Safer Cycling Reforms

On 25 October 2018, Minister Rattenbury announced the permanent inclusion of safe cycling reforms into the ACT, which includes minimum passing requirements and allowing cyclists to ride across crossings. 

The Safer Cycling Reforms project arises out of 5 recommendations from a 2014 Legislative Inquiry into vulnerable road users:

The ACT commenced a two year trial of the minimum passing distance rule and riding across pedestrian crossings on 1 November 2015.

 

Minimum overtaking rule for passing cyclists

Motorists are required to provide a minimum lateral distance of one metre when overtaking a cyclist in speed zones at or below 60km/h and one and a half metres in speed zones above 60km/h.

The overtaking distance is measured from the right most part of the bicycle, the rider, or the bicycle’s trailer, to the leftmost part of the motor vehicle, or anything projecting from the vehicle or trailer (eg. side mirror) at a height that could strike the rider or their bicycle or trailer. 

Safe cycling

 

To enable drivers to provide the minimum overtaking distances on narrow roads or roads with narrow lanes, motorists are allowed to cross centre lines, straddle lane-lines and drive on painted islands, provided the motorist has a clear view of any approaching traffic and that it is safe to do so.

Safe Cycling 2

 

Where there is no clear view ahead or it is not safe to provide the distance, motorists need to slow down behind the cyclist and wait until it is safe to pass. 

The minimum overtaking rule will educate drivers about what constitutes a safe distance when overtaking cyclists.

 

Riding across pedestrian crossings

The rules also include allowing cyclists to ride slowly across signalised marked foot crossings, children’s crossings and pedestrian crossings (at no more than 10km/h).

Riders must only ride on a marked foot crossing if the crossing is showing a green bicycle/pedestrian crossing light.

Cyclists are required to slow to 10km/h on the approach to the crossing, check for any approaching traffic and be prepared to stop. This is to allow motorists to see and respond to the cyclist before they make the crossing – motorists must give way to cyclists and pedestrians on crossings. Cyclists must also keep to the left of the crossing and give way to any pedestrians on the crossing. 

The change to allow cyclists to ride across crossings is intended to provide amenity for cyclists, without compromising safety for cyclists and any other road user.

Safe Cycling 3

The rule in a snap shot 

Minimum overtaking rule

When driving a car you must provide a minimum distance of 1 metre when overtaking a cyclist in speed zones at or below 60km/h and 1.5 metres in speed zones above 60km/h.

The distance is measured from the right most part of the bicycle or rider to the leftmost part of the motor vehicle (or anything projecting at a height that could strike the bicycle or trailer eg. mirror).
The minimum distance applies on all roads In the ACT, including those with a marked bicycle lane.  There are no exemptions. 

To enable drivers to provide the minimum overtaking distances on narrow roads or roads with narrow lanes, you will be allowed to cross centre lines, straddle lane-lines and drive on painted islands, provided you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and that it is safe to do so.
Where there is no clear view ahead or it is not safe to provide the distance, you need to slow down behind the cyclist and wait until it is safe to pass
Drivers who fail to comply with the rule may be issued a $292 fine and accrue two demerit points.

Riding across pedestrian crossings

When riding a bicycle you are able to ride slowly across signalised marked foot crossings, children’s crossings and pedestrian crossings (at no more than 10km/h).

You must slow to 10km/h on the approach to the crossing, check for any approaching traffic and be prepared to stop. This is to allow motorists to see and respond to you before you make the crossing – motorists must give way to bicycles and pedestrians on crossings.

You must keep to the left of the crossing and give way to any pedestrians on the crossing.

You may be issued a traffic infringement notice for failing to comply with the road rule, including failing to slow on the approach to the crossing and failing to check for approaching traffic. The penalty for each of these offences is $151.

 

To find out more about sharing the road please see the links below.