly?
Do you know the cost of violating traffic laws as a cyclist in your town?
Violating traffic laws can lead to costly tickets in the state of Illinois. Cyclists in Champaign, IL, for example, who incurred a ticket had to pay the same fee as the driver of a motor vehicle. That is currently a $185 ticket!
Police departments around the state are feeling pressure from the public to target cyclists for traffic violations, reckless behavior and other safety concerns. “Every year we get numerous complaints,” said Lt. Jim Clark, south district commander of the Champaign Police Department. “They run through stop lights and stop signs and go the wrong way on one-way streets.”
The League of Illinois Bicyclists is working with law enforcement on an education-based alternative to ticketing, using a bicycle safety quiz. In a growing number of cities, those given warnings can avoid a regular ticket if they complete the “Adult Cyclist” module of the quiz.
This not only means avoiding a costly ticket, but this also means the traffic violation won’t go on your record. “If they successfully complete the quiz, the ticket is dismissed and they do not have to pay the fine. It does not affect their driving record,” he said.
Compared to the nine-hour Traffic Skills 101 Course the LIB had created, the online quiz is accessible to more people. The Adult Safety option of the quiz educates more cyclists. And since the quiz can be completed on any computer, it makes the option convenient and economical for police departments to implement.
The growing number of cities implementing the quiz aids the LIB in promoting this educational alternative in other Illinois towns. And the momentum they’re gaining with educating cyclists is granting them favor with local law enforcement to further their educational efforts to motorists also.
The LIB is proposing small-scale but well-publicized targeted enforcements – “stings” – to educate motorists about common mistakes that endanger cyclists. The primary benefit of these campaigns would be the publicity promoting the Motorist option of the quiz to those sharing the roads with cyclists.
So, just how cycling smart are you? Take the quiz and find out.
There are actually several versions of the quiz, which include:
- Adult Bicyclist – The quiz mentioned above
- Child Bicyclist – Cirriculum, meeting Illinois Learning Standard 19C, geared toward fifth graders.
- Motorist – Two motorist versions, developed in partnership with the Illinois High School and Driver Education Association. Driver education instructors are being encouraged to include The Driver Ed Student version in their curriculum.
All three modules of the quiz are available on the League of Illinois Bicyclists’ website.
To learn more about the bicycle safety quiz or for other news from the League of Illinois Bicyclists, visit their website.