Rules of the road

At Bike at Illinois, we want to make sure you have a safe ride every time. The university promotes safe and responsible bicycling behavior by enforcing state and local traffic laws for everyone, including bicyclists. Bicycle traffic enforcement is not meant to discourage people from riding bikes, but to encourage them to ride in a safe, predictable way for everyone’s safety and benefit.


These are the most important points to remember when riding a bike on campus.

  • Bikes share the same rights and responsibilities as cars. You can get a citation for violating state, local, or university traffic laws on a bicycle.
  • Always ride in the same direction with traffic. If you ride the wrong direction on a one-way street, you can get a moving violation on your driver’s license.
  • Obey all traffic signals and signs, just like a motor vehicle. Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Rules.
  • Yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and shared-use paths, and at all intersections. If pedestrian traffic is very heavy, walk your bicycle or move to the nearest street.
  • Position yourself where cars can easily see you. Avoid sidewalks and do not weave in and out between parked cars.
  • Signal your turns and lane changes. You can also signal when you are reducing speed. Hand Signal Guide.
  • Never try to squeeze between a bus or a truck on the right at intersections. Always use caution when passing on the right as buses and trucks, even in a bike lane, as they often pull over to the curb and they may not be able to see you.
  • Alert pedestrians before passing, with a bell or by telling them which way you are going. They will appreciate the heads-up!
  • Use lights and reflective clothing at night. Front and back lights or reflectors are the law for bikes, and bright visible clothes are best.
  • Keep your bicycle in good working order, for your safety and the law.
  • Parking is only allowed at designated bicycle parking areas. If parked outside the bicycle parking areas your bicycle lock may be cut and the bicycle removed by campus authorities. If you have locked your bicycle in a stairwell or to an accessibility ramp, your bicycle will be removed immediately.

Rule 2: Follow the Law

The State of Illinois Vehicle Code says bicyclists “shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of rules and laws applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” Bicyclists breaking motor vehicle laws can receive a state traffic citation under the Illinois Vehicle Code. Also, both Champaign and Urbana have municipal ordinances under which cyclists can receive traffic citations.

Rule 3: Follow Campus Rules

Did you know there is a University Bicycle Ordinance all individuals on campus must follow? The Ordinance is a policy within Campus Administrative Manual (CAM) and is intended to be enforced to promote education, awareness, and safety for all on campus. It includes information on bicycle registration, bike parking, and diversion programs.

Rule 4: Keep Learning

Take a quick Bicycle Safety Quiz if you are new to Illinois traffic laws!

Examples from

Online Traffic Skills 101 Course by League of American Bicyclists. Free, online course – check it out and say you’re from Champaign County.