NSW Road rule 129 requires everyone to drive as near as practicable to the far left side of the road, except motorbike riders.
Stay Safe Inquiry
In August 2020, Bicycle NSW appeared before the NSW Stay Safe Inquiry Into Reducing Trauma on Local Roads and we recommended changes to make roads safer for bike riders.
The effect of this rule is to force bike riders to cycle in the area of the road with storm water grilles that trap tires, debris, crumbling road shoulders, and it reduces their ability to avoid potholes, oil slicks and obstructions. This contributes to single rider crashes on local roads.
Bicycle NSW Members have also been booked for not being far enough to the left, when moving over any further would require them to weave in and out of parked cars, or to travel in the gutter. This is unsafe, and is an example of a law endangering people’s lives.
The solution already exists and works well. Where a bike lane is not present, bike riders should be treated the same as motorbike riders and allowed to choose the safest part of the lane to ride in.
“This road rule creates a hazard and forces riders to choose between crashing and breaking the law,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“Altering this law to align with the way motorbike riders are treated will help make riding on the road safer,” said Bastien.
Bicycle NSW encourages riders to share this article with their MP and local Councillor. Don’t forget to tag in #SafetyOnSpokes and @BicycleNSW if you’re using social media.
Safety On Spokes
This article is a part of our 2 month Safety on Spokes Campaign where we cover a range of topics to make a better environment for bike riders in NSW.