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Can motorcyclists demand right-of-way?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles McHenry County, Illinois

Can motorcyclists demand right-of-way?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 30, 2012

Early this afternoon a motorcycle club rode into Woodstock, heading for the Square. About 20-25 motorcycles were northbound on Route 47 and, when they got to Judd St. (the traffic light by Wendy's), the first bikes stopped in the left-turn lane to allow southbound traffic to pass.

When the southbound lane was clear, the first bikes turned left. Then one rider stopped in the roadway to block westbound Irving traffic, in case the light changed, and a second rider stopped across the southbound lane on 47, to provide a shield behind which all the other motorcyclists could make their left turns.

I saw this trick a couple of years ago on Route 47, when a club pulled out of Vaughan's Restaurant to go north on 47.

Naturally, there was no cop around (where are they when you need them?). The group rode to the Metra parking lot and many parked in the lot and some parked on the street across from the Moose Lodge. Then they walked up Main Street toward the Square.

Would a Woodstock officer or a County deputy have ticketed the two operators who stopped to block traffic?

My guess is that this is a trick they pull often and get away with. If a cop did ticket them, maybe they wouldn't do it in the future. Each motorcycle is a vehicle, and each driver is supposed to obey traffic laws.

I invite Woodstock officers and County deputies to watch groups of motorcyclists closely. When you see this violation, please ticket the violators.

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