riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

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riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby amt » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:38 pm

I wanted to be better informed about the road rules pertaining to cyclist and the SA handbook for cylists and road rules states

"You must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider in a bicycle lane unless overtaking."

The majority of cyclists I see including myself and my mates ride 2 abreast in a bicycle lane. Wow I was shocked. Its virtually impossible to ride 2 abreast in a bike lane anyway and it doesn't matter how many lanes the road has. Yet if there no bike lanes then you can ride 2 abreast. I'm posting this to be better informed as a road user, have I got this right?
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by BNA » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:08 pm

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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:08 pm

Given the source, I'd take it at face value.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby brauluver » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:35 pm

amt wrote:I wanted to be better informed about the road rules pertaining to cyclist and the SA handbook for cylists and road rules states

"You must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider in a bicycle lane unless overtaking."

The majority of cyclists I see including myself and my mates ride 2 abreast in a bicycle lane. Wow I was shocked. Its virtually impossible to ride 2 abreast in a bike lane anyway and it doesn't matter how many lanes the road has. Yet if there no bike lanes then you can ride 2 abreast. I'm posting this to be better informed as a road user, have I got this right?


Where can i get a copy of this for perusal?
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby soc » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:33 am

brauluver wrote:"You must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider in a bicycle lane unless overtaking."


If I'm reading this properly, it's saying you can't ride on the right hand side of the line between the bike lane and the traffic lane if you are riding 2 abreast, i.e. you need to stay within the confines of a bike line when riding 2 abreast.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby m@ » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:51 am

soc wrote:
brauluver wrote:"You must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider in a bicycle lane unless overtaking."


If I'm reading this properly, it's saying you can't ride on the right hand side of the line between the bike lane and the traffic lane if you are riding 2 abreast, i.e. you need to stay within the confines of a bike line when riding 2 abreast.


Sounds correct to me; I'd be interested to read the road rule that this refers to though. Could just be that some bureaucrat has taken it upon themselves to inject some 'common sense' into the handbook ;)

It makes sense though - bicycle lanes don't exist for our benefit; they're to keep us out of the way of real peop^k^k^k^k motorists.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby Chanboy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:53 am

My thoughts are, even if its legal, it probably isn't advisable... at least in Sydney the bike lanes are not really wide enough.

Having said that, my gf and I still do it occasionally when we want to have a chat. I just try to keep a close eye out for other cyclists who want to pass us and move back to single file on those occasions.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby amt » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:08 am

trailgumby wrote:Given the source, I'd take it at face value.


go to this link via Transport SA http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/pdfs/personal_transport/cyclingandlaw.pdf
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby im_no_pro » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:43 am

soc wrote:
brauluver wrote:"You must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider in a bicycle lane unless overtaking."


If I'm reading this properly, it's saying you can't ride on the right hand side of the line between the bike lane and the traffic lane if you are riding 2 abreast, i.e. you need to stay within the confines of a bike line when riding 2 abreast.



Yep, that's the way I read it also.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby m@ » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:21 pm

im_no_pro wrote:
soc wrote:
brauluver wrote:"You must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider in a bicycle lane unless overtaking."


If I'm reading this properly, it's saying you can't ride on the right hand side of the line between the bike lane and the traffic lane if you are riding 2 abreast, i.e. you need to stay within the confines of a bike line when riding 2 abreast.



Yep, that's the way I read it also.

From the link in amt's post above...
Where there is insufficient room for two riders to ride abreast in a bicycle lane, you must ride in single file.

I'd say that puts soc's interpretation beyond any doubt...

Basically what they're saying is that the rule permitting riding two-abreast is trumped by the rule requiring riding in a bike lane if it exists (subject to the usual practicability clause).
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby im_no_pro » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:27 pm

m@ wrote:Basically what they're saying is that the rule permitting riding two-abreast is trumped by the rule requiring riding in a bike lane if it exists (subject to the usual practicability clause).


Thanks, exactly what I was thinking but hadnt managed to put into words just yet :lol:
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby amt » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:28 pm

if thats the case then most riders aren't aware and also I haven't found a bike lane that can accommodate 2 riders comfortably. The silly thing is if there no bike lanes then you can ride 2 abreast.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby brendancg » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:25 pm

This isn't just in South Australia this is Australia wide. One of the many things adopted with the introduction of the Australian Road Rules which standardised road rules within Australia.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:00 pm

G'day

Can you point to the relevant section of the Regulations in SA (not the handbook)? I suggest you do this as I suspect this is referring to a defined bicycle lane, i.e., one which is signed at each end by a sign (on a post) unless of course SA has different rules which may be possible (not all States adopted the National road code fully). Lanes marked with a painted cyclists on the road without a sign on a post are not defined (at least in WA) as bicycle lanes for the purpose of the rule referred to.

