http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-30/what-can-and-cant-cyclists-do...

QLD test, but generally applicable for SA

I got the answer wrong for "can you ride in the bus lane", in QLD you can.

I also got the answer wrong for "can a cyclist lose demerit points", which I thought you did and actually makes me more cautious to avoid illegal action

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According to the Cycling and the Law Handbook for SA

  • ›  You can be charged with a traffic offence in the same way as a motor vehicle driver. This includes incurring demerit points against your driver’s licence if you hold one. If you do not hold a driver’s licence you will still incur demerit points which can prohibit you from obtaining a licence in the future.

So basically I got two questions wrong on a test, for which the answers are apparently quite ambiguous and has spawned into a discussion on this forum where the concensus seems to be heading towards no one really having a clear and straight forward answer. I'd say I did pretty good then!!!!!

The answer to the demerit point question for SA is clearly yes.

As well as all the road rules that apply to everyone, the Motor Vehicles Regulations 2010 shows that demerit points in SA even apply to a number of offences that only cyclists can commit:

28(2A) Bicycle rider starting left turn on multi-lane road from incorrect position in bicycle storage area

32(2A) Bicycle rider starting right turn on multi-lane road from incorrect position in bicycle storage area

119 Failing to give way by rider of bicycle or animal to vehicle leaving roundabout

141(2) Bicycle rider overtaking to left of vehicle turning left

247A(1) Bicycle rider failing to enter bicycle storage area correctly at intersection with red traffic light or arrow

247B(1)  Bicycle rider failing to give way when entering bicycle storage area

247B(2)  Bicycle rider in bicycle storage area on multi-lane road failing to give way to motor vehicles in certain lanes when traffic lights are green or yellow

260(1) Bicycle rider crossing contrary to red bicycle crossing light

261(1) Bicycle rider crossing contrary to yellow bicycle crossing light

262(1) Bicycle rider proceeding when bicycle crossing lights change—failing to cross in accordance with rule

247A(1) - 247B(1) - 247B(2) are quite interesting. Anyone have any examples how that would occur?

Wayne, these numbers correspond to Australian Road Rules numbers. You can download the ARR from many places, and will find the rules explained in some detail there. 247A(1), for instance, simply says that if you are required to use a bicycle lane, you are required to use it all the way to the bicycle storage area.

Since getting back into cycling, and online discussions, I've consulted the ARR many times... and realised there were many rules I didn't know!

I think you need to enter the storage area from the bike lane. Also, you need to give way to vehicles turning left if they have a green arrow (good intersection design should make this non-existent though).

there are only 12 offences that a cyclist attracts demerit points as I understand it.  Under the ARR's most of the offences are talking about a driver and under ARR 16 driver does not include a rider.  ARR 17 defines a rider.

Then look at Schedule 4 of the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) and cross check against the actual wording of the offence and for example ARR 28 left turns rider is specifically mentioned when it comes to using the bike box and being in the correct lane.

28(2)(a) Bicycle rider starting left turn on multi-lane road from incorrect position in
bicycle storage area

32(2A) Bicycle rider starting right turn on multi-lane road from incorrect position in
bicycle storage area

119 Failing to give way by rider of bicycle or animal to vehicle leaving roundabout

141(2) Bicycle rider overtaking to left of vehicle turning left

151(1) Riding motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider on non
multi-lane road

151(2) Riding motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider in marked lane

151(4) Riding motor bike or bicycle more than 1.5 m from another rider

247A(1) Bicycle rider failing to enter bicycle storage area correctly at intersection with
red traffic light or arrow

247B(1) Bicycle rider failing to give way when entering bicycle storage area

247B(2) Bicycle rider in bicycle storage area on multi-lane road failing to give way to
motor vehicles in certain lanes when traffic lights are green or yellow

261(1) Bicycle rider crossing contrary to yellow bicycle crossing light

262(1) Bicycle rider proceeding when bicycle crossing lights change—failing to cross
in accordance with rule

Enjoy, it is always fun reading these things?? and can consume days :-) trying to understand the actual meaning :-)

Read the next page:

19—References to driver includes rider etc

Unless otherwise expressly stated in the Australian Road Rules, each reference in the Rules (except in this Division) to a driver includes a reference to a rider, and each reference in the Rules (except in this Division) to driving includes a reference to riding.

