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Abiding by the bicycle road rules – what you need to know

Watch out for cyclists

Whether you’re cycling to work, to the shops or the kids to school or if you’re in a car zooming past a cyclist, you need to be aware of the rules under which cyclists are governed.

Under the Queensland Road Rules bicycles are considered vehicles, so people riding bicycles must obey all the general road rules. As legitimate road users, they have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicle operators.

Rules that apply specifically to bicycles and cyclists are outlined below. The numbers in brackets refer to sections in the Queensland Road Rules that can be viewed for further information.

Riding a bicycle (s245)

While riding, you must sit astride the seat and keep at least one hand on the handle bars at all times.

Carrying people on a bicycle (s246)

You can only double another person if:

  • the bicycle is designed to carry more than one person and has a passenger seat
    and
  • each person wears a helmet.

Wearing bicycle helmets (s256)

You, and any passenger you are carrying, must wear an approved, correctly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet at all times.

The only time you are exempt from wearing a helmet is if you:

  • are carrying a doctor’s certificate stating that you cannot wear a helmet for a stated medical reason over a specified period
  • are a paying passenger on a three or four wheeled bicycle.

Equipment on a bicycle (s258)

Your bicycle must:

  • have at least one effective brake
  • have a bell, horn or similar warning device in working order.

Riding at night (s259)

When riding at night, or in weather conditions with reduced visibility, you must display on your bicycle or yourself:

  • a flashing or steady white light on the front of the bicycle that can be seen for at least 200 m
  • a flashing or steady red light on the rear of the bicycle that can be seen for at least 200 m
  • a reflector on the rear of the bicycle that can be seen for at least 50 m when a vehicle’s headlights shine on it.

Signalling (s48, s49, s50)

Hand signals must be given when turning right.

Avoid being a traffic hazard (s253)

You must avoid becoming a hazard by riding into the path of a driver or pedestrian — this rule applies to all road users.

Bicycles being towed (s254)

You must not hold on to another moving vehicle while riding a bicycle.

Riding too close to the rear of a motor vehicle (s255)

You must maintain a distance of at least 2 m between you and the rear of a motor vehicle when following the motor vehicle for over 200 m.

So there you have it – a quick refresher on the bicycle rules in Queensland for your inherent knowledge on the topic, quick BBQ conversation starter or if you’ve encountered an issue that requires some in-depth investigation.

Of course, if you have any queries, feel free to contact Sinnamon Lawyers for legal assistance on Free Call 1800 007 277.

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