While some states have specific traffic laws for motorcycle riders, Illinois imposes few restrictions on riders. They must obey the same traffic laws as other drivers; otherwise, there are only a few rules specific to bikers.
The lack of specialized rules makes it reasonably easy for drivers to make the transition to bikers. They do not have to learn a bunch of new safety rules. However, motorcycle riders do need an M or L classification on their license. To get that license, individuals must show they understand Schaumburg motorcycle traffic laws.
What Are M and L Classifications?
Some people think they can legally operate a motorcycle with a basic driver’s license. That is not true. To legally ride a motorcycle in Illinois, drivers need an M or L classification on their license.
M classifications allow riders to operate any motorcycle. From a practical perspective, getting this type of license makes sense. The state offers free M license classes, which can help people get their licenses more quickly. However—for adults—these classes are optional. They can get their licenses by passing a combination of written and skills tests. Minors must take motorcycle safety classes.
The L classification allows drivers to operate bikes with less than 150cc displacement. This includes smaller motorcycles as well as similar vehicles like mopeds. Getting the L classification is slightly easier than getting an M classification—applicants only have to pass a written test, not a driving skills test. However, for adults, the state waives both test requirements with completion of the state’s motorcycle safety course, making it more logical to choose an M classification over an L classification.
Riding without a motorcycle license is illegal. However, motorcycle traffic laws allow licensed drivers in Schaumburg to operate vehicles with less than 50cc displacement without a special endorsement.
Special Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle riders must follow the same traffic laws as other drivers. However, there is one major exception for motorcyclists that does not apply to people driving inside their vehicles. If a motorcycle rider is waiting at a red light for at least 120 seconds and the light fails to change to green, they can proceed through that light. Of course, since the traffic traveling in the opposite direction is a green light, the biker must ensure that proceeding is safe. This rule may seem puzzling to some people. Still, it has a practical basis — the sensors that trigger signal changes may not register the weight of a motorcycle.
Another biker-specific rule focuses on a particular type of reckless behavior. The law prohibits riders from doing “wheelies”—driving on a single wheel. Doing so is reckless, which can impact whether a biker can recover in a civil claim related to a motorcycle wreck.
The state prohibits lane-splitting. Lane splitting is the practice of driving between vehicles in adjacent lanes of traffic. It can be a hazardous practice, especially since other drivers may not expect it. Schaumburg motorcycle laws only allow bikers to pass between other vehicles if they have an unobstructed traffic lane.
There are also special rules for passing on the right. Bikers can only pass on the right if they have at least eight feet of unobstructed pavement. In other words, bikers should not use their shoulder to pass on the right.
Learn About Motorcycle Traffic Laws in Schaumburg
Traffic safety rules are important for all drivers. They are even more essential for bikers, who do not have the same protections as people inside of motor vehicles. The state offers free motorcycle safety courses, covering those laws as well as safety tips for drivers. They are an excellent idea for anyone who wants to bike.
Even people who master all of the Schaumburg motorcycle traffic laws can get in a wreck. When you are in an accident, you may be dealing with severe injuries and a lengthy and expensive recovery. Schedule a consultation to see how an attorney at The Kryder Law Group could help you in the aftermath of a crash.