On our roads in 2014 alone there were 45 fatalities involving cyclists in Australia. Cyclists are obviously fully aware of the risks they take when travelling on populated roads alongside motor vehicles however sometimes the danger of cycling on our roads is out of their control. Outside factors can cause great danger to cyclists, some of which include other motorists on the road and unavoidable objects on the road such as parked cars.
Thankfully, the Queensland Government has recognised the risks that cyclists are faced with on a day to day basis and have implemented new rules to ensure the safety of all cyclists on our roads.
One of the most important rules that has been introduced is to leave at least a 1 metre distance between your vehicle and a cyclist when travelling under 60km/h and a 1.5 metre distance when travelling over 60km/h. This is to reduce the risks of cyclists being hit by motor vehicles. The penalty for ignoring these distances is not only the loss of 3 demerit points but is also a $341.00 fine. However, if the matter goes to court a maximum fine of up to $4,554.00 can apply.
In addition cyclists are now allowed to ride across a zebra crossing, ride through a single lane roundabout and it will be optional to ride in the bicycle lane. These new additions have been created to avoid any confusion among cyclists and motorists and to ensure the rules are consistent with the rules that motorists abide by.
Cyclists still must abide by the regular road rules that all motorists abide by however they also must ensure they are wearing the correct safety gear and their bike is fully equipped and legal to ride. Cyclists must wear a helmet and have at least one hand on the handle bars at all time when travelling. They also must ensure that their bike is equipped with certain visibility equipment when riding at night time to ensure their safety and so that they are visible to other motorists on the road. Further details of these rules and requirements can be found on the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.
In light of all the above mentioned rules and regulations the Queensland Government have asked that all motorists keep in mind the following tips with respect to cyclists when travelling on the road:
- Check your blind spots
- Give way to cyclists as you would to any other motorist
- Be patient and considerate
- Do not overtake cyclists in situations that seem unsafe
- Be aware in wet weather or at night time
Next time you are on the road be sure to be aware, have patience and consideration for all and stay wide of any cyclists that you may pass in your travels.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, give Sinnamon Lawyers a call on 1800 007 277 so that we can discuss your options with you.