Just like motor vehicle drivers, bicycle riders are permitted to ride on the road. Below is a guide for how we can look out for each other and share our roads.
There are more bicycles on the road in WA compared to the Australian average, and bicycle counters in Perth show steady growth in cycling numbers.
All bike riders are encouraged to wear a helmet and obey relevant road rules. Motor vehicle drivers need to be aware and respectful of bicycle riders on the road.
Bicycle riders are entitled to use the roads and have the same responsibilities as drivers. Bicycle riders are vulnerable road users, so for their safety extra precautions and awareness are required from both cyclists and drivers.
OVERTAKING BIKE RIDERS
- Must keep a safe distance from cyclists when overtaking (it is advised to provide at least one metre clearance from the side of your vehicle. If it is not possible to overtake with one metre clearance, slow down and do not overtake until it safe to do so
- Should check blind spots for riders before moving left or right on the carriageway.
- Cannot drive in a marked bicycle lane, unless the driver is permitted to do so.
- Are only permitted to drive in a marked bicycle lane for 50m to stop or park in a designated permitted parking area which must be signed to indicate this.
- Who are operating a public bus, or a taxi, may drive in a bicycle lane for up to 50m if the driver is dropping off, or picking up passengers.
- Must give way to riders if crossing an on-road bicycle lane
- Before opening a car door, ensure there isn’t a bike rider in the way
- When turning left – if a rider is in front, allow them to pass before making a turn;
- Must not enter the green ‘bike boxes’ (at some intersections).
- Riders are allowed to ride two abreast when riding on the road.
- Riders may have to use the whole lane to make themselves more visible to you, especially through intersections and at roundabouts.
- Bicycle riders can travel faster than you think (30km/h or more).
- Check blind spots for riders before moving left or right on the carriageway.
Most rules applying to motor vehicle drivers also apply to bike riders when on a road. There are, however, a few rules that only apply to cyclists.
BIKE SPECIFIC RULES:
- must have at least one hand on the handlebars while in motion
- must not be more than two bicycles abreast on a road. When riding abreast, the two bicycles must be no more than 1.5 metres apart
- must ride in a bicycle lane if one is provided and in a reasonable condition for use
- must not ride within two metres of the rear of a motor vehicle, over a distance of more than 200 metres
- must not hold onto another moving vehicle or be towed by it
- must use the correct hand signals to turn left or right and to stop
- can use the left lane of a roundabout when turning right, provided they give way to all exiting traffic
- must not ride in a pedestrian mall
- cannot overtake on the left side of a motor vehicle if that motor vehicle is moving and indicating to turn left
- cannot ride across a marked foot crossing unless the crossing displays bicycle crossing lights (and are green)
Ensuring you are visible is very important when riding your bike, especially in low-light and bad weather. Here are some tips to increase your visibility when riding your bike.
- Check your bike to ensure that the rear red reflector, orange pedal reflectors and front white reflector are intact and not obscured
- Make sure your rear red light and front white light are functioning correctly and have adequate power supply (for riding at night or in low-visibility conditions)
- Wear highly visible clothing that will contrast with your surroundings
- Wear clothing that has reflective material
It is compulsory for all cyclists to wear an approved helmet while in motion (unless exempted).
- From 26 April 2016 people of all ages are permitted to ride a bicycle on footpaths in Western Australia unless a “No Bicycles” sign has been erected.
- Riders must keep left on shared paths and footpaths unless overtaking
- Riders must give way to pedestrians at all times
- At path intersections you must signal your intention to turn, and give way to motor vehicles entering or exiting an intersecting road
- Riders must only travel in single file on all paths, though they can travel two abreast on a road
- Animals must not be tied to a moving bike
- Slow down when passing pedestrians — remember they are slower and can be unpredictable
- When approaching pedestrians from behind, always ring your bell approximately 30 metres before reaching them. If they are aware of your presence with plenty of time to spare, they are less likely to make sudden sideways movements
- Be particularly careful where a shared path crosses a busy road
For more information on how to look out for each other and share our roads, visit the Road Safety Commission website HERE>>
Further cycling information can be found on the Department of Transport website HERE>>
ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGNS
There is no shortage of well produced road safety campaigns that promote sharing of the road space with all users.
A nice message from the Department of Education in Ireland about Road Safety.