Frequently asked questions

Questions about crashes and close calls

Should I report an interaction with a dangerous motorist, even if there was no crash?

Yes! The motorist you report could cause a serious injury to someone walking or biking in the future. If that happens, your report of a separate incident can help courts bring appropriate actions against that motorist.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Your report is your voice; it explains to police that there is a real need for traffic enforcement to protect pedestrians and bicyclists.

  1. How do I report a dangerous motorist interaction?

    • Stop and calm down.

    • Write down the following information and SAVE IT, you may need it in the future:

    • Vehicle description

    • License plate number

    • Description of the incident

    • Location of the incident

    • Date and time

    • Motorist’s physical description

    • Dial 911 and explain the situation. You will be directed to the appropriate department based on whether the situation is considered an emergency. Police may or may not be dispatched to apprehend the violator.

    • When your report is complete, the assisting officer will give you a reference number. Write this down and save it with the other information from the report.

    • Police will mail you a copy of the report. Keep it for your records.

    • TIPS: The police are directed not to file reports for “road rage.” When speaking with the police, focus on the specific violation committed, not on your emotions, or on any aggressive verbal exchange you may have had with the violator.

    • Always carry a pen and paper with you in so you can record information easily.

Should I call the police if I get doored while biking?

Yes! Dooring is when a driver causes a crash by opening his or her car door in front of someone biking. In the city of Chicago, it carries a $500 fine for motorists. Always call the police when you are involved in a crash, dooring or otherwise.

Can I report dangerous road conditions?

In the City of Chicago, you can dial 311 to report dangerous road conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists like broken walk signals, unshoveled sidewalks, rough pavement, blocked bike lanes, and more. In the suburbs, check the local municipality’s website for a comment section, or write an email or letter to the public works or transportation department.

How can I learn more about safe walking and biking?

There are plenty of great resources with tips on safe walking and biking, and how to safely drive around walkers and bicyclists.


Illinois Secretary of State’s summary of state pedestrian and bicycle laws

Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road

City of Chicago Bicycle Safety Resources and Publications

Ride Illinois’ Bike Safety Quiz

Pedestrian Safer Journey educational website for youth (Federal Highway Administration)

Bicycle Safer Journey educational website for youth (Federal Highway Administration)