RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS

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RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS ON ROADS

The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about rules applying to the riders of Bicycles on Roads and Road Related Areas (there is no such thing as a Public Street anymore), as described by the Australian Road Rules.  The answers have been provided from the Australian Road Rules which came into force in December 1999 and replaced the New South Wales Motor Traffic Act.  Excerpts of the rules are provided with the permission of the National Road Transport Commission.  You can perform your own research of the Australian Road Rules which are available on the NSW RTA web site.

1.  Riding Two Abreast.  Let's start with the most often asked question.  The answer is that you are quite lawfully allowed to ride two abreast on any road irrespective of whether it is line marked or not.  You are required however where practicable to keep to the left in accordance with the requirements of Rules 129 & 130.  The following is the appropriate rule being Rule 151 of the Australian Road Rules.

 

151 Riding a motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider

(1) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride on a road that

is not a multi-lane road alongside more than 1 other rider,

unless subrule (3) applies to the rider.

Offence provision.

Note Bicycle, motor bike and multi-lane road are defined in the

dictionary, and rider is defined in rule 17.

(2) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride in a marked

lane alongside more than 1 other rider in the marked lane,

unless subrule (3) applies to the rider.

Offence provision.

Note Marked lane is defined in the dictionary.

(3) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle may ride alongside more

than 1 other rider if the rider is:

(a) overtaking the other riders; or

(b) permitted to do so under another law of this jurisdiction.

Note Overtake is defined in the dictionary.

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The following précis of the Road Rules kindly provided by the Road Traffic Authority of New South Wales and can be examined on their web site.

Bicycle Laws and Penalties
Under NSW legislation a bicycle is considered as a vehicle. As such, cyclists are required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights or Stop signs, Giving Way as indicated by signage and giving hand signals when changing direction. As cyclists have responsibilities when using the road system, they also have the right, like other vehicles, to use the road and be shown courtesy and care by other road users.

A bicycle means a vehicle with one or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor) and includes a pedicab, penny-farthing, scooter, tricycle and unicycle. See Australian Road Rules for further information.

Cyclists also have some special rights, which include :

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Riding two abreast, no more than 1.5 m apart

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Travelling to the front of a line of traffic on the left hand side of the stopped vehicles

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Travelling in Bus Lanes and Transit Lanes. However, cyclists cannot travel in Bus Only Lanes

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Travelling on the footpath where indicated by signage

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Cycling on the footpath if the cyclist is less than 12 years old. An adult, who is riding in a supervisory capacity of a cyclist less than 12 years old, may also ride with the young cyclist on the footpath

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Turning right from the left hand lane of a multi-lane roundabout with the proviso the cyclists must give way to exiting traffic

To be a legal road vehicle during the day, a bicycle must have:

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At least one working brake

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Either a bell or horn fitted to the bike, within easy reach and in working order

To be a legal road vehicle at night, a bicycle must also have :

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Lights fitted and in use when riding at night - a steady or flashing white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres and a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bike

bullet

red rear reflector that is clearly visible for 50 metres when light is projected onto it by a vehicle's headlight on low beam

It is compulsory to wear an approved helmet correctly when riding a bike. This applies to all cyclists, regardless of age, including children on bicycles with training wheels and any child being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a trailer.

The fine for any bicycle offence is $45.

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Part 15 Additional rules for bicycle riders

Note 1 This Part contains rules that apply only to bicycle riders. Most rules

in the Australian Road Rules apply to bicycle riders in the same way as they

apply to drivers — see rule 19. There are some other rules that are for

bicycle riders only, or that have exceptions for bicycle riders. These include:

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optional hook turn by bicycle riders — rule 35

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bicycle riders making a hook turn contrary to a no hook turn by bicycles sign — rule 36

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bicycle riders excepted from giving stop signals — rule 52

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exception for bicycle riders riding in emergency stopping lanes — rule 95

bullet

bicycle riders entering and leaving roundabouts — rules 111 and 119

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bicycle riders overtaking on the left — rule 141

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riding alongside other riders — rule 151

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bicycle lanes — rule 153

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parking at a bicycle rail or in a bicycle rack — rule 166

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stopping on footpaths — rule 197

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stopping on a road with a bicycle parking sign — rule 201.

Note 2 Bicycle is defined in the dictionary.

