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 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
Overtake on the left hand side of stopped or slow moving
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
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
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.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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