Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Thousands of people will put on their helmets and take to the streets tomorrow for Ride2Work Day. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist, a bicycle novice or a motorist, there’s a few precautions you can take to stay safe on the road. Words: Jeremy Rochow
Why we need to share the road
South Australia has seen a spike in bicycle-related deaths, with 6 cyclists killed on the state’s roads so far this year, compared to 1 in 2017.
In fact, the state averaged 3 cyclist deaths between 2013 and 2017.
Cyclists killed on SA roads since 2013
RAA Senior Manager for Road Safety Charles Mountain says that number should be reduced to zero.
Cyclists and motorists both need to be accountable for their actions and take precautions when sharing the road, Mr Mountain says.
“Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, but they’re more vulnerable when on the road.
“Ride2Work Day means more cyclists will be on the road, so motorists have to be aware and watch out for people on bicycles.”
Safety tips for cyclists
There’s a few things you can do to ensure you’re safe while cycling to work.
- Keep left and ride at least 1m clear of parked cars.
- Look out for people opening car doors in front of you.
- Wear bright coloured clothing, and at night use a white front light and a red rear light.
- Look for other vehicles at intersections and never assume a driver has seen you.
- Ride predictably in a straight line and signal your intention to turn or change lanes.
- Cyclists must only ride 2 abreast and be no more than 1.5m apart.
- Cyclists of all ages can legally ride on the footpath, so if you feel uncomfortable on the road move onto the path. While riding on the footpath you need to take care and give way to pedestrians, and be aware of vehicles exiting driveways.
Safety tips for drivers
Motorists should follow a few simple rules to make sure they share the road safely with cyclists.
- When the speed limit is 60km/h or less, drivers are required to give a minimum of 1m leeway when passing a cyclist. If the speed limit is over 60km/h, motorists need to give at least 1.5m of room when passing a cyclist.
- Always look for cyclists when turning or entering an intersection and give way as you would for any other vehicle.
- Before opening your car door look behind and check blind spots for cyclists.
- Do not drive, park or stop in a bicycle lane. There are a few occasions when motorists can drive in a bicycle lane for up to 50m, including when it’s necessary to enter or leave a road, or if avoiding an obstruction.
Motorists can also enter a bike lane if they’re overtaking a vehicle that is turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, and the driver is giving a right change-of-direction signal.
- Be patient when overtaking a bicycle and wait until it’s safe.