Cycling Rules

ROAD RULES AFFECTING CYCLISTS

One of the most important, yet undervalued, aspects of riding your bike, is knowing the road rules affecting how and where you ride.

The following information comes from the Western Australian Office of Road Safety website. This website contains comprehensive information about Road Rules and Penalties, but also a wealth of information on other Road safety topics and related campaigns and programs.

Western Australian road rules are contained with the WA Road Traffic Code 2000.

Most rules applying to motor vehicle drivers/riders also apply to cyclists riding on a road.  There are, however, a few rules that only apply to cyclists. 

Cyclists:

  • must have at least one hand on the handlebars while in motion;
  • must wear an approved helmet while in motion (unless exempted);
  • must not ride within two metres of the rear of a motor vehicle, over a distance of more than 200 metres;
  • must not hold onto another moving vehicle or be towed by it;
  • must not be more than two bicycles abreast on a road.  When riding abreast, the two bicycles must be no more than 1.5 metres apart;
  • must use the correct hand signals to turn left or right and to stop;
  • can use the left lane of a roundabout when turning right, provided they give way to all exiting traffic;
  • must not ride in a pedestrian mall;
  • cannot overtake on the left side of a motor vehicle if that motor vehicle is moving and indicating to turn left; and
  • must be equipped with a front light that is either a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres in front of a vehicle, if riding at night or in a condition of reduced visibility.

As of 26 April 2016, the Road Traffic Code was altered to allow people over the age of 12 to also ride on footpaths - bringing WA in line with the rest of Australia. Common sense must prevail however, and only slow cycling is permitted on footpaths, with pedestrians retaining priority on these. Anyone cycling on a footpath is recommended to ride in single file and to exercise caution around driveways and pedestrians.

There are still some areas where cyclists cannot ride on footpaths - in the City of Vincent, this includes the Britannia Reserve walking path. 

The following guidelines facilitate the sharing of footpaths and shared paths:

  • Riders must keep left on shared paths and footpaths unless overtaking;
  • Riders must give way to pedestrians at all times;
  • At path intersections you must signal your intention to turn, and give way to motor vehicles entering or exiting an intersecting road;
  • Riders must only travel in single file on all paths, though they can travel two abreast on a road;
  • Animals must not be tied to a moving bike;
  • Slow down when passing pedestrians — remember they are slower and can be unpredictable;
  • When approaching pedestrians from behind, always ring your bell about 30 metres before reaching them.  If they are aware of your presence with plenty of time to spare, they are less likely to make sudden sideways movements; and
  • Be particularly careful where a shared path crosses a busy road

In addition to the above, the Department of Transport also has a fantastic publication, CYCLING RULES,  which outlines not only the road rules, but advises what bikes are permitted on shared paths (some, like petrol powered bikes over 200 watts, are not permitted) and some great riding tips.

For more information, please contact the City's TravelSmart Officer on 9273 6558 or by email at francois.sauzier@vincent.wa.gov.au