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The NSW Road Rule 74 does not provide for bicycle path users crossing a road to have the “right of way" over traffic in the road, creating problems and confusion.

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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.

Dual direction bike lanes

Dual direction bike lanes are a relatively unusual feature of NSW roads, and often have a more diverse ridership – with more families and newer riders. Installing shared environment intersections, and four-way give way treatments, creates confusion as to who has right of way. This ambiguity is likely to lead to errors, collisions, and actually introduces a hazard for all road users.

Lack of Priority For Bike Riders

Lack of intersection priority for bike riders, even at minor streets, makes separated paths unattractive to riders wanting a cycling journey with fewer stops and consistent speeds, resulting in a disincentive to cycleway use. Children and less confident riders are more likely to be unaware of the rules, they may have problems seeing or anticipating driver behaviour, increasing the risk of crashes.

The NSW Road Rules need to be changed to allow for a priority separated bike path. This should be subject to similar implementation guidelines that exist for pedestrian crossings.  When side streets intersect dual direction bike lanes, drivers wishing to cross should give way to riders, and should be alerted to look both ways – unless signals are provided.

“Changing this rule will help make bike paths safer for users, and reduce confusion for motor vehicle drivers,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“Providing priority for bike riders will also provide better amenity and encourage more people to use these paths,” 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.

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