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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:09 pm

G'day

Just to add to my post. The following is taken from the WA Road Traffic Code 2000 (as at June 2008)

Regulation 3 (shows a graphic of the signs as well)

bicycle lane means a marked lane, or the part of a marked
lane —
(a) beginning at a “bicycle lane” sign applying to the lane;
and
(b) ending at the nearest of the following:
(i) an “end bicycle lane” sign applying to the lane;
(ii) an intersection (unless the lane is at the unbroken
side of the continuing road at a T-intersection or
continued across the intersection by broken
lines);
(iii) if the carriageway ends at a dead end — the end
of the carriageway;


213. Riding in a bicycle lane
Wherever a bicycle lane is provided as part of a carriageway,
and is in a reasonable condition for use, a rider of a bicycle shall
use that portion of a carriageway and no other.
Modified penalty: 1 PU


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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby brendancg » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:27 pm

NSW Road Rules 2008
Current version for 1 June 2009 to date (accessed 30 June 2009 at 15:21)
Part 15Rule 247

247 Riding in a bicycle lane on a road

(1) The rider of a Previous bicycle riding on a length of road with a Previous bicycle lane designed for bicycles travelling in the same direction as the rider must ride in the Previous bicycle lane unless it is impracticable to do so.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

Note. Rule 153 defines a Previous bicycle lane and deals with the use of Previous bicycle lanes by other vehicles.

(2) In this rule:

road does not include a road related area.


1 penalty unit in NSW is $110 last time I checked. Regarding the riding two abreast, I am struggling to find it at the moment in my tired state. Going to work tonight where the relevant books are kept and I will get back to you regarding the correct section.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:08 pm

While I agree that there is a common sense aspect to riding in traffic and that traffic should be safely allowed to pass, what does this law mean for the cyclists right to a lane?

And a detail - who would get fined, the rider on the inside or outside?

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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:31 pm

Similar rule applies in Victoria.

Vicroads wrote:247. Riding in a bicycle lane on a road
(1) The rider of a bicycle riding on a length of road with a bicycle lane designed
for bicycles travelling in the same direction as the rider must ride in the bicycle
lane unless it is impracticable to do so.
Penalty: 1 penalty unit.
Note Rule 153 defines a bicycle lane and deals with the use of bicycle lanes by other
vehicles.
(2) In this rule—
road does not include a road related area.
Note Road related area includes any shoulder of a road—see rule 13.


Seems pretty clear to me - you must ride in the bike lane, if it's not wide enough for two, tough titty. Yet another reason to argue against bike lanes. As others have pointed out, without the bike lane you wold be able to legally ride two-abreast and claim the traffic lane as needed/practical. Generally in this situation you would be safer two-abreast rather than riding single file in a bike lane with the traffic skimming by right on the line at speed.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby brendancg » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:20 pm

rule 151 nsw road rules sets out when you can ride side by side ie must be multi lane road unless overtaking but also there is another section that says bicycles must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into into the path of traffic rule 253. Doesnt define hazard though. Sorry no quote I am using my phone as I cant access forums at work.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:47 pm

brendancg wrote:rule 151 nsw road rules sets out when you can ride side by side ie must be multi lane road unless overtaking

I believe this is an incorrect interpretation of the law, if the NSW Rule 151 is the same as the Victorian Rule 151:

Vicroads wrote:151. Riding a motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider
(1) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride on a road that is not a multilane
road alongside more than 1 other rider, unless subrule (3) applies to the
rider.

(2) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride in a marked lane alongside
more than 1 other rider in the marked lane, unless subrule (3) applies to the
rider.

(3) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle may ride alongside more than 1 other rider
if the rider is—
(a) overtaking the other riders; or
(b) permitted to do so under regulation 403 of the Road Safety (Road
Rules) Regulations 1999.

(4) If the rider of a motor bike or bicycle is riding on a road that is not a multi-lane
road alongside another rider, or in a marked lane alongside another rider in
the marked lane, the rider must ride not over 1.5 metres from the other rider.

(5) In this rule—
road does not include a road related area, but includes a bicycle path, shared
path and any shoulder of the road.

In other words you may ride alongside one other rider, on roads without marked lanes, and alongside one other in a lane on multi-lane roads (ie. on all roads). You may ride more than two-abreast when overtaking, or if specially permitted. You must ride not more than 1.5m apart when two-abreast.

brendancg wrote:also there is another section that says bicycles must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into into the path of traffic rule 253. Doesnt define hazard though

"Moving into the path" is the key bit here. A cyclist riding two-abreast in a predictable straight line would be unlikely to be construed as moving into the path of traffic (CM view 'We are traffic' :P ). Overtaking vehicles must always keep clear of other traffic. This rule is about preventing erratic veering, non-indicated lane changing or pulling out into traffic - superfluous really as all of these sorts of things are already covered elsewhere for all vehicles. I guess that weaving within a lane is the only thing this rule is aimed at. Mind you, I've used a deliberate quick erratic weave to remind drivers to give me appropriate room, in certain situations.
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Re: riding two abreast in a bicycle lane is illegal?

Postby brendancg » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:42 am

I believe this is an incorrect interpretation of the law


Sorry you are right, read it in a rush and misinterpreted it.
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