Bike lanes and the law

Bike lanes and the law

More and more people are incorporating cycling into their daily lives - on their way to work, on their weekends, even in their pizza deliveries.

Bike riders have to obey the same road rules as drivers. They also have to abide by the additional rules for cyclists. For example, they cannot ignore the 'No Access' signs you see on ramps to freeways. If a cyclist wants to ride their penny farthing on the Monash Freeway they'll have to do it faster than the highway patrol.

With more cyclists on the roads, more bike lanes are appearing across Australia. A bicycle lane begins at a bicycle lane sign and ends at the nearest end bicycle lane sign, intersection or dead end. If there is a bike lane, cyclists have to use it unless it would be impracticable. Other vehicles can only drive in bike lanes in certain circumstances.

For example, a car can drive up to 50 metres in a bicycle lane if:

  • Stopping or parking is permitted in a bike lane;
  • The driver stops to avoid a collision;
  • The driver stops to deal with an emergency;
  • It's in the interests of safety;
  • A traffic sign permits it;
  • It is necessary to drive in the bicycle lane to enter or leave the road; or
  • It's necessary to drive in the bicycle lane to overtake a vehicle that is indicating it will turn right or make a U-turn.

When doing any of these things, drivers have to take care of other road users, including cyclists. If a driver creates a dangerous situation or makes a collision unavoidable, they probably have not taken reasonable care.

Cyclists who have been injured in a transport accident involving a car or other type of vehicle could be entitled to compensation from the TAC.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a transport accident, you can call (03) 9321 9988 to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers.

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