Don't the same normal road rules apply to any public road/path ?
Keep to the left. Cyclists sound your bell for cyclists. If pedestrians do the wrong thing, onus on cyclists to avoid a collision. Some motorised vehicles permitted on shared paths, e.g. council vehicles, but must travel slowly and often use hazard lights.
Don, search www.dpti.sa.gov.au and post a link here.
Slower vehicles that are in front of you have right of way, especially pedestrians. They are not allowed to unreasonably obstruct another shared path use by unpredictably stepping into the path of another shared path user.
It all really comes down to etiquette.
Serious accidents are rare and only usually occur when someones going too fast.
I don't think there is a speed limit, but I would say any more than 20 going past pedestrians is a little eager. When it's clear though, use your own judgement.
What about bicycles with motors? I've seen a few of them lately. They probably shouldn't be using shared paths, but I suspect that there's a loophole in the law in regard to them (I will have to check and report back!)
Also, I've always assumed that dogs must be on leads on shared paths (maybe someone could clarify this), but they're usually not and are the most dangerous hazard in my experience, having hit a couple of them.
I've used an electric-assist motor on a number of shared paths. It's not the presence of the motor that is the issue, it's the speed at which you ride.
The petrol 'assist' bikes which are usually, but not always, overpowered and illegal, but even then the issue is more to do with how they are ridden. Mind you, they smell regardless.
I had a look but could not find anything regarding shared paths and the interactions of various users.
I did find an interesting statistics that 99.5% of cyclists wear helmets.
However 7% of cyclists who are seriously injured are not wearing a helmet.
But that is getting off topic for the post :-)
So in made up statistic land do plastic bicycle hats also protect against road rash on knees, elbows and hands? Sprains of the ankle/wrist? Or even the more serious injuries which some suffer, such as dislocated shoulders and fractured collar bones? You know the sort of injuries that people actually suffer - but not very often - in fact unless you are riding unsafely why should you suffer any injuries at all?
Oh but I am forgetting there seems to be an intent to demonise cycling and make it appear unsafe. Some would have you believe it is inherently risky. Maybe it should be left to daredevils or those with no care for the own personal safety.
Maybe these devices would help those members who find cycling so unsafe:-
Life is risky. If you want to live, build a titanium bunker and live in it, no power, no gas, no water (all of those could kill you). If we didn't take risks, we would not have lives. You cannot say that any form of transport is without risk, and those "plastic bicycle hats" as you have called them are just the way our government has decided to bandaid our deteriorating road system and driver education methods. However we have come a long way from this.
Tim, I have been injured 4 times on the road: 3 times from negligent drivers and once from poor road maintenance (in Oct-2011 and still having physio after a broken shoulder). At no time was I cycling fast or disobeying the road rules. So I don't like your generalisation.
Heather this thread was about Shared Paths - well it sort of was. I don't think you'll find too many negligent drivers on Shared Paths - then again any driver on a Shared Path would by definition be negligent unless of course they are a council worker. Yes roads are unsafe and its possible to be clobbered through no fault of your own. Anyway my post was facetious, maybe in made up statistic land as in the real world, generalisations are generally to be taken with a generous dash of salt. My post was more a commentary about the linked comments (bolded) and the original post.