Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby Percrime » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:09 pm

lucky7 wrote:My cousin got stopped by Police while riding, and (I suspect amongst other things) was asked to show the Aus Standards stickers inside his helmet. Unsure of the interaction that may have preceded this, but that is surely one step beyond fining for no bell?



One step above cavity search. As you get wiser you will realise that while most cops are OK and mostly annoying them is a bad idea... a small % of cops are not OK and you annoy them by breathing the same air that they do.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:13 pm

Is there an echo in here?

Bells are good, I have TWO on my commuter. :mrgreen:
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The FGs have nice brrriiiiinnggg bells 'cos sometimes you just feel so damn good when you're out that you want to make some nice noises but you had Lucy Ricardo as your voice coach BITD.
I whistle a lot too since I went Fixed. :D
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby andione1983 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:27 pm

There's some funny comments on here.. Gave me a laugh..

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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:29 pm

jcjordan wrote:Pedestrians have no idea what this piddly ding noise means so they either ignore it or stop suddenly to investigate.

They then move on front of you as you try and maneuver around them.


Not my experience at all. But horses for courses - there is no law that says you must use the bell.




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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby andione1983 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:32 pm

il padrone wrote:
jcjordan wrote:Pedestrians have no idea what this piddly ding noise means so they either ignore it or stop suddenly to investigate.

They then move on front of you as you try and maneuver around them.


Not my experience at all. But horses for courses - there is no law that says you must use the bell.




so the law says you must have one on a bike... But not necessarily use it... Lol the law is an ass again.

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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:35 pm

andione1983 wrote:so the law says you must have one on a bike... But not necessarily use it... Lol the law is an ass again.


The law is not so prescriptive. It's a bit like there is no law saying you must use your brakes - you can slow down however you like :wink: Just make sure you do it safely.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:06 pm

Percrime wrote:
andione1983 wrote:My bother is a cop and reckons he gave a ticket to a guy for not having a bell? Has anyone been fined for not having a bell on their bicycle? I think he said the fine was $180

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Yep its the law. Its a stupid law....as some of us are perfectly happy using our voices.

About equally as stupid as riders that race up behind me and mumble "bike right" or something else unintelligible from about half a second away.

Perhaps one day someone at speed will actually use his voice to good effect in place of bell. But in years of riding I can't recall experiencing it yet.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:10 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
blkmcs wrote:I find it hard to imagine a cyclist so stupid as to not have a bell!


For what purpose other than avoiding a fine or riding on paths? On the road a bell isn't going to do a damn thing, surely you don't think a motorist is going to hear a little 'ting-ting' and not run you down?


Gee, for what other purpose? Wow that's a tough one. :?

For peds and other riders. Much as we expect drivers to watch out for vulnerable us, we should be watching out for vulnerable others.

Though, as Percrime and others point out, sometimes those vunerable others find a bell offensive. Go figger. Sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don't
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby bychosis » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:05 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:About equally as stupid as riders that race up behind me and mumble "bike right" or something else unintelligible from about half a second away.

Perhaps one day someone at speed will actually use his voice to good effect in place of bell. But in years of riding I can't recall experiencing it yet.


Agree, bell is a universal "here comes a bike". one ping to get them to listen, second ping for "heres a bike".
Voice is used for everything and so requires alerting the ped to listen and for them to recognise what is said and understand it too. A process which can take enough time to pass.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby VRE » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:03 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
Percrime wrote:
andione1983 wrote:My bother is a cop and reckons he gave a ticket to a guy for not having a bell? Has anyone been fined for not having a bell on their bicycle? I think he said the fine was $180

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Yep its the law. Its a stupid law....as some of us are perfectly happy using our voices.

About equally as stupid as riders that race up behind me and mumble "bike right" or something else unintelligible from about half a second away.

This is exactly the same behaviour we see in motorists. I'm convinced only a small percentage of Australian motorists know how to use indicators properly. Why should Australian cyclists be any different? Some of them seem to be translating their driving habits to cycling.
ColinOldnCranky wrote:Perhaps one day someone at speed will actually use his voice to good effect in place of bell. But in years of riding I can't recall experiencing it yet.