245 Riding a bicycle

The rider of a bicycle must:

(a) sit astride the rider’s seat facing forwards (except if the

bicycle is not built to be ridden astride); and

(b) ride with at least 1 hand on the handlebars; and

(c) if the bicycle is equipped with a seat — not ride the

bicycle seated in any other position on the bicycle.

Offence provision.

 

246 Carrying people on a bicycle

The rider of a bicycle must not carry more persons on the

bicycle than the bicycle is designed to carry.

Offence provision.

Additional rules for bicycle riders Part 15

 

247 Riding in a bicycle lane on a road

(1) The rider of a bicycle riding on a length of road with a bicycle

lane designed for bicycles travelling in the same direction as

the rider must ride in the bicycle lane unless it is impracticable

to do so.

Offence provision.

Note Rule 153 defines a bicycle lane and deals with the use of bicycle

lanes by other vehicles.

(2) In this rule:

road does not include a road-related area.

Note Road-related area includes the shoulder of a road — see rule 13.

 

248 No riding across a road on a crossing

The rider of a bicycle must not ride across a road, or part of a

road, on a children’s crossing, marked foot crossing or

pedestrian crossing.

Offence provision.

Note Children’s crossing is defined in rule 80, marked foot crossing is

defined in the dictionary, and pedestrian crossing is defined in rule 81.

 

249 Riding on a separated footpath

The rider of a bicycle must not ride on a part of a separated

footpath designated for the use of pedestrians.

Offence provision.

Note 1 Separated footpath is defined in rule 239, and pedestrian is defined

in rule 18.

Note 2 Rule 336 deals with how parts of a separated footpath are

designated for bicycle riders and pedestrians.

 

250 Riding on a footpath or shared path

(1) The rider of a bicycle who is 12 years old or older must not ride

on a footpath if another law of this jurisdiction prohibits the

rider from riding on the footpath.

Offence provision.

Example of another law of this jurisdiction

Another law of this jurisdiction may provide that a commercial courier must

not ride a bicycle on any footpath or any footpath in a particular area, or that

an adult must not ride a bicycle on a footpath unless the adult is

accompanying a child under 12 years who is also riding on the footpath.

Note Footpath is defined in the dictionary.

(2) The rider of a bicycle riding on a footpath or shared path must:

(a) keep to the left of the footpath or shared path unless it is

impracticable to do so; and

(b) give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path.

Offence provision.

Note 1 Pedestrian is defined in rule 18, and shared path is defined in

rule 242.

Note 2 For subrule (2), give way means the rider must slow down and, if

necessary, stop to avoid a collision — see the definition in the dictionary.

(3) In this rule:

footpath does not include a separated footpath.

Note Separated footpath is defined in rule 239.

 

251 Riding to the left of oncoming bicycle riders on a path

The rider of a bicycle riding on a bicycle path, footpath,

separated footpath or shared path must keep to the left of any

oncoming bicycle rider on the path.

Offence provision.

Note Bicycle path and separated footpath are defined in rule 239, footpath

is defined in the dictionary, and shared path is defined in rule 242.

Additional rules for bicycle riders Part 15

 

252 No bicycles signs and markings

(1) The rider of a bicycle must not ride on a length of road or

footpath to which a no bicycles sign, or a no bicycles road

marking, applies.

Offence provision.

Note Footpath, length of road and no bicycles road marking are defined

in the dictionary.

(2) A no bicycles sign, or a no bicycles road marking, applies to a

length of road or footpath beginning at the sign or marking and

ending at the nearest of the following:

(a) a bicycle path sign or bicycle path road marking;

(b) a bicycle lane sign;

(c) a separated footpath sign or separated footpath road

marking;

(d) a shared path sign;

(e) an end no bicycles sign;

(f) the next intersection.

Note Intersection is defined in the dictionary, and bicycle path road

marking and separated footpath road marking are defined in rule 239.

No bicycles sign Bicycle path sign

Bicycle lane sign Separated footpath sign

Part 15 Additional rules for bicycle riders

Note 1 for diagrams There are a number of other permitted versions of the

bicycle path sign and bicycle lane sign, and another permitted version of the

no bicycles sign, separated footpath sign and shared path sign — see the

diagrams in Schedule 3.

Note 2 for diagrams A separated footpath sign may have the pedestrian

symbol and the bicycle symbol reversed — see rule 316 (4).

 

253 Bicycle riders not to cause a traffic hazard

The rider of a bicycle must not cause a traffic hazard by

moving into the path of a driver or pedestrian.

Offence provision.

 

254 Bicycles being towed etc

(1) A person must not ride on a bicycle that is being towed by

another vehicle.

