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Sharing The Road With Cyclists

Sharing the road with cyclists

2016 is seeing a change in New South Wales road rules in relation to cyclists.

From March 1st 2016 all cyclists over the age of 18 will be required to carry photo identification on them whilst riding their bicycle in New South Wales.

If you are riding your bicycle in Queensland and cross the border on your journey, you will need to obey the road rules for the state in which you are riding.

Other changes are also on the cards to be implemented in the New Year such as:

 

  • Not wearing a helmet (up from $71 to $319)
  • Running a red light (up from $71 to $319)
  • Riding dangerously (up from $71 to $425)
  • Holding on to a moving vehicle (up from $71 to $319)
  • Not stopping children’s/pedestrian crossings (up $71 to $425)
 

Penalties for other bicycle rider offences will also increase from $71 to $106 including riding at night without lights.

In Queensland, cyclists are not required to have photo identification whilst riding but is this something that Queensland Transport and Main Roads should or would adopt?

Here are some of the Queensland bicycle road rules that you may not realise are offences:

 

  • Leading an animal on a bicycle
  • Carrying another passenger on the bicycle that is not designed with a seat to carry more than one person.
  • Failing to give way to pedestrians on footpaths and shared paths
  • Failing to display a light at night or in hazardous weather
 
 

In Queensland some of the road rules for cyclists are unknown to motorists that do not cycle.

 

  • When entering a multilane roundabout, a cyclist must stay to the left of the lanes even when the cyclist is indicating to turn right. The cyclist must give way to any motor vehicle that is exiting the roundabout.
  • In a single lane roundabout the cyclist may take up the whole lane the same as any other road user.
 

All fines that are issued for cyclists are the same amount that is issued for a motorist for the same offence.

Unfortunately there is all too often a cyclist injured or killed on Australian roads. The debate as to the rights and responsibilities of the cyclists and that of the motor vehicle driver are always a hot topic.

Some motorists have the viewpoint of cyclists being a nuisance on the road, whether that is from cycling slower than the flow of traffic or riding 2 or 3 abreast making overtaking difficult.

Many cyclists feel unsafe on the roads with aggressive motorists that aren’t taking them into consideration when driving on the road. This may be from cutting them off because of not looking out for them or driving too close to the cyclists.

There have been instances in Australia where angry motorists have intentionally run down cyclists.

When comparing statistics between New South Wales and Queensland for 2014, New South Wales experienced 11 cyclist fatalities whilst Queensland had 9 cyclist fatalities for the same period.

Cyclists are more vulnerable on the roads compared to other motorists from their exposure to the road.

Safety gear such as helmets, elbow and kneepads are a must for all young riders as they gain experience.

No matter how good or experienced a cyclist you may be, a helmet must be worn at all times. It is comparable to a seatbelt in a motor vehicle when listing safety features of a vehicle.

Helmets have saved countless lives.

Maintaining your bicycle is paramount to riding safely on Queensland and New South Wales roads. Checking that tires have sufficient tread contact to the road and is free of punctures through to testing lights/braking systems.

Give yourself the best chance of making it home safely this year. Obey all road rules, wear bright visible clothing and be aware of each on the road.

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