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Will Naperville stop light prevent car-bicycle accidents?

One particular traffic light has been the source of frustration for many drivers in Naperville. Specifically, a number of local residents may have wondered why they are required to wait to receive a "green arrow" when turning left at the intersection of Washington Street and Hobson Road. Local officials created this specific rule in order to protect bikers from car accidents caused by inattentive drivers.

At this particular intersection, there is a bike path that crosses the road. The trail is part of an effort to improve the quality of life and recreation in Naperville. Although the extra time spent at the traffic light might frustrate some drivers, protecting the safety of everyone on the road -- including bikers and pedestrians -- is of the utmost importance.

Despite specific instruction that drivers cannot turn left on a regular green light, a number of may choose to turn anyway in order to avoid being inconvenienced. Failing to heed traffic regulations is often considered to be negligence, which can easily cause a serious car accident.

When drivers aren't acting cautiously or are distracted, it may be easy to overlook a biker on the road. This is precisely why cyclists are at particular risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries at major intersections.

Local residents may continue to suggest that changes should be made at "annoying" intersections. However, if Illinois public safety officials move forward with any changes to traffic lights and intersections, the hope is that they are carefully thought out. A moment or two of inconvenience is no reason to put bikers in the line of danger.

Source: The Naperville Sun, "The story behind some unique traffic trouble spots in Naperville," Susan Frick Carlman, March 23, 2013

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