Last year NSW road rules were changed in relation to cyclists.
Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and motorcycle riders. Drivers must watch out for cyclists as they are smaller than cars and harder to see. Cyclists also have the right, like other vehicles, to travel on roads and be shown courtesy and care by other road users.
Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space
From 1 March 2016, drivers who pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least:
- 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
- 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h
The Go Together campaign has more information for drivers on the laws to help everyone respect each other’s space and stay safe on the road.
Tips when driving near cyclists
- Cyclists are more difficult to see than cars or trucks, especially at night. Take care to check for bicycle riders in blind spots and especially when turning at intersections.
- Sometimes a bicycle can travel faster than a car, particularly in slow-moving traffic. Never underestimate their speed and do not to cut them off by moving in front of them. Remember that it takes cyclists longer to stop than cars.
- Check in your rear-view and side mirrors to avoid opening your car door into the path of bicycle riders. It can be dangerous and is legally your fault.
- At times, bicycle riders may need the full width of a lane to ride safely because of rough road edges and gravel. Be prepared to slow down and allow the rider to travel away from the kerb.
- Children on bikes can be unpredictable – be prepared to slow down and stop
- Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast (side by side)
A few Lane Cove cyclists asked us to bring ITC followers attention to these rules.
One cyclist told us they have started commuting from Riverview to the city, using the separated cycle way along the freeway for part of the way. When not in a cycle lane the cyclist is generally highly impressed with the consideration and observance of the road rules by most drivers. However, twice in the past month in Lane Cove, they have been harassed to the point of being run off the road by motorists. When the cyclist spoke to the two drivers they both insisted that bikes have no right to take up a lane on the road. The cyclist was of the view that neither one of these drivers would have had a clue that their harassment and failure to keep the minimum distance would have earned them a loss of 2 demerit points and a fine of $319.
It is a two-way street and cyclists must remember that they must abide by the road rules and they cannot run red lights.
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at email@example.com