By Justin Hegy -
Are you a bike rider?
If so, chances are you’ve broken the law while on your wheels.
If you’ve taken both hands off your handlebars while on your bike – even if stopped at a street corner – you’re in violation of Public Act 82-132:
Sec. 11-1506. Carrying articles. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the use of both hands in the control and operation of the bicycle. A person operating a bicycle shall keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
In the early 1980s, Illinois legislators outlawed riding a bike with no hands. An individual can be fined up to $1,000 for this offense.
But things could be changing, with newly introduced bill House Bill 2996. The legislation would grant that “a person riding a bicycle is not required to have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times if the bicycle is stopped and at rest.”
Obviously this law makes a common sense change – but it’s unclear why legislators are spending time going back a forth regulating these things in the first place.
Lawmakers in Springfield should be devoting their time to the many major problems the state is facing. Illinois has the third-worst unemployment rate and second-highest out-migration in the nation. Illinois has lost $30 billion in taxable income within 20 years – in great part due to having such a high tax burden. Illinois has the second-highest property taxes in the nation, and 11th highest overall tax burden in the U.S.
Illinois’ lawmakers should be pursuing laws focused on growing the state’s economy and drawing in businesses and residents. It’s time to stop perpetuating paternalistic laws about minor issues and instead focus on the major economic issues facing our state.
Justin Hegy is Policy Analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute