Be aware of cyclists on the road
ACCIDENTS between cars and bicycles have become an all too common occurrence in Gladstone.
Both motorists and cyclists need to be more aware of each other on the road.
Gladstone Police District Tactician Sergeant Michael Newell said motorists need to be aware that cyclists can ride two abreast or three abreast if overtaking other cyclists but should ride in single file when a road narrows.
“Cyclists can take up the whole lane if they wish and follow the same rules as motorbikes,” Sgt Newell said.
“Motorists need to leave 2m between them and cyclists in case the bicycle needs to manoeuvre.”
“The most important message is that no one owns the road and motorists and bike riders must share.”
David McIntosh of Gladstone Bicycle Centre has been riding on the road for more than 38 years and understands the hazards involved for both drivers and cyclists.
“Many cyclists hesitate when riding on the road but they should ride exactly the same as if they were driving a car,” he said.
Mr McIntosh said cyclists should also look at drivers’ faces so they know the driver has seen them.
“There should be more education for both kids in schools and learner drivers on bicycle awareness,” he said.
The avid cyclist has had many near misses and was actually hit by a motorbike about 30 years ago.
“I would like to see signs in Gladstone saying ‘Be aware of cyclists training in area’ as they do in Airlie Beach,” he said.
“The best advice I can give to motorists is look, look, look and don’t speed up to turn a corner in front of a cyclist.
“A bike travels at around 30 to 35kmh and needs braking time as well. Many motorists don’t realise this.”
Mr McIntosh is a member of the Rockhampton Cycling Club and said there are about 60 to 70 competitive cyclists who train in Gladstone.
“There are also a lot of people who ride to and from work in Gladstone,” he said.
“There is a huge problem with cheap imports and bikes purchased on the internet not being roadworthy and up to Australian standards.”
Mr McIntosh, who rode a bike to work for 15 years, said other problems for cyclists were people opening doors on parked cars and cars coming out of driveways.
“Cyclists should wear bright-coloured clothing so drivers have a better chance of seeing them,” he said.
Gladstone Regional Council has a system of bikeways that links many local recreational facilities and shopping centres.
These bikeways are both off-road and marked bicycle lanes that are part of the roadway.
Bicycle Road Rules
Bicycles are considered vehicles and riders must obey all general road rules.
Cyclists must keep at least one hand on handlebars at all times.
Cyclists must wear an approved, correctly fitted and fastened bike helmet at all times.
Bicycles must have at least one effective brake and a bell in working order.
Cyclists must have a white light for night riding on front and a red light on rear that can be seen for at least 200m and a reflector on rear that can be seen for at least 50m.
Doubling is only allowed when there is a passenger seat or the bike is designed to carry more than one person.
Cyclists must give way to all vehicles on a roundabout and can turn right from either lane.
Cyclists must ride as near as is safely possible to left hand side of road but can occupy right lane to turn right.
Cyclists must not ride more than two abreast and must ride within 1.5m of each other.
Cyclists must always use a bike lane where provided.
Cyclists must dismount from bike on pedestrian crossings.
Cyclists must always give way to pedestrians on footpaths.
Cyclists must maintain at least 2m between bike and vehicle.
Hand signals must be given when turning.
Cyclists over 16 may be issued penalties for failing to adhere to these rules.
Source: QLD Gov Dept of Transport & Main Roads website www.transport.qld.gov.au “Road Rules for cyclists”.