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Stopping in road for pax: Illegal?

Steve--Chicago

New Member
Short version: Is stopping in the middle of traffic to pick up or drop off passengers illegal? If so, what should ordinary citizens do about it, if anything?

Long version: I often encounter rideshare and taxi drivers who wait for passengers in the middle of the road with their hazard lights on, even when there is adequate space on the side of the road to pull over. Beeping or flashing lights at them doesn't seem to make a difference. Pulling alongside them and asking them to pull to the side so as to not obstruct traffic usually doesn't seem to have much effect either.

I used to be a rideshare driver, and I would always pull to the side of the road if at all possible when picking up passengers. While there are times when this isn't feasible, I strongly feel that stopping in the middle of the street for more than a few seconds is not only rude, but quite often dangerous. This seems to happen almost every time I drive in the city, and it is quite frustrating.

My question, though, is this: Is it illegal? And if so, what should be done? Should these drivers be reported to their respective rideshare/taxi companies? Should we file a formal complaint by calling 311? I've gotten tired of attempting to confront them directly, as it seems to have little effect, and is often met with belligerence and hostility.

The relevant Chicago code I've found which addresses this issue is the following:

OBSTRUCTION OF OR INTERFERENCE WITH TRAFFIC (§ 9-80-180)
Any person who shall wilfully and unnecessarily hinder, obstruct or
delay or who shall wilfully and unnecessarily attempt to hinder, obstruct or
delay any other person in lawfully driving or travelling along or upon any
street or who shall offer to barter or sell any merchandise or service on the
street so as to interfere with the effective movement of traffic or who shall
repeatedly cause motor vehicles travelling on public thoroughfares to stop or
impede the flow of traffic shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction
thereof shall be fined not more than $200.00 or imprisoned for not more than ten
days, or both, for the first offense, fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned
for not more than 20 days, or both, for the second offense, and fined not more
than 30 days, or both, for each such subsequent offense.​

I've also found this Illinois statute:

(625 ILCS 5/11-1303) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1303)
Sec. 11-1303. Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specified places.


The Illinois statute states that it is unlawful to "Stop, stand or park a vehicle on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street", among other areas. It does, however, permit drivers to stop in places where there are fire hydrants, driveways, crosswalks, etc. if drivers are "momentarily" picking up or dropping off passengers. This does not, however, appear to include stopping in the middle of traffic on the street.
 

Bears Fan

New Member
Of course it is illegal but you have to be smart about it to not draw attention. If there's no traffic behind me I will stop on the side of the street to pick someone up who is already waiting and can get in quickly or move to an area where I won't block traffic. I will not stop to wait for someone in the middle of a busy street under any circumstance. I will either pull in a parking space or drive around the block and ultimately they will either be out there or they will call me to let me know they are outside. If it is really busy and it would take a bit of time to go around the block then I will cancel the ride, unless the surge rate is high. If a cop is behind me in the traffic then I'm going around the block or pulling in the nearest safe place and the rider will have to walk to me. Trust me, riders understand the risk of stopping in the presence of police. I've been driving for over two years and over 10k rides between Uber and Lyft. I've been pulled over twice by the CPD, one I got a warning, the other a ticket. I fought the ticket in court and it was dismissed.
 

Grunions

Active Member
I refuse to let out in traffic if on a busy street such as Halsted or Clark. If I am on a side residential street with cars lining both sides, then I will stop and let them off. When making a pickup, I always find a spot to get out of traffic.

I generally only find this to be a problem in city limits, the burbs generally don't have this problem.
 

JohnnyWick

Active Member
It is illegal, especially if you get caught
So two Polish loads their truck to 13 feet high and get on the road. They come to a bridge that has a sign say 11’ clearance. So they stop and first one asks the other “what are we gonna do?” Second one gets out of the truck and looks around and yells “no police you are clear to go”.

Moral of the story, as long as no law enforcement, it is legal.
 

Steve--Chicago

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
What I find most annoying as a non-rideshare driver is drivers who stop in the middle of the street, throw on their hazard lights, and wait for a pax -- especially when there is space to pull over on the side of the road. Beeping the horn at them or flashing my lights usually doesn't work. Even taxi drivers usually have the sense to pull over to the side of the road when they can to pick up or drop off pax. The problem seems to be getting worse.
 
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