Illinois proposed legislation

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Heathcliff Bamb

For Illinois cyclists and other interested parties:

There are two bills in the Illinois legislature to address the problem created by the Ill. Supreme
Court decision in Boub vs. Wayne Twp. I think the topic has come up in this forum before but for
those unfamiliar, the Court ruled that cyclists are not intended users of the roadway, and thus have
no cause of action against a municipality that negligently creates or allows a dangerous condition
(e.g., nasty slots that cars go over but that catch bicycle wheels).

There is a House version (HB 1248) and a Senate version (SB 275) -- reading the bills, it seems to
me that the two bills are very different, and we should be fighting for the House as opposed to the
Senate version.

The way I read it, the House version simply restores cyclists to the status of intended users of the
roadway, similar to car drivers, so that an "ordinary care" standard would apply.

The Senate version would apply a different standard, requiring "willful and wanton" misconduct
for recovery.

For example if a municipal road crew leaves a hole that poses a danger to cyclists, under the
ordinary care standard, the municipality could be liable if they were negligent (did not do what a
typical road crew would have done) and had actual or constructive notice of the hazard -- the danger
was obvious at the time, or someone pointed out the hazard. On the other hand the willful and wanton
standard would essentially require that you prove the road crew said, "We set a trap for cyclists,
hee hee. Let's hide in the bushes, watch them crash and laugh at them!"

More info on the bills and issue is available at the Chicago Bike Federation website.

I am just curious if other observers have this reaction to the two bills.
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