Governor signs HB 43 into law; pedestrian safety prevails!

Pedestrian safety prevails in Illinois

Thanks to your support, phone calls and relentless energy, Illinois pedestrians’ rights and safety have been protected!

Earlier today, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law HB 43, which requires drivers to come to a complete stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks – even those that don’t have a stop sign or traffic light.

The law, which takes effect immediately, clarifies the law that, until now, required drivers to yield and stop “only when necessary.” This measure will save lives and help prevent thousands of serious injuries people suffer each year.

Please spread the word! Drivers in Illinois must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

We’ve been fighting with you for this important measure for two years. Thank you for the support you give our work to make every Chicagoland community a livable one.

But, we have more to do. This law is one step in our fight to ensure safe streets for even the most vulnerable users. Help us continue to fight for safe and healthy streets! Become an Active Trans member if you haven't already. And spread the news about building our movement around healthy streets filled with healthy people.

We've received many questions about this law and offer an explanation and FAQs in this blog.

Ridiculous Rule

This is a ridiculous rule for any high density city. I live in Chicago where there are crosswalks every 50 feet, and millions of pedestrians. It is impossible to expect drivers to anticipate which of the the ten pedestrians at each corner will cross in front of them. Especially when there is no stop sign or traffic light at the corner. I better rule would be to install pedestrian crosswalks only where there are traffic lights or stop signs, and then fine pedestrians if they do not use them.

No, crosswalk rule is common sense

High density cities are the place where these laws are needed most and are most beneficial to pedestrians. It would be even better to improve the overall design of pedestrian and auto traffic to further enhance safety for all and reduce the risk of collision. BrianM is right, we need better designs. I disagree though that car drivers cannot be expected to be alert. Being alert is a rule of the road and requirement for safe driving. That's non negotiable.

Common sense as well as state law seem aligned - car drivers should drive safely and be alert, as should pedestrians who cross busy city streets. Take the ear buds out, put the phone down, and focus on safety.

Outside of the Loop marked

Outside of the Loop marked crosswalks are at least 200 feet from each other. I've found some places that have marked crosswalks 1,250 feet away from each other, although an unmarked crosswalk is between them. In most cases, marked crosswalks are somewhere in between these two values.

Areas around expressways ramps will have longer distances between marked crosswalks, close to the 1,250 value.

Open Google Maps and use the Measurement Tool to see how far apart marked crosswalks are from each other.

Pedestrian risk of shock.

Greetings! Unfortunately, some pedestrians discover a danger, only sadly, when victimized and so I wanted to inform you of StreetZaps, a timely and useful tool intended to reduce the year round risk of injury and fatality from contact voltage. I confer with Con Edison's Stray Voltage and Public Affairs Units and contribute to Wet Nose Guide and New York Dog Chat. It is my firm wish that the Active Transportation Alliance will disseminate this vital public service as quickly and as widely as possible to preclude more tragedies. Further, the predictable seasonal incidents surge is imminent.

Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.

In appreciation and with best regards,

Blair Sorrel

Enforcement is necessary

This will only help when it is strongly enforced. In the meantime, pedestrians risk their lives expecting motorists to know and observe the law.

There even seems to be no enforcement of the law that motorists at traffic signals must stop behind the stop line before the crosswalk.

I have no confidence that this will be enforced with enough frequency and significant penalties to cause a change in motorists' actions.

Crosswalk Law

In terms of how the new crosswalk law affects cyclists, when cyclists are using a crosswalk to cross a street are we considered pedestrians? In otherwords, does the new law apply to cyclists, too, or just walkers?

Cyclists are considered

Cyclists are considered pedestrians when they are NOT ON THEIR BIKE.

Re: Crosswalk Law

Riding a bicycle within a crosswalk is the same as riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal in Chicago if you're over 12 years old).


Yes, that is correct, thanks Comfort Rider. Bicyclists may walk their bikes in crosswalks as pedestrians but it is illegal to ride a bike in a crosswalk.

If I'm riding my bicycle on a

If I'm riding my bicycle on a designated bike path and the path crosses an active street but not at an intersection does the motorist have to yield to me? Or does this law only pertain to pedestrians?

All crosswalks?

Maybe I'm dense but where does HB 43 state "all crosswalks"?

"Sec. 11-1002. Pedestrians' right-of-way at crosswalks. (a)
When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way ..."

So if traffic signals are present (and functioning) then the motorist is not expected to yield.

If traffic signals are in

If traffic signals are in place, the motorist is expected to ... obey them. Stop at stoplights, stop at stopsigns, and continue through at green lights. At lights, pedestrians are expected to wait their turn for a walk sign.

It's not that complicated, folks.

Don't be silly chrisc927. A

Don't be silly chrisc927. A motorist must always yield to a pedestrian lawfully in a crosswalk. Always.

