Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

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Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby jacob_T » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:57 pm

Hey.

So after a pretty close call this afternoon riding on the inside of a car in a bike only lane, and having the car turn left over the top of me, I have a few questions.

Does anyone know what the law is regarding who has to give way? Did a quick search and found [url]http://www.sydneycyclist.com/forum/topics/cars-turning-left-across-a}this[/url]... but it's not particularly informative.

Admittedly, I feel like I was probably in the wrong in this instance, but it also made me realise I have no idea what the etiquette/law is in these situations, so just interested to hear what everyone's thoughts are?

P.s. I'm in Queensland, so particularly interested in the road laws here.
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by BNA » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:04 pm

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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:04 pm

Here are some links to a Brisbane Cyclist that was collected by a truck in a similar scenario as you've described. Note that the Policeman gave the truck driver $400 worth of tickets. Also note that another motorist raced to the defence of the truck driver to blame the victim (cyclist)



http://www.brisbanecyclist.com/profiles/blogs/crunch

http://www.brisbanecyclist.com/profiles ... nch-part-1

http://www.brisbanecyclist.com/profiles ... nch-part-2

http://www.brisbanecyclist.com/profiles ... 3-progress

http://www.brisbanecyclist.com/profiles ... nch-part-4
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Oxford » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:21 pm

if the car was in the lane first which they are allowed to be for the purpose of turning left, then riding up the inside is both dangerous and illegal. illegal because they are indicating and you may not pass a car on the left whilst it is indicating a left turn. dangerous because the driver really does not figure there will be a road user coming up on the inside while they are turning left.

link to legislation:

http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGIS ... RURR09.pdf
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:59 pm

Oxford wrote:illegal because they are indicating and you may not pass a car on the left whilst it is indicating a left turn.....

...and turning left.

Of course at what point you define a vehicle as actually turning left can be a tricky one. However if the vehicle is stationary and not able to move forwards while indicating you are legally OK. Myself I generally apply the car driver's technique and pass left lane traffic at intersections on the right side.

Going by the OP's description it seems like the driver has done the classic left-hook, zipping past then cutting left without allowing enough time for the cyclist in the bike lane.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Oxford » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:11 pm

I knew someone would nitpick my post. Best practise is just don't do it despite what you believe the legislation may allude to. No point talking legislation from under the wheels of a car. I would suggest that a legal interpretation in a court of law would not limit a cars ability to move as being the sole factor in the definition of "turning left". A left indicator shows intent to turn, which I believe would then be considered as actually turning. As a result based on your interpretation I believe the action of passing is then an illegal one.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Aushiker » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:04 pm

il padrone wrote:
Oxford wrote:illegal because they are indicating and you may not pass a car on the left whilst it is indicating a left turn.....

...and turning left.


Not that this is much use to the OP but in WA your statement is not actually correct and Oxford is more on the mark.

Regulation 122(4) applies ...

(4) The rider of a bicycle shall not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is making, or apparently about to make, a left turn, or is signalling a left turn. [my emphasis]
Modified penalty: 2 PU

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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby jacob_T » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:02 am

Thanks for the responses.
So what would be the point where it becomes illegal?
If you were riding next to the car, they'd have to give way to you, yeah?
In my particular instance I was riding (downhill) at the same pace as the car, and my pedals were approximately in line with the rear of their car.
I could see the blinkers when they began indicating, but wasn't sure if I had to slow down till they turned, or they had to wait for me to pass.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby dontazame » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:47 am

Any of these apply?

Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009

46 Giving a left change of direction signal
...
46(2) The driver must give the change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians.

140 No overtaking unless safe to do so
A driver must not overtake a vehicle unless—
(a) the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and
(b) the driver can safely overtake the vehicle.

144 Keeping a safe distance when overtaking

A driver overtaking a vehicle—
(a) must pass the vehicle at a sufficient distance to avoid a collision with the vehicle or obstructing the path of the vehicle;..
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Oxford » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:21 am

with the further information you have provided, it would appear the car driver has done the wrong thing as they have not cleared you. Assuming the bike lane* you were in is actually a bike lane* then the driver is basically wanting to change lanes and occupy the bike lane* and as per the previous post must do it safely.

*To be a bike lane there must be signage and road markings indicating its presence, if there is only one of these then you are in a road related area and must give way to all other vehicles using the road. Read the regulations form the link I gave you earlier, its all there.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby bychosis » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:06 am

Legalities aside, if you are traveling at near the speed of the vehicle and are in, or very nearly in, the vehicles blind spot as described you are tempting fate. Best not to stick around the rear half of a vehicle on the kerb side.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby uppo75 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:11 pm

Could some one then please tell me who should give way in the following scenario. in Brisbane QLD


My wife used to work at the Wesley Hospital.
She turned left from Land street, into Patrick Lane, to go into the Wesley Carpark.
There is no slip lane. There is a dedicated bike Lane.
There is lots and lots of bike traffic in the morning
She was always scared s#@tless that a cyclist would zoom past her as she was turning.