Offence provision.

Note Vehicle is defined in rule 15.

(2) The rider of a bicycle must not hold onto another vehicle while

the vehicle is moving.

Offence provision.

 

255 Riding too close to the rear of a motor vehicle

The rider of a bicycle must not ride within 2 metres of the rear

of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than

200 metres.

Offence provision.

Note Motor vehicle is defined in the dictionary.

 

256 Bicycle helmets

(1) The rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet

securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, unless the rider

is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of

this jurisdiction.

Offence provision.

Note Approved bicycle helmet is defined in the dictionary.

(2) The rider of a bicycle must not carry a passenger on the bicycle

unless:

(a) the passenger is wearing an approved bicycle helmet

securely fitted and fastened on the passenger’s head; or

(b) the passenger is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet

under another law of this jurisdiction.

Offence provision.

(3) Subrule (2) does not apply to the rider of a three or

four-wheeled bicycle who is carrying a paying passenger.

 

257 Riding with a person on a bicycle trailer

 

(1) The rider of a bicycle must not tow a bicycle trailer with a

person in or on the bicycle trailer, unless:

(a) the rider is 16 years old, or older; and

(b) the person in or on the bicycle trailer is under 10 years old,

or as otherwise provided under another law of this

jurisdiction; and

(c) the bicycle trailer can safely carry the person; and

(d) the person in or on the bicycle trailer is wearing an

approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on

the person’s head, unless the person is exempt from

wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of this

jurisdiction.

Offence provision.

Note Approved bicycle helmet is defined in the dictionary.

(2) In this rule:

bicycle trailer means a vehicle that is built to be towed, or is

towed, by a bicycle.

Note Vehicle is defined in rule 15.

 

258 Equipment on a bicycle

A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have:

(a) at least 1 effective brake; and

(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.

Offence provision.

 

259 Riding at night

The rider of a bicycle must not ride at night, or in hazardous

weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the

bicycle, or the rider, displays:

(a) a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at

least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle; and

(b) a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at

least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle; and

(c) a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres

from the rear of the bicycle when light is projected onto it

by a vehicle’s headlight on low-beam.

Offence provision.

Note Low-beam and night are defined in the dictionary.

 

260 Stopping for a red bicycle crossing light

(1) The rider of a bicycle approaching or at bicycle crossing lights

showing a red bicycle crossing light must stop before reaching

the bicycle crossing lights.

Offence provision.

Note Bicycle crossing lights and red bicycle crossing light are defined in

the dictionary.

(2) The rider must not proceed until:

(a) the bicycle crossing lights change to green; or

(b) there is no red bicycle crossing light showing.

Offence provision.

Note Green bicycle crossing light is defined in the dictionary.

Example

Red bicycle crossing light Green bicycle crossing light

 

261 Stopping for a yellow bicycle crossing light

(1) The rider of a bicycle approaching bicycle crossing lights

showing a yellow bicycle crossing light must comply with this

rule.

Offence provision.

Note Bicycle crossing lights and yellow bicycle crossing light are defined

in the dictionary.

(2) If the rider can stop safely before reaching the bicycle crossing

lights, the bicycle rider must stop before reaching the lights.

(3) If the rider stops before reaching the bicycle crossing lights,

and the lights change to red, the bicycle rider must not proceed

until:

(a) the bicycle crossing lights change to green; or

(b) there is no red or yellow bicycle crossing light showing.

Note Green bicycle crossing light and red bicycle crossing light are

defined in the dictionary.

Yellow bicycle crossing light

 

262 Proceeding when bicycle crossing lights change to yellow or red

(1) If bicycle crossing lights at an intersection change from green

to yellow or red while the rider of a bicycle is in the

intersection, the rider must finish crossing the intersection as

soon as the rider can do so safely.

Offence provision.

Note 1 Bicycle crossing lights is defined in the dictionary.

Note 2 Intersection does not include a road-related area — see the

definition in the dictionary.

(2) If bicycle crossing lights at a place on a road where the rider of

a bicycle is crossing the road change from green to yellow or

red while the rider is on the road, the rider must cross the road

as soon as the rider can do so safely.

Offence provision.

(3) In this rule:

road does not include a road-related area.

Note Road-related area includes the shoulder of a road — see rule 13.

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There's a lot more but I think that I have provided the highlights and the means for which you can perform your own research of the road rules.  -  Webmaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: Sunday, 03 January 2010

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