Alderman and mayoral candidate Brian Miller’s proposal to repeal an ordinance requiring bicyclists in Evanston to use lights at night comes up for review at the Human Services Committee meeting Tuesday.

Miller, at last month’s committee meeting claimed police were using the bike light ordinance as an inappropriate pretext for stopping late-night riders who they suspect may have committed some other, more serious crime.

At his request, the city’s legal staff has drafted an ordinance to make the change.

Other aldermen on the committee seemed skeptical of Miller’s proposal last month, and it appeared unlikely then that the idea would get out of committee.

In any case, a state law, 625 ILCS 5/11-1507, also makes it illegal to operate a bicycle at night without a light.

Related story

Miller: Drop bike light rule (9/8/16)

Three planning runs for mayor (9/20/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Please do not ignore safety
    While I am all in favor of reducing unfairly discriminatory enforcement, removing traffic safety laws is not a good way to do it.

    This is an example of bicycle safety not being taken seriously. I doubt Mr Miller would ever propose repealing speed limits on order to reduce the DWB incidents that happen.

  2. More Enforcement, Not Less
    Would police not stop, question, and possibly search a car driving without their lights on at night?

    I strongly disagree on changing the law. Cyclists are hard to see on Evanston streets if they don’t have lights and reflectors. We always use our front and back lights when we ride at night. It’s dangerous not to.

  3. I thought this was a joke the first time I read about it…

    It is stunning and disappointing that this nonsense persists.  Do the aldermen not have more pressing – LEGAL – matters to which to attend?  Why are the aldermen AND the city legal staff wasting time and resources on a proposed ordinance that is not only counter to the best interests of travelers around Evanston but also contrary to state law?

    1. Its Miller Time….

      Sadly….. this is not a joke, only the clueless attempt by Miller to ignore state law.  I should start going to Council meetings to ask him questions…..  I think if Miller asks staff to prepare it, they don't have a choice…  I hope the rest of our Alderpeople stop this nonsense.

  4. Miller’s bike blackout plan up for debate

    Its extremely dangerous to ride after dark without lights.  By design, Evanston streets are underlit and I cannot imagine anyone who would want to change street lighting to accomodate bikes after dark

  5. Speaking of…

    Anyone happen to know what was with a very large group of bike riders going up Chicago Ave. about 12:45 this morning? Some had lights some did not and it looked as if EPD had made a stop at the corner of Dempster and Chicago Ave. For the few cars that were out it brought traffic to a crawl.

  6. bike lights at night

    Coming home the other night about 8:00 p.m. I almost hit 2 bikers at different places.  No lights, no reflective gear, and they were wearing black. They went right through a red light.  It was a frightening experience for me and I can imagine for them also.  Bicyclists absolutely need to be seen by drivers and pedestrians no matter what time it is after dark!

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