CYCLING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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1 Issue No.?? Month 2011 Page 1 SCHOOL EDITION Page 1 CYCLING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA Cycling in South Australia is becoming an important pass time with events such as the Tour Down Under providing a catalyst for people to become involved in the sport. With the increase in numbers of cyclists using our road systems, now is an opportunity to go through the requirements of riding bicycles on roads. Let s go through what the requirements are when riding a bicycle on a road. ENSURE YOUR BICYCLE IS ROADWORTHY Definition of a Bicycle A bicycle is classified as being any two or more wheeled vehicle that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor). This includes pedicabs, penny-farthings and tricycles. The definition of a bicycle does not include a wheelchair, wheeled recreational device (such as a scooter, skateboard or roller blades etc), wheeled toy, or any vehicle with an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating). Brakes Every bicycle must have at least one effective brake. As a minimum, the bicycle is required to have an operational back pedal foot brake or a hand brake fitted to either the front or back wheel. The levers for hand brakes should be within easy reach. Warning Device Every bicycle must have within easy reach a functioning warning device, such as a bell or a horn. Riding at Night and in Hazardous Weather Riding when visibility is reduced such as at night or in hazardous weather conditions (heavy rain), you must have (either on you or on your bicycle): a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible at least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible at least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle a red rear reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres from the rear of the bicycle when light is projected on to it by a vehicle s headlight on low beam. Editor: Senior Sergeant Paul Warren (08) Fax: (08) DL:SAPOL Road Safety Section

2 Page 2 CYCLING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA cont... Child Carrier-seats When carrying children in bicycle carrier seats, they must wear approved bicycle helmets and be safely restrained. The carrier seat or trailer must be a sufficient distance from the bicycle wheels to ensure the child can not put fingers, toes or toys into the moving bicycle wheel. Wearing a Helmet An approved bicycle helmet must be worn (one showing an Australia/New Zealand Standards sticker AS/NZ 2063) whilst riding a bicycle on a road or in a public place. It must be worn in accordance with manufacturer's specifications. Some simple rules to follow: - do not wear any type of hat (especially a baseball cap) underneath the helmet. Fit a visor to the helmet instead the front of the helmet should be just above the eyebrows, so that the forehead is covered, the chin strap has to be done up tight enough so that it keeps the helmet in place (only two fingers should be able to fit between your chin and the chin strap). WHAT ARE THE ROAD RULES? Safe Riding Share the Road Bicycles are classified as a vehicle and riders must obey the same Road Rules as drivers of motor vehicles. If charged with an offence, you may incur demerit points even if you do not hold a Driver's Licence for a motor vehicle. Keeping to the Left You must keep as close as reasonably practicable to the left side of the road except: when making, or about to make, a right turn where the road is divided into lanes when overtaking. In deciding how close to the left side of the road or path is reasonably practicable, you should take into account factors such as obstacles in your path, lighting conditions at the time, and the quality of the riding surface. Causing a Hazard You must not cause a traffic hazard (cause danger to yourself or others) by riding into the path of a driver or pedestrian. For example, if you move out to pass a parked car or avoid an obstacle without checking behind for other road vehicles, you can cause danger to yourself or others. You should only move out to pass a parked car or avoid an obstacle when it is safe to do so.

3 Page 3 CYCLING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA cont... Bicycle Lanes Bicycle lanes are for the exclusive use of bicycle riders. These lanes are indicated by signs and road markings, which operate during the times stated. If no times are stated, they operate at all times (see diagrams). Bicycle Lane Bicycle Lane operates at all times stated If you are riding on a road with a bicycle lane, you must if practicable, ride in the bicycle lane. You may move out of the bicycle lane to avoid debris, potholes, or to safely overtake another bicycle rider. You must only ride in the correct direction in the bicycle lane. Where there is insufficient room for two riders to ride abreast in a bicycle lane, you must ride in single file. During the bicycle lane operating times, you must not ride outside a bicycle lane abreast of another rider unless you are overtaking. Other road users are permitted to use a bicycle lane only when:- the bicycle lane is not in operation stopping in an emergency entering or leaving the road from private property, a parking area, including a parking lane, or another road (and then only for up to 50 metres) overtaking a vehicle turning right or making a U-turn (and then only for up to 50 metres) avoiding an obstruction (and then only for up to 50 metres) driving a bus or taxi picking up or dropping off passengers (and then only for up to 50 metres). No Bicycles signs You must not ride on a length of road or path to which a Road Access sign or a No Bicycles sign applies (see diagrams). These signs also apply to riders under 12 years old and riders with a disability. No Bicycles sign Road Access sign