All road rules (and demerit points) apply to cyclists, except where the rule expressly states "the driver of a motor vehicle," "the driver of a heavy vehicle," "the driver of a public bus" etc.

Unless proven otherwise, it must be assumed this includes those general driving/riding offences which are mutually recognised across the nation.

>All road rules (and demerit points) apply to cyclists, except where the rule expressly states "the driver of a motor vehicle," "the driver of a heavy vehicle," "the driver of a public bus" etc.

You seem very sure of yourself. Of course the Australian Road Rules are not if and of themselves laws at all, they are simply a template used by each state and the actual laws are enacted in each state. The Motor Vehicle Acts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia specifically state that demerit points are only for offences committed in motor vehicles.

For example:-

104A. Demerit point offences in WA

(1) The regulations may prescribe an offence under this Act as a demerit point offence in WA, and specify the number of demerit points applying to the offence.

(2) An offence cannot be a demerit point offence in WA unless it involves the driving or use of a motor vehicle.

It is wrong to say that demerit points apply to cyclists even if the rule itself does and this also seems to apply in South Australia. Of course legal advice on the Internet is worth as much as you pay for it so anyone can say anything they like - caveat emptor.

Western Australia are welcome to take that approach if they want. It's their democracy, not ours.

No such restriction exists in the relevant law that applies in South Australia. You can look it up yourself at legislation.sa.gov.au

Yes I did read that and I agree with you in the ARR's the general use of driver includes rider.

However the demerit point scheme is under the umbrella of the MVA via its regulations and neither the MVA nor the MVR's define driver, so I would think it would be the normal dictionary meaning of the word.  However when reading the Schedule on demerit points they seemed to differentiate between driver (which includes a rider in the oxford dictionary if you also take the meaning of a bicycle being a vehicle) and rider.  So that is why I took the definition and therefore the distinction between the meanings from the ARR's.

Carlos - I agree about legal advice via the internet :-)  and none of my comments/musings are ever meant to be legal advice but a perspective that might cause thought or reflection and as Dave has done some reading/research and putting forward a different perspective.

Dave, in researching my response to you I found the whole list of police codes, fines and demerits here https://www.police.sa.gov.au/services-and-events/expiations

In reading this https://www.police.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/370573/PD3... at the top of page 16 of 27 there is no mention of demerit points in the general offence code for bicycles.

Anyway this was a worthwhile conversation as I found the offence codes and fines and demerits used by SAPol :-)

I did find another 1 that I overlooked

260(1) Bicycle rider crossing contrary to red bicycle crossing light

I see nothing in the SAPOL cheat sheet's grouping of cycling-specific offences which comes remotely close to implying that they are the only road rules which apply to cyclists.

The Motor Vehicles Act and the Motor Vehicles Regulations don't say so either. If it were intended that the ARR definition of 'drive' were to be detached from those rules when applied for the demerit scheme, it would say "offences by drivers of motor vehicles against the Australian Road Rules" rather than "offences against the Australian Road Rules" as it actually does.

If the SAPOL cheat sheet leads to them not applying demerit points that should apply according to the laws of the land, that's good news for cyclists who commit 'general' road rule offences and get the light touch.

But is it good news for other road users? Shouldn't we be concerned if people who can't manage to use the road responsibly on a bike are being given unfettered access to drive a car just as irresponsibly but with greater consequences? 

What about a cyclist who is also a driver (as most seem to be, according to the standard rebuttal given to bike registration advocates) who is on 11 points? Would you rather they get suspended from driving after their next cycling offence, or after killing a cyclist with their car?

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