Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety
The bicycle and pedestrian safety program focuses on proper fit for bikes, rules of the road and riding techniques for campus and the surrounding area as well as laws that pertain to pedestrians.
Pedestrians may not leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard (625 ILCS 5/11-1002(b)). Simply put, pedestrians do not have the right-of-way in a crosswalk unless they have first established themselves in the intersection and given oncoming traffic the opportunity to slow down and react to their presence. You must give a vehicle adequate distance to stop before stepping into the crosswalk and expecting the right-of-way.
The “yield to pedestrian” signs around campus are only meant to alert drivers to the high concentration of pedestrians. It does not give pedestrians any additional right-of-way.
At signalized intersections, pedestrians may begin to cross only when the traffic signal displays a clear “walk” sign. A flashing “don’t walk” signal is only meant to give time for pedestrians who have already entered the intersection to clear the road. Pedestrians may not enter the intersection after the “don’t walk” signal begins to flash.
Bicycles are an important and popular mode of transportation on campus. With the high volume of vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on the campus, it is important that bicyclists ride safely and obey Illinois traffic laws. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year there are about 900 bicycle-related deaths in the United States and another half a million bicycle-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms.
In general, bicyclists may ride either in the road or on the sidewalk, although they should check laws local to Champaign and Urbana to find out where riding on the sidewalk is not permitted. When bicyclists are riding on the sidewalk, they are subject to laws that govern pedestrians.
When bicyclists ride in the road, the law treats them as a vehicle. That means bicyclists must follow all of the rules of the road, including obeying traffic signals, stop signs, signaling turns and yielding the right-of-way when it is appropriate to do so. Bicyclists are also responsible for using the proper lighting — Illinois law requires bicyclists riding at night to use a front headlamp and rear reflector.
Drivers on campus need to be aware when approaching a marked crosswalk that pedestrians do have the right-of-way if they have established themselves in that crosswalk. On most roads in the campus district, the speed limit is 25 mph. The University of Illinois Police Department asks that drivers slow down and be attentive, patient and courteous when driving in the campus area as it is a very busy district with a high concentration of pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and others using various modes of transportation. Even if you have the right-of-way, a moment of patience could save you a lifetime of regret.