Urban Velo

About Brendan Kevenides, P.C.

Brendan Kevenides is an everyday city cyclist and licensed attorney. His Chicago law practice is dedicated to representing cyclists injured by the negligence of drivers, government officials and equipment manufacturers. He is also the creator and author of The Chicago Bicycle Advocate, a popular blog about bicycling and the law. He is active with bicycle advocacy organizations, and is a Certified Bicycle Instructor by the League of American Bicyclists. Check out www.mybikeadvocate.com

Cycling Legalese: The Door Zone

bkevinidesCycling Legalese is our online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides.

Getting doored is one of the more frightening and painful scenarios a cyclist may face. Along with the lgal side of things, Brendan has some tips to avoid it all together.

Q: The other day I was nearly doored by a driver. When I stopped the driver said that I should be paying more attention. What’s up with that?

Brendan Kevenides, P.C.:Talk to your non-biking friends and family about “dooring” and many, perhaps most, will give you a blank stare. Yet, few things scare urban bicyclists more than the threat of being doored. The possibility of a heavy metal wall suddenly appearing in front of you is terrifying. By far the most common types of crashes I see in my bike law practice are dooring incidents. The injuries are often gruesome; broken bones, deep and damaging lacerations. In Chicago in September, 2012 a young attorney was crushed by a large truck after veering to his left to avoid a car door thrown open into his path as he rode in a dedicated bicycle lane. These frightening possibilities are often in the back of the urban cyclists mind. But for the non-biking public this serious safety threat barely registers. Many do not even recognize the term dooring. As I type this column on my MacBook the word is continuously underlined in red. Do you mean “dooming.”

Dooring is the act of opening a car door into an oncoming cyclist. It is illegal everywhere. Section 22517 of the California Motor Vehicle Code is typical of the law in most of the U.S. It states:
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Cycling Legalese – Where Do Bikes Belong On The Roadway?

bkevinidesWelcome to Cycling Legalese, an online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides. There can be confusion on where to ride on a roadway; take the lane or hug the curb or both? Let’s see what the law says.

Q: It’s never been clear to me where I’m supposed to ride on the road. What does the law say?

Brendan Kevenides, P.C.:Let’s be frank, many of us who ride our bicycles in the city tend to follow few set rules. It is not because urban cyclists are a bunch of arrogant jerks (okay, maybe sometimes it is); it is just that the reality of the constantly changing landscape through which we travel requires constant… creativity. Cars, pedestrians and the streets themselves are unpredictable, so we dart, dash, swerve, squeeze and skid about the city. The rhythm of the city and the traffic that pulses through it often has little to do with the rules of the road. Nevertheless, it is prudent to understand what the law requires of us as urban cyclists. When a collision occurs, you may need to look to the law for help.

Before hitting the road it is important to know where you and your bike belong in relation to other traffic. Our cities and states have statutes and ordinances which govern where bicyclist are supposed to position themselves on the road. Should you ride in the middle of traffic? On the right? Where do you belong? The bottom line is that you belong in the safest part of the street given traffic and roadway conditions.
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Cycling Legalese – Bike Traffic Accident 101

bkevinidesWelcome to Cycling Legalese, an online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides. Unfortunately traffic accidents are a reality for city cyclists, in this column we go over what to remember in order to protect yourself legally if you’re involved in a collision.

Q: What should I do if I am involved in a collision while out riding?

Brendan Kevenides, P.C.:Whether hit by a car or hurled into the street courtesy of a pothole, let’s face it, in the first moments following a crash you probably will not be at your best. You may not accurately process what happened do to pain, shock, surging adrenaline or all three. So, let’s keep this as simple as possible; remember the 5 C’s, Calm down, Call 911, Camera, Communicate & Care.
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Cycling Legalese – Biking Under The Influence

bkevinidesWelcome to Cycling Legalese, a new online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides. He is the creator of popular law blog, The Chicago Bicycle Advocate and is a Certified Bicycle Instructor by the League of American Bicyclists. His Chicago law practice is dedicated to representing cyclists injured by the negligence of drivers, government officials and equipment manufacturers. In this installment we cover biking under the influence of alcohol. Many people do it as a alternative to driving, but what is the legal standing of BUI?

Submit your own questions in the form at the end of the column.

Q:I love fueling my rides through the city with beer and Malört, but I’m wondering; could I get in trouble for biking under the influence?
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Cycling Legalese – Is my brakeless bike legal?

bkevinidesWelcome to Cycling Legalese, a new online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides. He is the creator of popular law blog, The Chicago Bicycle Advocate and is a Certified Bicycle Instructor by the League of American Bicyclists. His Chicago law practice is dedicated to representing cyclists injured by the negligence of drivers, government officials and equipment manufacturers. In the first column we cover a common topic amongst street track riders and bike advocates alike — Are “brakeless” fixed gear bicycles legal to ride on the street?

Submit your own questions in the form at the end of the column.

Q: I’ve got “N O B R A K E S” tattooed on my knuckles ‘cause that’s how I ride. Is my bike legal?
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