Bike pictures on roads confusion

They look like government approved bike lanes.  But they are not! Even The Uni active travel pages agree : newcastle.edu.au/activetravel

Do not use Newcastle “pushbike lanes”:

Do not cycle over the top of the pushbike pictures painted on the roads because they are not bike lanes (too narrow, too close to parked cars and not signposted). 

NSW Road Rules 153, 144 & 247 advise to pushbike the safe way (usually 1.5m away from parked cars ) AND human rights to walk and cycle safely (UN’s UDHR Articles 3,5,13,25,26,27,29)

Uni active travel webpages advise this also.  UoN empowers all people with solutions to pushbike for transport and to find safe backstreet shortcuts. 

Unseen children can open car doors and push you into traffic. 

2016 Rule changes

 

1. Minimum Passing Distance

  • Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space when the speed limit is 60km or less; and 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h.
  • To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules will apply (click here for full information from the NSW Centre for Road Safety).
  • The penalty for drivers caught failing to give the minimum distance will be a $319 fine and the loss of two demerit points.

2. Increased Fines for Bike Riders:

  • Fines for the five offences below will increase significantly for bicycle riders as of March 1 2016.
  • Not wearing a helmet (up from $71 to $319)
  • Running a red light (up from $71 to 425)
  • Riding dangerously (up from $71 to $425)
  • Holding on to a moving vehicle  (up from $71 to $319)
  • Not stopping at children’s/ pedestrian crossings (up from $71 to $425)
  • Penalties for other bicycle rider offences will also increase from $71 to $106 – which also includes riding without a working warning device, eg a bike bell.

3.  Carrying identification.  The government backflipped on this thanks to pressure from BicycleNSW.  So you still are not required to carry any special identification card while riding a pushbike

4.Bicycle riders should provide pedestrians with a metre of space on shared paths

Bicycle riders are also encouraged to allow pedestrians a metre of space on shared paths, where possible.

http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/go-together/faqs.html

 Shared paths (walkers and pushbikes) are getting more popular in Newy.  Newy must not get into the same bad habits like that seen on roads : Faster vehicles passing too fast and too closely to the slower person.  It all used to be so simple in a car: honk horn, change lanes to overtake, plenty of safety room.  But 50 years of ever worsening driving habits and more confusing bike pictures on roads mean most Newy cars pass cyclists too closely.   Resulting in most cyclists scared off the roads.  Do we want most people scared of footpaths and shared paths.  Of course not.   So do not pass too fast or close to walkers when you are running or on a pushbike.  Basically do not act like Newy motorists do.   If we all acted like Newy motorists did on shared paths, guess what:  Hardly anyone would be walking on the iconic bathers way or the Anzac memorial walk, or any footpath for that matter.  12 year old and under are legally allowed to ride pushbikes on all footpaths in NSW.   Unfortunately people get used to bad habits in cars (passing too closely to people) and act similarly on shared paths (passing too closely to people) .   Why can’t the police clean up the mess of the roads.  If the police continues to not enforce the road rules then the end point is chaos.  We need to look at the bigger picture.  Basic human rights to walk safely on footpaths is tightly linked to cars operating on roads safely.  Society changed to make drunk driving socially unacceptable in a short time.  Change is possible!
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