As identified by a number of submissions to last year’s Legislative Assembly inquiry into vulnerable road users, it is not unusual to see people riding bicycles across crossings in the ACT.
While this high level of non-compliance is not a reason for altering the current rules, it does indicate a need for reviewing the application, awareness and enforcement of the rules relating to road crossings. The proposed change to the road rules seeks to implement a safe alternative to the current rule which provides amenity for cyclists, without compromising safety for cyclists and any other road user.
Are there any rules for how cyclists are to ride across pedestrian crossings?
Yes. The rule requires that:
- the rider of a bicycle must slow to 10km/h (jogging pace) on the approach to a crossing, and proceed across the crossing at no faster than jogging pace;
- the rider of the bicycle must check for approaching traffic and be prepared to stop;
- the rider of a bicycle must give way to pedestrians on all crossing; and,
- the rider of a bicycle must keep to the left of any oncoming bicycle or pedestrian.
Will cyclists be able to ride across all types of pedestrian crossings?
Yes. The trial will allow cyclists to ride across zebra crossings, signalised pedestrian crossings and children’s crossings.
Will safety be compromised by allowing cyclists to ride across pedestrian crossings?
The speed of the approach is the most important aspect of crossing at a pedestrian crossing. The requirement for cyclists to ride across no faster than 10km/h will ensure motorists have time to see and respond to the approaching cyclist.
Cyclists will also be required to check for approach traffic and be prepared to stop.
The education campaign will reinforce the need for bicycle riders to slow on approach to crossings and to ride across at that same slow pace.
Failure to comply with this rule may result in the issue of a traffic infringement notice.
What will the penalties be for cyclists who fail to comply with the rule?
A traffic infringement notice may be issued with a fine of $118.
Will it be safe for children to ride across pedestrian crossings?
Yes as long as they are capable rider and slow on the approach and look out for any traffic. Younger children should be supervised in crossing the road, just as they are now. If parents are concerned about their children riding across a crossing then they should encourage their child to continue to dismount and walk their bicycle across the road.
How will interstate drivers (especially from Yass or Queanbeyan) become aware of the changes?
The media campaign includes development of television commercials which will be broadcast on the local WIN network and two major FM radio stations, which are all received in the NSW areas surrounding the ACT. Distribution of brochures and posters to local cafes, restaurants and bicycle shops will ensure further exposure. Social media campaigns will spread further than the ACT, and it is anticipated that the media release will be reported nationally.