The ACT Parliament recently introduced the new Road Transport (Road Rules) Regulation 2017 (ACT) (‘the Regulations’) which will commence from 30 April 2018.
The regulations consolidate the Australian Road Rules and the ACT specific road rules from the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000 as well as adding a few new rules.
How will these ACT road rules affect bike riders? Richard Faulks, Managing Director at Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers, takes a look at 6 rules in the new regulations that specifically relate to cycling.
Breaches of regulations can incur hefty fines.

1.   Towing a bicycle trailer

A bike rider must be 16 years or older to tow a bicycle trailer. In addition, the person in the trailer must be less than 10 years old and wearing a helmet.  Potential fine: $3000.

2.   When crossing

It is an offence for a bike rider to approach a crossing:

  • at a speed greater than 10 km/h; or
  • without looking for approaching traffic and being prepared to stop.

In addition, it is an offence for a cyclist to ride on a crossing:

  • at a speed greater than 10 km/h; or
  • without giving way to a pedestrian; or
  • by not keeping to the left of an oncoming bicycle or pedestrian.

A ‘crossing’ means a children’s crossing, marked foot crossing or pedestrian crossing. Potential fine for either provision: $3,000.

3.   On footpaths

A bike rider:

  • cannot ride on a separated footpath that is designated for pedestrians; and
  • must keep to the left of a footpath or shared path unless it is impracticable to do so; and
  • must give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path.

This means that a pedestrian is not obliged to move out of a cyclist’s way. Potential fine for any provision: $3,000.

4.   At night

A bike rider cannot ride at night unless the bicycle or rider displays a flashing or steady red or white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres. A cyclist must also display a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 meters from the rear of the bicycle and that light must be clear to a vehicle that has its headlights on low-beam. Potential fine: $3000.

5.   Equipment

  • A bicycle must have at least one effective brake and a warning device such as a bell.
  • The bike rider and any passenger on a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet that is securely fastened on the rider’s head.
  • If the passenger of the bicycle does not wear a helmet, the rider must not ride the bicycle even if he or she is wearing a helmet. Potential fine: $3,000.

6.   New section

If a cyclist approaches an intersection that has bicycle crossing lights and traffic lights, the cyclist may cross the intersection if the bicycle crossing lights are green even if the traffic lights are red or yellow.   The Regulations provide that a green bicycle crossing light is an illuminated green bicycle symbol. This allows cyclists to cross an intersection along the road rather than having to go along a pedestrian crossing.

Snedden Hall & Gallop can assist you

Snedden Hall & Gallop has a close association with Pedal Power ACT and other sporting groups and we are well informed on bike riders’ rights and ready to assist with information and advice for all ACT bike riders. We can also assist with cycling accident compensation on a no-win, no-fee basis and can provide initial information obligation-free so that an injured person immediately knows what they can do and how to do it.  Please contact us on (02) 6285 8000 or by email.

Richard thanks Paralegal Daniel Low for his contribution to this blog.
Update 23 March, 2018: The fines mentioned are maximum fines, and unlikely to be applied unless accompanied by significant past poor cycling or driving record. They are technically the possible outcomes.