What do Adelaide’s cycling laws mean for both cyclists and drivers?

Adelaide is home to cyclists galore, and bike lanes are being incorporated into the majority of the roads around the entire city. Due to such an increase in the public riding their bikes to work or university, or just for a leisure activity, there is an increase in the potential for road accidents.

As of October 2015, all cyclists can ride on the footpath, but this increases the risk to pedestrians. Riding on roads forces an increase in health risks by being so close to cars, trucks and other motor vehicles.

Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) defines ‘bicycle’ as a vehicle, and so cyclists must obey road rules like other cars, such as stopping at stop lights and indicating when turning. This also means that cyclists can be charged with ‘drink riding’ or riding under the influence of drugs and can incur an on the spot fine or disqualification if convicted. Cyclists must also wear a safety helmet, and will receive an on the spot fine if they are not wearing one while riding on the road or footpath.

October 2015 also saw the introduction of another important law regarding the on-road relationship between cars and bikes. It is now an offence to fail to keep a sufficient distance when overtaking a cyclist. If you are driving your car 60km/h or less, at least 1 metre must be between you and the bike. If you are driving at more than 60km/h, the distance between you and the bike must be at least 1.5 metres.

Be mindful of cyclists when reversing out of driveways and driving on the roads at any time of day. If you are either a driver or a cyclist and find yourself requiring legal advice, call our experienced Adelaide lawyers on 08 7132 5646 for a no-obligation chat to discuss your options.

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