Ignorant Adelaide motorists have wasted more than $1.7 million in paying fines to local councils in the past year for parking at the wrong time in bicycle lanes.
A Sunday Mail investigation has found Adelaide's metropolitan councils issued 7694 fines in 2011 for parking in cycle lanes on main roads – at $225 a fine – with Charles Sturt Council alone collecting almost $6000,000.
Many of the fines were issued during peak hours when cycling lanes became a clearway, while other roads had permanent designated bike lanes in which parking was always illegal.
The state's peak cycling body says slugging motorists with these hefty fines will not improve safety for cyclists forced to weave around illegally-parked cars into traffic along Adelaide's busiest roads.
Cycling SA executive office Gary Simpson said many of Adelaide's main roads were “ridiculously congested” and were unable to cope with modern traffic flows.
“The solution has been to paint a white line on these already congested roads and call them bike lane. This is completely inadequate,” he said.
“Cyclists and motorists should be jointly calling on the Government to get its road planning and bike lanes / bike paths strategies correct for now and the future.”
Amy Gillett Foundation chief executive Tracey Gaudry said motorists who ignored parking conditions or believed they could run the gauntlet caused serious dangers for cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers.
“It is creating obstacles for bike riders and it is absolutely making it harder for motorists as well if a cyclist is forced to swerve into the path of a car rather than being able to stay in the bike lane,” Ms Gaudry said.
Transport Department cycling and walking spokesman Peter Watts said he was concerned at the numbers of motorists who continued to flout the law.
“The risks are obvious, if a vehicle is parked in an area dedicated to cyclists, then cyclists need to intrude into the adjacent traffic lane to get around them,” Mr Watts said.
“By the same token cyclists need to play their part to; if there's a dedicated bike lane in operation – they are required to use the lane.”
In the past decade, the State Government has invested more than $100 million on bike lanes and paths, increasing the cycling network by more than 60 per cent.
While Charles Sturt and Tea Tree Gully councils took the hardest line on illegal paring, issuing 2642 and 1138 fines respectively, Burnside, Walkerville, Unley and Playford councils issued fewer than 10 fines for the year.
Charles Sturt chief executive Mark Withers said the problem areas were along Port Rd, Hindmarsh, and Tapleys Hill Rd and his council was determined to make its roads as safe as possible for cyclists.
“Unfortunately the issue of expiation notices to ensure that bicycle corridors are open for use is a by-product of this policy,” he said.
“It is also important to note that the State Government introduced both the bicycle lanes and expiation fees on arterial roads and council is simply policing those traffic controls.”
Local Government Association president Kym McHugh said the number of fines issued varied greatly between councils depending on the length of the cycle lanes in each area, parking pressures and the number of alternative cycling routes such as bike paths. “It is disappointing that almost 7700 fines had to be issued across 15 metropolitan councils but hopefully the fines will remind people that bike lanes are there for a reason,” Mr McHugh said.
See how much metro council collected http://adelaidnow.com.au
Published in Sunday Mail of 22-Jan-2012 on pages 1, 8.
by Andrew Dowdell
Heather's note: Walkerville Council issued fewer than 10 fines for the year. This puzzles me, because I reported more than 10 vehicles illegally parked in the Walkerville Terrace bicycle lanes. Remember the chaos when the footpaths were widened?
An addition on 1-Nov-2012.
I have prepared a flyer (pdf format) that a lawyer checked. 4 flyers per A4 page so cheap to copy.
I do not know about the legality of placing on the windscreen of an empty vehicle, but my flyer includes the words 'a community safety message'. If the driver in attendance (less common) be aware of your approach and words. My local council has decided that when an occupied vehicle parked in a bicycle lane, an inspector will take a photo rather than speak to the driver. Drivers can get abusive to inspectors plus council staff who take the payments. Some drivers think it is their right to park in bicycle lanes!
I have perhaps a little sympathy for someone who parked their car and genuinely did not know they were in a functioning bike lane (sometimes they're open only 2 hours a day) only to come back to a $225 fine, The reasons that make painted bike lanes close to useless at protecting cyclists are probably the same reasons that some motorists do not even realise they are there.
I have spoken to motorists parked in Prospect Road bicycle lanes. Use the approach of "Do you know that you are parked in a bicycle lane and can get a large fine?" Some thank me and move on. Others say they realise and will park there anyway.
Really? Then they deserve no sympathy for the fine.
> Others say they realise and will park there anyway.
Idiots and $ ..
I have a fair bit of sympathy as well. It's a big sum of money for some people to find (it's about a week's NewStart unemployment benefit).
The problem is that the previous fine was so low that the Port Road motor traders would simply cop the fine as they could justify the expense of parking their goods in the bike lane (more cars on their lot, more exposure for their business).
I read the meetings of one local council where this was discussed and I got a strong sense that the council saw it as a new unexploited source of revenue.
Personally, I find cars and trucks which drive down the bike lane to be much more of a threat to me than parked cars in the bike lane. The classic being the bridge at Mawson Lakes station when at peak hour cars treat the bike lane as another lane of motorised traffic. Whenever I read complaints in the media of cyclists disregarding the road rules then that part of my commute comes to mind as the perfect counter-example.
Glen, it depends on the road and width. When cars park in the Prospect Road bicycle lane, cyclists forced within reach of opening doors.
Bicycle lanes help motorists and cyclists to share the road safely.
Bicycle lanes are clearly signposted with their operating times indicated.
Bicycle lanes are for cyclists' use only. Motorists, including motorcyclists, must not drive, park or stop in a bicycle lane during the times displayed.
Bicycle lanes are clearly marked with an unbroken line, usually on the left side of the road. Continuity lines (short broken lines) are used to alert motorists to take care as they are crossing a bicycle lane.
For more information download the information brochure on bicycle lanes.
One section of Islington Road, near the (former) Islington Workshops has a very interesting Bike Lane during evening peak period. The signage indicates a Bike Lane, but there are no associated road markings. Is one entitled to assume that motor vehicles are not permitted to travel north on this section of Churchill Road at the stated times because the whole left side of the road is a Bike Lane?
Other parts of Churchill Road have road markings for Bike Lanes, but no associated signage.
David, could you please provide more detail? Like where each section begins and ends according to business name, street number in Churchill Road, and the side streets.Plus photos. It sounds like both sections are not correctly marked, therefore unenforceable with fines, and therefore no benefit for cyclists. If you provide this detail, I will contact the appropriate authorities from Prospect BUG or Adelaide BUG.
An arterial road, so at first appears to be the responsibility of DTEI / DPTI. However, if it includes the section upgraded by Prospect Council contractors, then not the responsibility of DPTI.
I doubt most motorists realise how inconvenient it can be..
To get around where they've parked you need to take your eyes off the road ahead, look behind you, if another car is behind you - or a stream of them you better stop and be held up for a few minutes.. then pull out around the car and take up more space on the road, making other cars angry that they can't overtake you.
Typical Sunday Mail sensationalist sub-editing (the sub-editors are "responsible" for article titles). A better and more accurate headline would have been: "Motorists gripe about getting caught breaking law with respect to bike lanes."
grubby is the word for journalists and we all know conflict sells papers, whipping up hysteria about lycra-clad hooligans or boat people, taxpayer funds wastage or pollies perks is what their aim is. the print newspaper is a dying medium, they'll do almost anything these days to sell a paper. Including marginalize a section of the community(us), you just have to read the hateful comments the subbie let through to the online site to realise we cyclists are to be portrayed as a nuisance for the express aim of generating further comments/page-hits.