You are correct that the new law changed only the rules regarding crosswalks without a signal. However there is a separate rule for signaled intersections. 625 ILCS 5/11‑306 states: "Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. Vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited."

Really, what the new law did is change the meaning of "yield" in the context of an unsignaled crosswalk -- "yield" now means "full stop."


I know I'm very late to the party, but 625 ILCS 5/11‑306 limits a pedestrian's lawful use of a crosswalk at a light. Your quote applies to pedestrians who were in the crosswalk at the time the light changes.

"(b) Steady yellow indication.
2. Pedestrians facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian‑control signal as provided in Section 11‑307, are thereby advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.
(c) Steady red indication.
4. Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian‑control signal as provided in Section 11‑307, pedestrians facing a steady circular red or red arrow signal alone shall not enter the roadway."

A vehicle is not obligated to yield to a pedestrian crossing against a green.

fear + ignorance = hate

this is why there is all the hate. Drivers fear cyclists, and many drivers are ignorant of the share the road laws, philosophies, and just plain safety issues. Cyclists too are ignorant that their actions impact a broad swath of people - drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians - when cyclists fail to follow the rules.

John W is right, we need enforcement. Broad enforcement.

Ryan W, yes, there are laws to protect pedestrians, as Runner and Paul point out. These are enforced probably less than drivers failing to stop at red lights. Shame. To your question of who will protect us - depends on who the us is. Us on this website includes many cyclists. We can protect ourselves by riding safely and within the law, and encouraging other riders to do the same. That will help pedestrians. Police should, but do not often, protect pedestrians.

two weeks ago, before the pedestrian law was signed, I stopped for a pedestrian while I was riding my bike. He had waived me on; there were no cars behind me, and none coming the other direction. He was on foot, I was on wheels - I yielded to him. Thats how its supposed to work. I'll do it again, for sure. I teach my son the same lesson. I know very few people do this. More should.

So many other states, not just CA, WI and WA have better laws, and better drivers and cyclists. Fear + ignorance = hate. IL has plenty of all 3.

Why all the hate?

Don't understand all the cyclist HATE out there. Illinois has been backwards for years, in fact the worst state in protecting pedestrians and cyclist alike. Wisconsin and the State of Washington are examples of progressive laws that protect cyclist and pedestrians. In particular Washington law states (RCW 46.61.235(1)) Crosswalks "The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remained stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk..." The moral position is to advocate legal protection for the most vulnerable from the most protected.

why all the hate

When cyclist start obeying the rules of not going the wrong way on one way streets, stop running stop lights and signs, stop riding on the sidewalks or in other words start obeying the rules for cyclist, then the hate will end..

Why all the hate

Although we should all strive to obey rules and generally keep it safe, I find that a majority of negative statements appear from individuals who feel righteously empowered to state ...bicyclists have no place on the road. The obeying rules and all will be better attitude misses the mark when what the narrow minded motorist really needs is education or an attitude adjustment. Many are generally angry about something other than me/you pedaling on the side of a road.

BTW, general studies from states and countries who get it, validate rolling stops for bicylists and find all parties are generaly safer due to efficient movement. Also, many stop lights do not trigger or offer adequate time for safe bicycle travel and I've seen people hurt by impatient cars switching lanes to get the first leaps on a green light without looking for crossing individuals (foot or bike).

Here's some LOVE!

I love riding my bike! It brings ne to new places so I can experience new things and meet new people. I get to ride and do errands easily with my local grocer and retailers and see my neighborhood as I ride by. I love bike lanes that help me ride safely from point A to point B. I love when I see others riding their bikes - safely obeying the rules and enjoying the freedom biking offers. I love riding my bike with my son and seeing the joy on his face as he experiences thrills and independence. Boy, I sure do love riding my bike! Oh, and on the topic of this post, I love when cars and bikes stop for pedestrians!

I just got back from

I just got back from California, where a similar law has been in effect for years. Drivers and cyclists both skirt the law somewhat (just like rolling through stop signs), but on the whole, it felt like a much more pedestrian-friendly place.

Perhaps being required to stop will slow drivers (and yes, cyclists) down to at least a reasonable crawl.

This morning, a driver actually stopped for me and another pedestrian as we were walking in the crosswalk mid-street. It was very refreshing.

Congratulations on the

Congratulations on the successful advocacy of the new law. Please continue to serve in your role as advocate of this law by reminding your many CYCLIST members and readers that the new law applies to them as well. Under 625 ILCS 5/11‑1502: "Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles." BIKE RIDERS MUST ALSO COME TO A COMPLETE STOP.

Who will protect us from cyclists?

This is a good step forward, and one much appreciated for Chicagoans.

But are there any penalties for drivers, or more importantly, cyclists, who refuse to yield to pedestrians?


"This measure will save lives and help prevent thousands of serious injuries people suffer each year."

I'll believe it when I see it. The existing law would be more than adequate if it were enforced. If this one gets the same treatment from law enforcement then nothing will change.

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