Does the bike lane override the rule, about not passing cars, who are indicating and turning left?
She said it was rare that a bike rider would actually stop behind her and wait for her to turn.
To those of you who use this particular route, please let us know, what you do and how you have interpreted the rules
Cheers
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:16 pm

bychosis wrote:Legalities aside, if you are traveling at near the speed of the vehicle and are in, or very nearly in, the vehicles blind spot as described you are tempting fate. Best not to stick around the rear half of a vehicle on the kerb side.

+1


uppo75, yes the bike lane does take priority, it is a separate lane. I believe that in Victoria Rule 28 makes it pretty clear (Qld may differ, but I doubt it):

Victorian Road Rules wrote:28 Starting a left turn from a multi-lane road
(1) A driver turning left at an intersection from a multi-lane road must approach and enter the intersection from within the left lane unless⎯
(a) the driver is required or permitted to approach and enter the intersection from within another marked lane under rule 88(1), 92 or 159; or
(b) the driver is turning, at B lights or traffic arrows, in accordance with Division 2 of Part 17;


There are further exceptions if there is a multi-lane slip-lane and for drivers of long vehicles. It is legal for your wife to enter the bike lane for the last 50 metres before her turn and then turn from this, the left-most lane. She must give way to any cyclists in the bike lane before doing this of course, as for any lane changing maneuver.

For most people it is simply a case of indicating your intentions in advance and slowing down closer to the speed of bicycles to enable a smooth merge; rather than speeding to the turn, making a late indication and getting frustrated because you can't get through the bikes. Smooth steady driving always wins out.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Oxford » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:45 pm

uppo75 wrote:Could some one then please tell me who should give way in the following scenario. in Brisbane QLD


My wife used to work at the Wesley Hospital.
She turned left from Land street, into Patrick Lane, to go into the Wesley Carpark.
There is no slip lane. There is a dedicated bike Lane.
There is lots and lots of bike traffic in the morning
She was always scared s#@tless that a cyclist would zoom past her as she was turning.


Does the bike lane override the rule, about not passing cars, who are indicating and turning left?
She said it was rare that a bike rider would actually stop behind her and wait for her to turn.
To those of you who use this particular route, please let us know, what you do and how you have interpreted the rules
Cheers
Uppo
Here's a view of it looking at it from where we would see your wife approaching from the top and turning left (our right):

http://goo.gl/maps/nm0wH

Basically IP is on the money, your wife should approach the intersection with her left indicator on and move onto the bike lane when safe to do so to occupy the bike lane. This is legal and provides certainty for all concerned. If she doesn't (ie stays in the main lane), then cyclists can legally ride up beside her in the bike lane and she has to give way to them as they are in their own lane and she wishes to cross it.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby dontazame » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:45 pm

Sorry to disagree, but I don't "think' your wife can move into the bike lane up to 50 metres before her left turn, because its not 'necessary for the driver to drive in the lane'. (see below).

Unfortunately, I also suspect that 'turning left' does not require motion. If so bikes ought not overtake to the left of the front car (at least) indicating an intention to turn left.

If this is correct, it becomes 'interesting' when you think of the status of the car sitting behind the front car also wanting to turn left but needing to drive straight first. I'd think they are not 'turning left' and can be overtaken on the left until they reach the intersection.

I know the intersection and the number of bikes. I overtake on the left with 'the group' so cars can then have a doubt free go - not wanting to push in - just think its for the best.

Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009

158 Exceptions to driving in special purpose lanes etc.
(1) The driver of any vehicle may drive for up to the permitted distance in a bicycle lane, bus lane, tram lane, transit lane or truck lane if it is necessary for the driver to drive in the lane—
(a) to enter or leave the road;
(b) to enter a part of the road of 1 kind from a part of the road of another kind (for example, moving to or from a service road, the shoulder of the road or an emergency stopping lane); or
(c) to overtake a vehicle that is—
(i) turning right, or making a U-turn from the centre of the road; and
(ii) giving a right change of direction signal; or
(d) to enter a marked lane, or a part of the road where there is room for a line of traffic, other than animals, bicycles, motorbikes or motorised wheelchairs, from the side of the road.
...
(4) In this section permitted distance means—
(a) for a bicycle lane or a tram lane—50m;

28 Starting a left turn from a multi-lane road
(1) A driver turning left at an intersection from a multi-lane road
must approach and enter the intersection from within the left
lane unless...

(3) In this section—
left lane means—
(a) the marked lane nearest to the far left side of the road; or
...
marked lane, for a driver, does not include a special purpose
lane in which the driver is not permitted to drive.

Schedule 5
special purpose lane means a marked lane, or the part of a
marked lane, that is a bicycle lane, bus lane, emergency
stopping lane, tram lane, transit lane or truck lane.

