Bike riders reminded of rules of the road

By Gary Brode |

Published 04/09 2014 11:27AM

Updated 04/09 2014 11:31AM

URBANA -- Police are increasing efforts to make the roads a safer place for everyone on them. A week ago, officers issued 22 notices to appear (NTA) in court to bike riders on campus. It's their way of showing traffic laws apply to them as well. WCIA-3's Gary Brode has more.

Police might stop a bike rider for not having a light, but that's usually just a warning. Running a red light, not stopping at a stop sign or not yielding to pedestrians will cost you.

"I've seen a lot of collisions on the quad all the time. It definitely is dangerous."

"I've seen bikers who kind of ignore the rules of the road and do whatever they want. For the most part, they don't get caught because police aren't around to patrol and penalize people for doing it."

They are now. Officers are giving out notices to appear to law-breaking cyclists.

"You don't get a ticket. It's not reported to the state. It's a city ordinance violation."

That doesn't mean it won't hurt the wallet.

"At first, they were shocked. 'Why are you stopping me?' And we just explain to them, it's the same as a vehicle, when you're on the roadway, you have to follow the rules of the road."

It's $100 fine, but there is a way to avoid paying the full amount.

"They have the option of not having to pay the full fine and taking the test online."

It covers basic rules of the road for bike riders. Some students are in favor of the test.

"I would definitely do that as opposed to paying the $100 fine because it's cheaper and it would educate me about the rules, so I wouldn't be penalized again."

Since the beginning of 2013, police have written 147 NTA's.

"It definitely would stink to get a ticket, but sometimes, it has to be that way for people to learn the rules."

That's exactly what police hope will happen.

"We did see improvements. People started realizing they are going to enforce this. It's for the safety of everybody."

UI and Champaign police are also involved in bike safety, but haven't been as aggressive. Campus police issued one NTA and Champaign police have not yet started patrolling.

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