The buzz out of Springfield is that Illinois' anti-buzzing statute is about to get a whole lot tougher. Yesterday, the state senate passed a bill amending a statute which already prohibits motor vehicles from passing less than three feet from a bicyclist on a roadway. The bill, introduced in January by Sen. Ira I. Silverstein, makes it a crime for a motorist to pass "unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist." A driver may be charged with a felony where violation of the law results in "great bodily harm" or permanent injury. The bill also makes it a crime to throw objects at bicyclists.
The bill has been sent to the Illinois House where it is expected to pass.
Will the passage of this law make cycling on Illinois roads safer? Probably not. But it adds an arrow in the quiver of civil practice attorneys and criminal law enforcement officers when going after drivers who injure bicyclists. Bravo.