A Snapshot of Road Rules for Cyclists
Things for Motorists to Know
By Yavin Kumar @ Sydney Traffic Lawyers
From 1 March 2016, the State Government introduced new laws which help to ensure that both cyclists and motorists are able to share our roads and remain safe when doing so. When passing a cyclist, a motorist must allow:
- A distance of at least 1 metre in any area with a speed limit of 60 km/h or less; or
- A distance of at least 1.5 metres in any area with a speed limit of 60 km/h or more.
If a motorist is unable to safely pass a cyclist whilst maintaining the applicable gap, it is best to slow down and wait for an opportunity where the cyclist can be overtaken in a safe manner. To aid with this, the Road Rules 2014 (NSW) set out several exceptions to other traffic rules which allow for the safe overtaking of a cyclist:
- Move to the centre or right side of a two-way road with no dividing line;
- Move onto or over the centre of a dividing line on a road, whether broken or unbroken;
- Move onto a flat dividing strip;
- Drive onto a flat painted island;
- Drive outside of a single marked lane or line of traffic;
It goes without saying however, that all of the above manoeuvres can only be performed when it is safe to do so (when there is no oncoming traffic, the road is wide enough to allow for the overtaking action etc.).
The maximum penalty that can be given for not following the minimum distance when passing is a fine of $330 and 2 demerit points.
All public roads in New South Wales are made for everyone to use, and the Road Rules have to be followed to ensure the safety of all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. In order to make our roads as safe as possible, the community, law enforcement, government, and individuals all have to work together to reduce the number of road-related injuries that occur every year, and continue to push down the number of deaths on NSW roads towards zero.
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