Cycling SA has forwarded a message from SAPOL this morning pleading with cyclists to obey the road rules, especially when riding two abreast, after an increase in complaints.
Maybe familiarise yourself with the road rules and riding in bike lanes. Only on the weekend did I ride with someone who misunderstood about how we could ride when there was a bike lane.
Dear (CSA) members,
South Australia Police (SAPOL) have written to Cycling SA seeking our assistance in spreading the message that "Road safety is everybody's responsibility." SAPOL's request is in response to weekly complaints they receive alleging poor riding behaviour of cyclists.
Cycling SA calls on all cyclists (whether members of ours or not) and motorists to share the road, be patient with each other and obey the road rules.
We do not want this to become a nonsense cyclists versus motorists debate because to do so achieves nothing and takes the focus off the real message that road safety is everybody's responsibility. Cycling SA is very keen to engage with government, motoring bodies and other agencies in promoting road safety.
We urge all cyclists and motorists to do their bit to contribute to road safety by obeying the road rules. We also urge all cyclists and motorists to exercise common-sense and courtesy towards each other.
"ROAD SAFETY IS EVERYBODY'S RESPONSIBILITY."
Gary Simpson, Thursday, 22 March 2012
Other links for info on riding two abreast: - http://www.sa.cycling.org.au/site/cycling/sa/downloads/SAPOL%20remi...
I understand the interpretation of what the police officer said on ABC891 regarding not riding 2 abreast if there is a bike lane, can anyone explain which fabulously confusing road rule in the attached docco refers to this?
Maybe I'm reading them wrong, but none to me actually say this?
Tell me. Do we have to use a bike lane where one is provided ?
I tend not to use them where the condition of the bike lane is poorer that of the Left Lane.
From Davids comment above
On the other side of the fence it says "you should use the bicycle lane if one is provided" which implies you don't have to, whereas it is actually a legal requirement if there is no obstruction (and I always interpret this to include potentially opening car doors).
This issue has often been discussed and many say they dont/wont use them because of the debris, drains, pot holes etc. The thing is if you get nicked one would presume that you would have to provide evidence to that effect. Then you have to convince the judge (quite possible a non cyclist) with your evidence, or get a lawyer with a team of researchers to prove precedence, so it's probably safer to use them when it's safe, certainly cheaper.
Actually the wording of the law is that "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.". The key word being "impracticable" which depending on the definition you look up varies from "impossible" to "unsuitable for practical use or purposes". If the later applies, then anywhere in a bicycle lane where you can be car doored is not suitable for practical use.
how does this apply outside of bike lane operating hours?
On Unley Road (parts of which the surface is abysmal in the bike lane, esp Western side) the lanes are in effect for 1.5 hours a day, outside of which are we expected to remain in them or are the lane-markings effectively "disappeared" outside of these hours? (Just as we cyclists magically vaporise at the end of bike lanes)
I find myself trying to stay within the markings even outside of the times they are in effect, based on the notion that they are visible, and hopefully motorists are not going to drive in them.
The problem comes about when cars are parked in them (legally, as the lanes are not in effect) and I then have to merge into the traffic - which is ordinarily not a problem: check, indicate, merge - most motorists are ok with this, if you give them adequate warning - again its the usual consideration you would expect of any road user. But when there's a gap of any distance (less than say 80 meters, for example) between parked cars, I prefer to stay outside the marked lane as I am already merged into the traffic, and would otherwise have to repeatedly put myself at risk through repeated merging - again, this should be fine, as the bike lane is not actually in effect, but due to a legal requirement to keep as far left as reasonably practicable, should I be scooting back in toward the bike lane? What distance between parked cars has to be surpassed before it becomes reasonably practicable to move back to the left of the lane? Does the condition of the bike lane surface mean that I dont have to ride in it during bike lane operating hours, based on my concern for my safety? If it damages my rims, there is the possibility of catastrophic failure, which could throw me off the bike into traffic without warning. This, despite a questionable likelihood, is also "reasonably foreseeable". Does this mean then that we can essentially look at a bike lane and say "until this has been addressed, I will ride outside the lane in this location"?
Legal minefield? Or simply: ignore the existence of markings outside of operating hours; but during them, stay within despite what I consider to be legitimate risks?
Regardless of all the debating & interpretation of the laws, I think this paragraph really sums it up - We urge all cyclists and motorists to do their bit to contribute to road safety by obeying the road rules. We also urge all cyclists and motorists to exercise common-sense and courtesy towards each other. "ROAD SAFETY IS EVERYBODY'S RESPONSIBILITY."
Take a moment to do some reading if you are unsure of the rules!
We are quick to flame a motorist for not doing the right thing but on my daily commute I see more than my fair share of cyclists testing Darwins theory on selection!
I just wish someone would explain to the pedestrians going up Frome Road past the RAH what that red strip in the middle of the footpath is for. Or what the words on the signs mean. Tempted to just take the road but I'll bet someone will abuse me for not using the cycle path.
+1 Michael, I walk down past the RAH several times each week & the peds meander all over the lane oblivious to everthing around them let alone a cyclist.
Every now and then I offer some free ped safety advice but it only draws a weird look?
Riding two abreast whilst legal should only be done in sensible places - more of those would be nice.
The road rules are clear, cycling two abreast in a bike lane is a no-no. Over taking is another matter.
The whole issue of "must I ride in the bike-lane" is a "where do I ride where I feel safe" thing... I will not ride in the door zone so I ride on the right hand white line of the bike lane, allows some clearance. Other places I take the lane if so required.
BTW: Just today I had two separate motorists allow me the space to cycle, in those tighter spots - yeah, probably cost them 30 secs - cheers..