I prefer to use a bell instead of my voice. Quite often if I try to use my voice, only a croak comes out, a shortcoming the bell hasn't got. Most pedestrians I encounter (a) know perfectly well what the bell means and (b) have no problem with me using it.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby BastardSheep » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:18 am

VRE wrote:I prefer to use a bell instead of my voice. Quite often if I try to use my voice, only a croak comes out, a shortcoming the bell hasn't got. Most pedestrians I encounter (a) know perfectly well what the bell means and (b) have no problem with me using it.


My voice always sounds angry/sarcastic when riding. I always feel bad when I forget and failingly try to genuinely thank someone for keeping left on a path, passing me and giving a decent amount of space, looking before opening a car door etc. For that reason I prefer to stick to the bell. This is just a personal preference though for what works best for me and me alone.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby Ross » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:34 am

jcjordan wrote:+1

Bells have in my experience proven to do more harm than good.

Pedestrians have no idea what this piddly ding noise means so they either ignore it or stop suddenly to investigate.

They then move on front of you as you try and maneuver around them.

Better to voice your actions.

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I find the opposite. 98% of peds (and slower cyclists) acknowledge the bell and move to the left out of the way and usually give a wave when I go past. If you shout out "stay left" or similar a lot of peds get confused and move in front of you.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby rangersac » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:30 am

I think it depends on where you ride. The rule is stupid because on the road a bell is useless. Cars etc can't hear you and reaching for gives you less control. Plus by the time you get there whatever you want to ding at is long gone. On a shared path a bell has its uses, despite the the lack of response by some peds etc. I don't have bells on my bikes because 99% of my riding is on the road. Where it isn't I use my voice.

I'd love to see the stats on how many of those fined for not having a bell were either riding stupidly, breaking a law or being a smart alec. Somehow I bet it would be most.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby Gerry.M » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:45 am

Ross wrote:
jcjordan wrote:+1

Bells have in my experience proven to do more harm than good.

Pedestrians have no idea what this piddly ding noise means so they either ignore it or stop suddenly to investigate.

They then move on front of you as you try and maneuver around them.

Better to voice your actions.

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I find the opposite. 98% of peds (and slower cyclists) acknowledge the bell and move to the left out of the way and usually give a wave when I go past. If you shout out "stay left" or similar a lot of peds get confused and move in front of you.


+1
I find the same. Most dog walkers, shared path users etc I've encountered know what a bell means, i.e. get left and stay there till i'm passed.
There is the exception who stand startled in the middle of the path, or the couples who split left and right !!

In regards to new bikes, if it's law to have a bell your bike, then why don't all new bikes come with one?
My recent purchase of a carbon road bike didn't have a bell (not surprisingly) but did have all the daggy reflectors on it, which I believe are also law.

Should I go back to the shop to request said bell?
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby Summernight » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:49 am

rangersac wrote:I think it depends on where you ride. The rule is stupid because on the road a bell is useless. Cars etc can't hear you and reaching for gives you less control. Plus by the time you get there whatever you want to ding at is long gone. On a shared path a bell has its uses, despite the the lack of response by some peds etc. I don't have bells on my bikes because 99% of my riding is on the road. Where it isn't I use my voice.


My bell is now placed in the drop just under the hood - all it requires is a slight shift of the little finger and it can get pinged. So there is no compromise to my braking/steering ability. It was a freebie bell from the City of Melbourne that I got at the last Ride to Work Day. :)

Although yes, this is used only on the shared path or in one quiet laneway off one of the CBD's main roads where pedestrians can't be bothered using the stairs that are right beside the road and would prefer to walk on the road so they don't have to do stair reps in their walk from the coffee shop back to the office.

Once I get the Hornit I'll probably take the bell off. You don't need a bell AND a Hornit/Air Zound/something else loud to comply with the road rules.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby bychosis » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:01 am

Gerry.M wrote:In regards to new bikes, if it's law to have a bell your bike, then why don't all new bikes come with one?
My recent purchase of a carbon road bike didn't have a bell (not surprisingly) but did have all the daggy reflectors on it, which I believe are also law.

Should I go back to the shop to request said bell?


I think most bike shops have a great big box of bells and reflectors that they either remove from bikes for customers, don't bother fitting or use to fit when a customer requests the item. If you want one you should ask.

