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The bell tolls #2

Steele1968's picture

By Steele1968 - Posted on 07 May 2016

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

All those who cycle in NSW will be aware of the law requiring a bell installed on your bike or face a $106 fine. The law has been around for a long time, however, with the recent increase in penalties for cycling infringements purported to be for cyclist safety Police focus upon this and the issuing of penalties has increased significantly.

If you mountain bike do not think you are immune. Obviously when you ride on the road the law applies, however, if you ride your bike in any public space including a park or a cycle path you also must have a bell fitted – this applies no matter how short the distance and applies when you ride between your car and the trailhead.

This morning Police were writing infringements for mountain bikers riding across a grass reserve, from the trailhead to their cars, at a popular track in South-Western Sydney. The grass reserve is maybe 200m and is only used by mountain bikers but the law is the law even when it serves no community benefit.

Just a heads-up if you have not already got a bell fitted.

GiantNut's picture

And they wonder why respect for them is slipping

Tristania's picture

That this life-threatening crime is so high on the list of priorities for the powers that be to crack down on. Bells are absolutely crucial in NSW seeing as shared paths are basically non-existent, cyclists are illegal on footpaths and bells are inaudible on roads. Obviously infinitely more important than penalizing drivers that fling doors into cyclists, yell abuse at them and overtake them at close range.

I can't wait till the next election where we can vote this mob out (if that can ever happen) and get a sensible focus on the law that penalizes people for *real* offences.

Macdaddy's picture

Yes that sounds like real good idea, lets put the party in that just runs the country into the ground time after time after time.
Jesus we haven't even paid for the last mess they left.
It's nuppties like you that don't look at the big picture and vote for one thing.
Just put a bell on your bike and stop your whinging peeps and go for a ride.

DudeistPriest's picture

Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich, not sure who I'm going to vote for yet? (South Park reference)

Fatboy's picture

It's one of those laws that is just plain stupid. I carry a bell but don't use it as nobody hears it - cars, iPod wearing walkers etc so I just sing out "rider" if the situation needs.

I did keep my bell on for last week's Convict 100 as it had parts of the race along roads that weren't closed to cars whereas today in my race at Mt Stromlo I assumed as it is a closed park the rules don't apply and took it off.

And... personal attacks on people for what they post on this site isn't on mate. You can debate their argument but don't make it personal. Not cool.

hawkeye's picture

Worthy of a complaint to your local MP about discriminatory policing.

My understanding is the road rules only apply to roads and road-related areas, which are defined in the NSW Road Rules 2014.

If they pinged the guys for not having bells while riding on the reserve, they've misapplied the rules. However, on reviewing the rules below it would appear riding on legal singletrack open to the public requires you to have a bell. Sad

ROAD RULES 2014 - REG 258

Equipment on a bicycle
258 Equipment on a bicycle

A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have:

(a) at least 1 effective brake, and
(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

And ...

ROAD RULES 2014 - REG 13

What is a road related area
13 What is a road related area

(1) A
"road related area" is any of the following:
(a) an area that divides a road,
(b) a footpath or nature strip adjacent to a road,
(c) an area that is not a road and that is open to the public and designated for use by cyclists or animals,
(d) an area that is not a road and that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles.
Note :
"Vehicle" is defined in rule 15.
(2) However, unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in these Rules (except in this Division) to a
"road related area" includes a reference to:
(a) an area so far as the area is declared, under another law of this jurisdiction, to be a road related area for these Rules, or
(b) any shoulder of a road, or
(c) any other area that is a footpath or nature strip as defined in the Dictionary,
but does not include a reference to an area so far as the area is declared, under another law of this jurisdiction, not to be a road related area for these Rules.
Note 1 :
"Shoulder" is defined in rule 12.
Note 2 : The Minister administering the Act may, by order under section 18 of that Act, declare that provisions of the road transport legislation do not apply to a road or do apply to a specified area of the State that is open to or used by the public. The road transport legislation includes these Rules.

Flynny's picture

My voice and my squeaking disc brake are my warning device...

Steele1968's picture

I have actually combined both of those and use my squeaky voice as a warning device.

The voice is a better warning device in practice -
1. It is more urgent and immediate.
2. You do not need to move your hands from the primary controls.
3. The volume and tone can be modulated to suit the situation.
4. Appropriate words can be included depending on circumstances -"hello", "you go first", "thank you", "be careful will you", "are you right mate", "put the phone down", "look out", "hey a*#%$le I am here".

hawkeye's picture
2. You do not need to move your hands from the primary controls.

This in my opinion renders bells useless. But stupid rules is stupid rules. Gotta have the bell.

I wonder whether you could claim that a Hope rear hub is a foot operated warning device? Puzzled

Carlosdjakal's picture

There are sections along this road that directs cyclists onto the footpath for short sections. I haven't seen that enforced.
Not to mention children and adults in the company of children are allowed on footpaths.

hawkeye's picture

The Allambie Road signage fails to meet the requirements under the NSW Road Rules 2014 that make using those door zone death trap so-called bike lanes compulsory. So when descending, I don't. Also, because those footpath sections are on a "road related area" their use is also optional.

It's just ridiculously dangerous. Drivers in parked cars tend to fling doors open without giving approaching cyclist a thought, and those passing on the right give your needs for space little consideration. Not that Warringah Council road engineers care, it meets "standards" so fact they've engineered a deadly situation doesn't matter.

Unfortunately most drivers are ignorant of those fine rule distinctions, so "punishment passes" where they close shave you to teach you a lesson for not being in your place are common.

Pyrate's picture

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