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Mybudget
Keep our cyclists safe—they’re saving more than money
By Tammy May


HHelp keep our cyclists safeThe warmer weather’s finally here and I love seeing all the extra cyclists on the road. Cycling is a great way to boost your health and budget. Based on average vehicle running costs, swapping your car for a bike will save you $7,000+ per annum and will reduce your carbon footprint by about six tons a year. Riding to and from work for just 15 minutes each way also meets the recommended daily exercise requirements. The most important thing, however, is to keep our cyclists safe.

Did you know...?

  1. When cycling, you must wear an approved cycling helmet, unless you’re in the Northern Territory where helmets are optional when riding on a footpath. Interestingly, Darwin has the highest percentage of people who cycle to work. (Is it because they don’t have to worry about helmet hair?)
  2. In Queensland, motor vehicles must give a minimum one metre passing distance to cyclists when the speed limit is 60 km/hour or less and 1.5 metres where the speed limit is greater than 60 km/hour. I think it’s a sensible rule for drivers everywhere to follow.
  3. Adults may legally ride on the footpath in Queensland, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and North Territory. In the other states, adults may only ride on the footpath when accompanying a child cyclist. Statistics show that a greater proportion of women cycle where riding is allowed on the footpath.
  4. Cyclists may not ride where the path is pedestrian only, which includes zebra crossings, pedestrian malls and other areas where bikes are prohibited.
  5. It’s illegal to ride your bike at night without a light. The general requirement is a white light visible from the front, red light visible from the back, plus red reflectors.
  6. Do you live too far from work to cycle? Many public transport services are now bike friendly, which means you can combine the bus or train with riding. Call your local transport authority to find out about any bike restrictions.
  7. Cyclists must not ride more than two abreast and, when they do, not be more than 1.5 metres apart.
  8. Cyclists are required to indicate that they’re turning right by using a hand signal. Motor vehicles must give way to cyclists who wish to turn right from the left lane (eg. at traffic lights or on roundabouts.)
  9. Are you thinking of cycling on Fridays so you can have a few drinks after work? Cycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol carries similar consequences as driving under the influence, including loss of demerit points from your driver’s license (even if you don’t have one!)
  10. Lycra is optional.

Like road laws, the laws governing cycling are subtly different in every state. Use this information as a guide only and contact the department of transport where you live to request a cycling fact sheet.

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