To sell the bike it should have bell, reflectors, a chain protection device (a derailleur counts), two brakes and possibly more even though you only need some of that stuff to ride legally on the road, bell being one item.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby jasonc » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:22 am

Gerry.M wrote:Should I go back to the shop to request said bell?


yes. if they say no, then you can have some fun....
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:28 pm

I'm a slower rider and I use a bike path once a week for a ride with a couple of mates and I really hate those imperious pricks who are just too lazy or too engrossed with setting a new bike path lap record to be bothered with either dinging their bell or raising their voices to let us know they are coming through. I mean, how much effort does it take, FFS?
I have a belief that Australians are among the worst drivers in the developed nations and I now believe a lot of them are transferring that to their cycling habits as well.
How up yourself do you have to be not to be polite in any way at all?
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby rjk » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:35 pm

to save myself from geting booked i have a bell mounted on my bike....but it is on the seat post, you should see the looks i get when i reach down between my legs and ring my bells ;)
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby simonn » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:44 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:I'm a slower rider and I use a bike path once a week for a ride with a couple of mates and I really hate those imperious pricks who are just too lazy or too engrossed with setting a new bike path lap record to be bothered with either dinging their bell or raising their voices to let us know they are coming through. I mean, how much effort does it take, FFS?
I have a belief that Australians are among the worst drivers in the developed nations and I now believe a lot of them are transferring that to their cycling habits as well.
How up yourself do you have to be not to be polite in any way at all?


There is probably a rider on a forum somewhere complaining about record setting cyclists shouting at h{er,im} when they overtake. If it was the law to do so, I think you would have a point. However, it is not the law so you cannot really expect it to occur.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:07 pm

Don't be so twee, Simon. Or does the last line in my previous post apply to you?

So don't give a verbal warning re passing, that's okay. But seriously, are some of these riders so on the edge or so wrung-out with the effort of it all that they can't lift a thumb off the bar for one solitary flick onto a bell lever? Man, I'd hate to be that caught up in the moment.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:32 pm

rjk wrote:to save myself from geting booked i have a bell mounted on my bike....but it is on the seat post, you should see the looks i get when i reach down between my legs and ring my bells ;)

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:41 pm

I don't have to use a bell nor do I. A few times I did use one and mostly it was OK but a couple of times I would get a ped self-primed to respond to any cyclist on "her" path ringing a bell. Of course, once the rapidly turned scowling face sees the unicycle it becomes all friendly and sweet. A certain unwarranted attitude there.

Of course, I would likely get the same rare response if I shouted "biek right" or similar. So I just say "excuse me" once or twice before I am too close. Which at my my speed is fine but not necessarily useful for a reasonably paced bike.

As I said, damned if you do, damned if you don't. I don't worry too much about the legaliy of bells, I'd be happy if riders at speed just stopped threading by between me and oncoming riders or around me as I pass a ped. Fat chance I think. All community have self-important d1khedz, even cycling. Bells don't fix that.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby find_bruce » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:21 pm

bychosis wrote:
Gerry.M wrote:In regards to new bikes, if it's law to have a bell your bike, then why don't all new bikes come with one?
My recent purchase of a carbon road bike didn't have a bell (not surprisingly) but did have all the daggy reflectors on it, which I believe are also law.

Should I go back to the shop to request said bell?


I think most bike shops have a great big box of bells and reflectors that they either remove from bikes for customers, don't bother fitting or use to fit when a customer requests the item. If you want one you should ask.

To sell the bike it should have bell, reflectors, a chain protection device (a derailleur counts), two brakes and possibly more even though you only need some of that stuff to ride legally on the road, bell being one item.

The requirement comes from the Trade Practices Act 1974 - Consumer Protection Notice No. 6 of 2004 - Consumer Product Safety Standard: Pedal Bicycles: Safety Requirements. There are however quite a few exceptions
Pedal bicycles, including fully assembled or partially assembled bicycles, but not including the following:
1. bicycles having a wheel base of less than 640mm;
2. bicycles which are designed, promoted and supplied primarily for use in competition;
3. one of a kind bicycles, being bicycles that are uniquely constructed to the order of an individual consumer;
4. bicycles which are designed to be hinged or folded, or to be taken apart beyond removal of the front wheel, for ease of storage or portability;
5. tandem bicycles;
6. power assisted bicycles;
7. bicycles showing signs of appreciable wear or second hand bicycles; and
8. recumbent bicycles.

The most commonly used is 2, even though a large proportion of such bikes will never see a race number.
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Re: Apparently it's law to have a bell on a bike?

Postby clackers » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Even my MTB has a bell, and certainly ring it when my spider sense says this ped may need it.

If I get abused for using it, at least one of us was doing the right thing.
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