"Senate Bill 2951, sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills), makes it illegal for drivers to crowd or threaten bicyclists by unnecessarily driving close to a cyclist.
The new law increases penalties for attempting to harm or threaten bicyclists. Under the law, drivers who intimidate cyclists with threats, crowding or throwing items will be subject to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine."
In addition, another bill was signed to create "Share the Road" license plates. As Ed Barsotti of the League of Illinois Bicyclists explains on the video, the $22 annually paid by motorists will create sustainable funding for educational programs for cyclists and motorists alike. Twelve other states have such a program. The new laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
From WREX: New bicycle law to increase safety: "(This) legislation hope to change driver's perceptions of who has the right to the road, when the bike paths end.
The law will now bring down harsher penalties for drivers who purposely drive too close, or buzz, a bicyclist."
From The Journal-Standard Editorial: New bike law makes sense
"Together, the bicycling community and the motoring public should develop a healthier recognition for the respective rights and responsibilities of the other.
We think the new law will help to develop that relationship."
Thanks to SF Streetsblog