All road users should look out for each other and respect each other. Everyone has a right to use the road. Bike riders are particularly vulnerable and so it is important drivers keep an eye out for them. And it is important for bike riders to make sure they are seen.
Nine bike riders have been killed on Tasmanian roads in the past five years. There were six in the previous five years to the end of 2008. We all need to play our part to reduce the number of bike rider deaths and serious injuries.
The Road Safety Advisory Council and Government have worked with the Amy Gillett Foundation, Bicycle Tasmania, Cycling Tasmania and Tasmania Police to create an advertising campaign to promote bike rider safety awareness. The It’s A Two-Way Street fold-out pocket-size booklet and supporting radio advertisements were created by the Amy Gillett Foundation. The free booklet is available from Service Tasmania outlets, bike shops and organisations.
Listen to the radio ads:
The It’s A Two Way Street campaign is the first part of a campaign to promote safe road use by everyone – bike riders, drivers, motorbike riders and pedestrians – respecting each other and sharing the road safely.
Lanes for the exclusive use of bike riders are on some Tasmanian roads but not all so where bike riders and drivers share they should be aware of each other and respecting each other to ensure everyone’s safety.
Drivers and bike riders should keep a metre apart in 60km/h speed zones and 1.5 metres in higher speed zones. A bike rider is harder to see than a car and has far less protection. Drivers need to always be alert to bike riders. Many collisions happen because a driver does not see a bike rider.
It is important for bike riders to be as visible as possible by wearing bright clothing and having a flashing white light on the front of their bike and a flashing red one on the back.
Bike riders can travel two abreast, not more than 1.5 metres apart and take the whole lane if necessary to be visible.
When you are riding:
- Follow the road rules: everyone needs to stop at a red traffic light; breaking the law creates tension on our roads.
- Be seen. Wear light or bright colours and use your lights to increase your visibility.
- Ride safe: keep your bike in roadworthy good condition.
- Be predictable: use hand signals to indicate your intention before changing lanes or turning.
- Be ready to ride: plan and make sure you’re prepared for your trip. Never ride tired. Know your body and its capabilities.
- Be alert. Ride to the conditions. Look out for other vehicles, motorcycles and pedestrians entering and exiting driveways and laneways. Make eye contact with drivers.
- Wear a helmet. It’s the law.
- Be identifiable. Always have ‘in case of emergency’ contact details on you and let people know where you are riding
When you are driving:
- Overtaking: maintain at least one metre in speed zones up to 60km/h and 1.5 metres in zones above 60km/h from bike riders. It is important to keep a safe distance when passing a bike rider and it is legal to cross centre lines when safe to do so.
- Be prepared: plan your drive, take a 15-minute break every two hours and drive safely.
- Be predictable: indicate your intention to move well before changing lanes and before changing direction, look for bike riders, indicate, check mirrors and blind spots.
- Concentrate: focus 100 percent on driving 100 percent of the time; keep both hands on the steering wheel, eyes on the road and mind on the road.
- Follow the road rules: manage speed to stop or slow safely; drive to conditions by slowing down when road or weather conditions change.
- Check: before opening car doors, check mirrors for bike riders and look behind you before opening the door and tell others in the car to do the same.
- Give way: when pulling out of a car parking bay, driveway or lane, give right of way to bike riders as you would for any other vehicle.
- Be alert: expect to see bike riders in all areas and look for them at intersections and roundabouts