4 Page 4 CYCLING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA cont... Riding abreast When riding in a group you are only allowed two abreast, with a maximum of 1½ metres between each bicycle. On busy roads ride single file to avoid obstructing other road users. This rule includes when riding in a bicycle lane where you are able to ride two abreast with a maximum of 1½ metres between each bicycle. Giving turn and stop signals Bicycle riders MUST give a right turn hand signal when about to turn right, change lanes or to execute a U-turn. Left turn and Stop signals are not covered in law, but are advisable for added safety, so as to indicate to other road users what manoeuvre you intend to make. Towing and crossing roads A bicycle rider is not allowed to be towed. Towing a skateboarder or person on skates by a bike rider is also illegal. When crossing the road at a marked pedestrian crossing, you MUST get off and walk the bicycle across. Carrying Passengers or Other Goods You are not allowed to carry a passenger sitting on the handlebars or cross bar in front of the rider. They are not allowed to sit on the seat, while the rider stands on the pedals all the time. They are not allowed to stand on trick pegs either in front or behind the rider. Other goods should not be carried by hanging onto them in one hand, or hanging off the handlebars. Put them in a backpack on your back or a proper parcel carrier attached to the bike. This will allow safer handling and balance of the bike. Riding on the Footpath Children up to 12 years of age can ride on the footpath. Some rules when riding on a footpath: - you are able to ride when the path is marked with signage that it is a designated bicycle track, or a shared path you are able to ride when crossing to enter or leave the road do not ride on any footpath showing a "NO BICYCLE" sign you must give way to pedestrians sound a warning before you are about to overtake a pedestrian or slow rider, and pass them on the right hand side keep to the left unless overtaking look out for cars and pedestrians entering or leaving private property.

5 RIDING WITH CHILDREN ON YOUR BICYCLE Page 5 A video was posted on a face-book page recently which alleges to show a cyclist with a young child in a child seat without a safety helmet being ridden on Portrush Road, Adelaide. Although the child is not wearing a helmet, there is one attached to the carrier seat of the bicycle. This video was the subject to several articles in the electronic media and an article in the Advertiser newspaper on Tuesday 14 April The rider is unable to be identified on the video, no further information regarding the identity of the rider has been provided to SAPOL and the rider has not come forward. The rider has breached Rule 256 (2) of the Australian Road Rules (ARR) and the expiation fee is $96 + $60 victims of crime levy = $156 with no demerit points awarded for the offence. Apart from this, the child is in considerable danger in not wearing a bicycle helmet. Research shows that not wearing a helmet considerably increases the chances of being seriously injured or killed if involved in a vehicular crash. Any person who rides a bicycle on a road, or has a child passenger on the bicycle must wear a bicycle safety helmet. In any crash where a bicyclist is injured, if they are not wearing a helmet they may find any insurance payout may be affected because of this non-compliance with the legislation as they could be found to have contributed to their injuries by not wearing a helmet. THE ROAD RULES TEST When was the last time you did a test on the road rules? Are you up to date on current rules and legislation? Do you know your give-way rules? The Department of Transport Planning and Infrastructure provides information on their mylicence web page for new legislation and also provides a quick 10 question test. Take the test and see how much you know. The practice road rules test is located at:- road-rules-quiz Try the test and how well you answer the questions contained within it. It might surprise you how much you do or do not know about current road rules.

6 Page 6 BRAKE REACTION TIME FOR DRIVERS The brake reaction time is the amount of time that elapses between the recognition of an object or hazard in the roadway and the application of the brakes. The length of the brake reaction time varies widely between individual drivers. An alert driver may react in less than 1 second, while other drivers may require up to 3.5 seconds. The brake reaction time depends on an extensive list of variables, including: driver characteristics such as attitude, level of fatigue, and experience. environmental conditions such as the clarity of the atmosphere and the time of day the properties of the hazard or object itself, such as size, colour and movement. To make highways reasonably safe, the engineer must provide a continuous sight distance (see the stopping sight distance module) equal to or greater than the stopping sight distance. As an integral part of the stopping sight distance, a value for the brake reaction time must be assumed. Extensive research has shown that 90% of the driving population can react in 2.5 seconds or less. The brake reaction time normally used in design, therefore, is 2.5 seconds. The distance travelled during the brake reaction time can be calculated by multiplying the vehicle's initial speed by the brake reaction time. This means at 60 kmh a vehicle will travel during reaction time were: - 1 second = 16.5 metres 2.5 seconds = metres 3.5 seconds = metres Both the brake reaction time and the braking distance are used in the calculation of the stopping sight distance. What is means is that you will travel these distances before you begin to brake. By leaving an appropriate distance between your car and the vehicle you are following (i.e. the three second rule) you will factor in the reaction time into your ability to stop. The faster you drive, the more distance you will travel and so if you don t leave this distance you risk hitting the object at speed. Just have a look at this graph, which charts the probability of fatal injuries for a pedestrian and the speed at which the vehicle hits them. An impact speed of anything 40 kmh or more equates to at least a 60% certainty of a fatal outcome. This is the discussion on exceeding speed limits by small amounts, even small speeds over the speed limit will make a difference when avoiding or colliding with an object (in the graph s case a pedestrian).

