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Here's a stupid law - in-line skates on roads

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Here's a stupid law - in-line skates on roads

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 30, 2012


Only in Illinois.

Land of the Free. Yeah, right...

"For those in-line high speed skaters outside of Chicago (emphasis added), as of Jan. 1, 2013, you can now travel on roadways that have a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less as long as you stay close to the edge. (In‐line Speed Skates SB 3336/PA 97‐1023)." Source: Chicago Tribune

Now, you tell me why it's safe to have in-line skaters on the roadways.

Amendment No. 1 would have required a person using in-line speed skates on a highway to have installed on his or her person a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Department of Transportation which is visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear ..."

Beep, beep.

But that got changed in Amendment No. 2, because the lighting requirement was removed and an attempt was made to allow street skating only during daylight hours. Like that's going to work...: "... upon highways where the maximum posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less, and during the period from sunrise to sunset, a pedestrian who is 18 years of age or older and wearing in-line speed skates may travel upon the roadway as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway. Provides that pedestrians wearing in-line speed skates upon a roadway may not impede or obstruct other vehicular traffic. Provides that pedestrians wearing in-line speed skates shall be subject to all other rights and duties under the Article concerning pedestrians. Provides that nothing in the Code shall be construed to prevent a pedestrian wearing in-line speed skates from using a lane designated for bicycles."

Looks to me like the intent to treat skaters like drivers got changed, and now they are treated as pedestrians. So I guess we can expect skaters to blow through stop signs, not signal turns and fail to yield to pedestrians on foot. Will police ticket?

Does the new law mean they are not regulated between sunset and sunrise? Will we see skaters zooming down South Street after dark and blowing across Dean Street and Madison Street without stopping? And without any lights?

What a dumb law! The vote in the Illinois House was 101-16. Jack Franks did not vote. Mike Tryon voted YEA. Obviously, it wouldn't have made any difference if both had voted NAY.

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