I have a question following a recent conversation about bike lanes. The law in SA makes it clear that you must ride in a bicycle lane when one is provided (with exceptions like avoiding hazards, etc.), but what about timed bike lanes? If it is outside the hours of operation of the bike lane, is a cyclist still required to ride in it?
I'm not asking if it is safer, a good idea to, or just courtesy, but where does the law stand? Could you be fined for riding outside a non-operating bicycle lane?
Strictly it's not a bike lane outside of the stated hours, but part of the driving lane. The magic paint isn't magic during that time.
Timed bike lanes don't exist outside their hours of operation. Basically they become parking lanes unless some other arrangement applies (maybe clearway...)
That's what I thought, but it's not mentioned specifically in SA's version of the Australian Road Rules.
The only time-related things are school zones and clearways, both of which have no effect when outside hours of operation, so I guess that could be argued in court.
But immediately after what you quoted, it says "Note - Rule 153 defines a bicycle lane..."
Rule 153 says in part:
(4) A bicycle lane is a marked lane, or the part of a marked lane—
(a) beginning at a bicycle lane sign applying to the lane, or a road marking comprising both a white bicycle symbol and the word "lane" painted in white; ...
So yes, it needs to be marked correctly, not just "designed for bicycles", I would argue.
But like you, I can't find anything about signs defining bicycle lanes in certain hours only. Maybe someone else can help.
First principles - when a bike lane is marked with operation times (adjacent signs) it means that outside those times the lane is not there. This generally means that outside the operation times the kerb-side space is available for other purposes, most notably casual car parking. Which means that there is no necessity to ride in the lane outside the times of operation (though bearing in mind the stricture that one must always keep to the left etc etc). A prime example has been the bike lane outside the civic buildings on St Vincent St, Port Adelaide. Incidentally there are instances where white lines have been painted alongside kerbs - the Port Expressway is a case in point. Without appropriate signage these are not 'bike lanes'. On the PREXY the line marks the edge of the traffic lane and the border of a 'breakdown' lane.
Unfortunately if you encounter a police officer who thinks differently that won't stop you being fined. Then the only real way to contest the fine is to waste time and money going to court - with no guaranteed outcome. There have been several instances of being fined in "non" bike lanes discussed in this forum and I expect most people would simply pay the expiation.
Savvas and others are correct, ARR’s allow for road signs to be modified by other information thus the bike lanes only exists between the times as modified and not 24hours. Outside the modified time the lane doesn’t exist, the line effectively disappears.
If you were to be issued a fine, be polite but express your view. If you still get the fine, take it on the chin at the time and everyone go their own way. Cyclist take a photo of the nearest bike lane sign and send it to expiation notice branch with note asking for a review. Details are on the rear of the blue paper you get. This will be reviewed and the fine withdrawn if issued outside the bikelane times. No need to go to court.
Perhaps you're correct, but when I googled yesterday I found one of the situations Carlos was referring to... https://adelaidecyclists.com/forum/topics/can-cyclists-use-main-roa... .
On Page 10 of that the thread, the poster said that he disputed the fine, and the cops wrote back and basically said, "no, we were right, the fine stands". Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the poster never came back to tell whether he went to court, or just paid the fine, or something else.
If there are any other examples of people being incorrectly fined for this, I'd be interested to hear them.
They have done exactly what I said. In part the letter said “I have reviewed the information provided and relevant documentation held at the Branch. I have decided that the matter will stand” and a bit later “The issuing officer alleges that you were observed riding a bicycle North on Unley Road outside of the clearly marked bicycle lane”
They have checked the legislation, checked with the issuing officers and determined the expiation notice was issued correctly. What we are talking about is an expiation notice issued incorrectly ie failing to use a bikelane during times it is not a bikelane which is not an offence.
But that gets us back to the topic of this post: Unley Road northbound most definitely is not a bicycle lane outside morning rush hour (7.30-9am Mon-Fri), yet in that post back in 2013, the cops said the fine stands. I can only think of the following possibilities:
1. The cops were wrong.
2. The cyclist mis-remembered the time of the incident (which is unlikely because in his post on page 10 he says he pointed out the parked cars), or some other detail which made it a valid bike lane (also unlikely because of the parked cars).
3. The cyclist was lying when he posted here (again, seems unlikely).
4. The law isn't what everyone on this thread (including me) thinks, and you can still be fined for riding outside a bicycle lane out of hours.
The date the fine was issued and the time and date of the alleged offence are all on the notice which are part of the checks done. Also the lanes work exactly as we understand. A part time bikelane is just that and outside of those times it isn’t a bikelane and thus no offence. The poster could post photo of fine with the allegations box and location date time off offence.
There is no confusion as to how this rule works. Parked cars may well be parked illegally, just let us see a copy of the fine