7 Page 7 INFLATABLE SEAT BELTS Whilst there has been much focus on driver and front passenger safety, many vehicle manufacturers appear to have overlooked the safety of children in the back seat. By comparison to the rear bench seat with no seatbelts in the 1965 model, the 2015 Commodore integrates ISOFIX child restraint anchorage technology now considered to be the world standard - in each of the three rear seating positions. Looking forward; while inflatable seat belts are already available in a variety of models overseas, the Mercedes Benz S-Class is currently the only vehicle available in Australia to feature the beneficial new safety feature; however, in the coming months, the new Ford Mondeo will have inflatable seatbelts available in two of the three versions. The expanded belt helps spread the force of the crash over five times more area of the passenger's body than a traditional seat belt, reducing pressure on the chest and restricting the amount of head and neck motion. The inflatable seat belt has been designed with rear seat passengers in mind, in particular young children, who are more likely to suffer head, chest and neck injuries during car accidents. Here s how the inflatable seat-belt operates in the Ford vehicle. If you would like to see this technology demonstrated visit this link which shows testing of the Ford inflatable seat-belt: -

8 Page 8 THE FACTS ON PREGNANCY AND DRIVING ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT-BELT! If a pregnant woman uses her safety belt correctly, the foetal injury risk is reduced significantly. This knowledge stems from Volvo Cars research on car safety for unborn babies and their mothers. Volvo Cars has developed a virtual crash test dummy to simulate frontal impacts during pregnancy. Car safety for unborn children is an area that is not well documented, since foetal injury and death often do not show in statistics. The first thing to do is to always wear a safety belt, and yet not all women do. VIRTUAL PREGNANT CRASH TEST DUMMY Volvo Cars contributes to an increased awareness of safety for pregnant drivers and knowledge of how to protect their unborn babies. One innovation in this field is a virtual pregnant crash test dummy. The model can be used to simulate how a pregnant woman moves in a crash and how the foetus moves inside her. Her proportions correspond to those of an average sized woman in the final stage of pregnancy, approximately week 36. The virtual crash test dummy is used to simulate impact tests in frontal collisions. "The computer model makes it possible to study in detail how the occupant moves and how the safety belt and airbag affect the woman and the foetus, including surrounding structures," says Lotta Jakobsson, Child Safety Specialist at Volvo Cars. "This means that the engineers can simulate the impact on mother and unborn baby in collisions at different speeds, and use the model to test for example safety belt designs under development". PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR A SAFETY BELT It is always better to wear a safety belt than not to, and pregnant women like everyone else should make sure to always buckle up correctly. Do like this: Remove bulky clothes so that the safety belt can be placed as close to the body as possible. Pull the lap belt over the thighs, lying flat under the belly. Make sure the torso belt is positioned between the breasts. Pull tight. The positioning of the safety belt is important so that the occupant is restrained over the body s stronger areas like the upper torso and pelvis thus protecting the weaker parts of the body, such as the soft abdomen containing the fragile foetus. Studies on the virtual pregnant crash test dummy show that the driver airbag offers protection for both the mother and the foetus.

9 Page 9 THE FACTS ON PREGNANCY AND DRIVING cont... COMMON INJURIES FOR UNBORN BABIES AND THEIR MOTHERS Injuries unique to pregnant occupants involved in crashes include placental abruption, uterine rupture or laceration and direct foetal injury. The most common type of injury is a separated placenta. The placenta then becomes partially or completely detached, meaning that the baby can not get enough oxygen and nutrients, which can be fatal for the baby. "Our research shows that the best protection for pregnant women and their unborn babies is for the mother to wear her three-point safety belt, and to wear it properly. This reduces the foetal injury risk significantly", says Lotta Jakobsson. POTENTIAL INJURY RISKS FOR UNBORN BABIES IN CAR CRASHES 1. Non-fatal but possible long-term consequences Separated placenta (most documented) - Foetal distress Early delivery - Breathing and nervous system disorders Direct foetal injury - Arm and leg injuries 2. Fatal Death of mother Separated placenta Ruptured uterus Baby skull fracture This article was compiled by Melissa Pye and posted on the Family car Reviews and advice web-page.

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