Know The Road Rules For Bicycles
The recent public row between a cyclist hit when a taxi passenger opened the curbside car door shows the importance of knowing the rules of the road as they apply to cyclists.
The rules for cyclists are a bit different than vehicle drivers, and while motorists sometimes get frustrated by cyclists whizzing through traffic, there are rules aimed at protecting vulnerable cyclists.
Cyclists can face fines up to $2,200 if they break these road rules – similarly motorists are open to fines of up to $2,200 if they cause a hazard to a cyclist. So motorists should be aware that cyclists have rights – and never forget they are far more vulnerable to injury than those who sit inside a hunk of metal.
By law, cyclists are allowed to:
*Ride two abreast on car lanes – no more than 1.5 metres apart.
*Overtake on the left hand side of stopped or slow moving vehicles.
*Travel in bus lanes and transit lanes.
*Ride on the footpath if they are less than 12 years old. Adults supervising them can join them on the footpath.
*Ride on footpaths if they are carrying a child under 10.
*Turn right from the left hand lane of a multi-lane roundabout but must give way to traffic exiting the roundabout ahead.
*Travel on road shoulders.
Cyclists are NOT allowed to:
*Travel in Bus Only lanes.
*Wear a helmet.
*Have at least one working brake
*Have a bell or horn to warn people ahead.
*Have a white light visible for 200 metres ahead.
*Have a red light visible 200 metres behind.
*A red rear reflector.
*Use hand signals to let drivers know your intentions.
*Give way to cyclists at pedestrian crossings.
*Change lanes when overtaking bicycles on multi-lane roads and allow at least one metre space for cyclists in one lane situations.
*Check mirrors or look behind you before opening car doors. It is illegal to cause a hazard to a cyclist when getting out of a vehicle.
According to a Victorian study the number of cyclists crashing into car doors suddenly opened in front of them are increasing. Cyclists have the law on their side in this situation, and car travellers should check behind them before opening doors. Cyclists do have rights and if they are injured in an accident caused by a motorists’ action there are legal avenues they can pursue.