Too often there are arguments between drivers and cyclists about who’s in the right (or the wrong). Here are a few fundamental rules when it comes to cycling:
Cyclists are permitted to ride next to each other on the road but cannot ride more than two riders abreast unless on a multi-lane road or overtaking.
Cyclists are permitted to ride on the footpath but only if they:
- are under the age of 12;
- are an adult supervising a child under the age of 12; or
- have a disability that means it’s difficult for him or her to ride on the road.
Cyclists are permitted to ride on the road unless there is a sign saying otherwise.
If there’s a bicycle lane as part of the road, cyclists must use this lane unless it is not practicable to do so. However, cyclists are not obligated to use a bicycle path but can ride on the road instead.
Cars are permitted to enter bicycle lanes and drive in them for up to 50 m but only in order to:
- leave or enter a road;
- park; or
- overtake to the left of a vehicle turning right.
When overtaking a bicycle, cars should keep a minimum of one metre clear of the cyclist and more than that if travelling over 60km/h.
Cyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.
Cyclists must not hold a mobile phone (touch it in any way) unless it is fixed to their bicycle. Even then, they are not permitted to use it to send text messages whilst riding.
Cyclists must have at least one effective brake and a working bell.
One of the most frequent causes of serious injury that I have seen involves ‘dooring’. ‘Dooring’ is when a motorist opens a car door into the path of a cyclist. Motorists should be aware that ‘dooring’ is an offence. A good way to avoid a ‘dooring’ issue may be to open the car door with your left hand, causing you to twist to your right and see any cyclists approaching from behind.
If you’re a cyclist and you’ve been injured in a crash with a motor vehicle in Victoria, you will likely be eligible for medical expenses and compensation from the TAC. If the accident was not your fault, and you are seriously injured, you may also be able to sue for damages. If this has happened to you, contact us at Grainger Legal to get further information and discuss making a claim.
You can also check out the Victorian Bike Law handbook for more information about road rules and how they apply to cyclists.
Damage to your bicycle
The TAC will not provide you with compensation for damage to your bike. Therefore, you might like to consider investigating bike insurance with the Bicycle Network or Cycling Victoria.