141 No overtaking etc. to the left of a vehicle
...
(2) The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the
left of a vehicle that is turning left and is giving a left change
of direction signal.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:28 pm

OK, dontazame your qualifiers are correct and present in the Victorian Road Rules as I read it. But all this seems at odds with Rule 158

Victorian Road Rules wrote:158 Exceptions to driving in special purpose lanes etc.
(1) The driver of any vehicle may drive for up to the permitted distance in a bicycle lane, bus lane, tram lane, transit lane or truck lane if it is necessary for the driver to drive in the lane—
(a) to enter or leave the road; or
(b) to enter a part of the road of one kind from a part of the road of another kind (for example, moving to or from a service road, the shoulder of the road or an emergency stopping lane)


I would read entering or leaving the road as including turning into another road, but maybe someone else can clear this up. I still think it is better practice to merge into the bike lane, but if you don't there still remains a general requirement to give way when entering another lane. I believe left-turning drivers must be aware of, and give way to, cyclists close to them in the bike lane.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby dontazame » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:16 pm

I would read entering or leaving the road as including turning into another road, but maybe someone else can clear this up.


I'd agree unless there was some other provision. However, I say its irrelevant in the current case. When you look at the photo of the intersection, the 'bike lane' does not continue through the intersection; i.e. its not necessary for vehicles 'turning left' to dive in it.

I'm also not sure how I'd feel watching a car claim a bike lane for 50 metres before turning left. Maybe I'd be fine with it - karma.

I imagine a car that clobbers a cyclist in those situations is overtaking when its not safe to do (even if intending to turn left). Haven't looked into it.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby thomashouseman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:27 am

This happened to me....

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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:42 am

Commodore ftw
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Oxford » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:35 am

so dontazame if you are correct and there are enough cyclists riding along the bike lane, conceivably a car could never turn left as it has to give way to all cyclists passing through. clearly that is not the case nor the intention of the regulations.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby zero » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:12 am

Oxford wrote:so dontazame if you are correct and there are enough cyclists riding along the bike lane, conceivably a car could never turn left as it has to give way to all cyclists passing through. clearly that is not the case nor the intention of the regulations.


Whether or not the cyclelane is a legally lane or not (in some jurisdiction the term multilane road is defined to not include cyclelanes), its certainly a line of traffic, and if you are outside of that line of traffic you certainly have to give way to vehicles in that line of traffic to enter it. The same applies to cyclists trying to turn right beginning from a cyclelane. ie the restriction on motorists right-passing me when I am signalling a right turn realistically only exists when I'm not performing the lane or line change prior to the turn.

The law would strictly cover the scenario where the car slows down and indicates before turning left, and a cyclist behind the car responds to the car slowing down by moving over and attempting to left pass. Other circumstances are at best going to be both at fault.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wellington_street » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:12 pm

Interesting discussion and why I really don't like it when cycle lanes are continued right through to the stop line at junctions on the left side of left turning vehicles. I prefer the clearly defined situated where a car turning left must merge into a shared vehicle/cycle lane. Unfortunately these are few and far between!

As a driver, I have now learnt to enter the bike lane or shoulder on approach to the left turn before turning left from it. This has the benefit of preventing those who wish to tempt their removal from the gene pool from passing on the inside, as well as clearly showing my intention to turn. If it wasn't for reading this forum, I would never have learnt the need to enter the bike lane and I am definitely part of the minority as it is not clearly defined in any road rules or handbook.

As a cyclist, I will be very careful not to pass or draw alongside a vehicle with its left indicator on, unless I am in a cycle lane and the vehicles are stopped at a red light. Also, if there's no cycle lane, I never pass a vehicle with its left indicator on, on the left, as that is illegal in WA for good reason. That said, when I'm on the road it is generally 50km/h and below, any faster and I'm on the path, so your results may vary.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wellington_street » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:14 pm

This is one situation that needs some serious publicity to educate drivers.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby dontazame » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:48 pm

so dontazame if you are correct and there are enough cyclists riding along the bike lane, conceivably a car could never turn left as it has to give way to all cyclists passing through. clearly that is not the case nor the intention of the regulations.


Not at all. Bikes cannot overtake on the left of a vehicle that is 'turning left' (etc). I suspect a vehicle is only 'turning left' once it reaches the intersection. So there might be 3 or four bikes next to the front car (that approached from behind) that have right of way over the front vehicle, and then another 3 or 4 by the time the second car arrives at the front, etc, etc.
Last edited by dontazame on Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:26 pm

Just curious...is there a recognised method of marking a bike lane so that cars must not STOP in it (i.e., they must leave room for cyclists to move up to the front of the intersection), but do have right of way to cross it for turning?

There is http://goo.gl/maps/t8NcA of course, which is usually pretty full of cyclists around peak hour. Seems like an accident waiting to happen, but not sure what the stats are.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby dontazame » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:52 pm

Interesting discussion and why I really don't like it when cycle lanes are continued right through to the stop line at junctions on the left side of left turning vehicles.I prefer the clearly defined situated where a car turning left must merge into a shared vehicle/cycle lane. Unfortunately these are few and far between!

+1 They also normally make it illegal for the cyclist to 'claim the lane' and I sometimes wonder if that is their main intent.
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