Bicycles and the road

Bicycles are a type of vehicle and bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists when using the road.
The best way to describe the above is to think of a bicycle rider as a motor vehicle on the road. Yes, they are slow and may be annoying to some motor vehicle drivers… but bicycle riders have a right to be on the road.

So what are the basic rules motor vehicles need to adhere to?
1. Motorists must stay wider than 1m when passing a bicycle rider in a 60km/h zone.
2. Motorists must stay wider than 1.5m when passing a bicycle rider in a zone where the speed is more than 60km/h.
3. Drivers must indicate when they pass bicycle riders if they need to change their position on the road.
4. It is legal for 2 bicycle riders to ride side-by-side, if they are not more than 1.5m apart from each other. The berth a motorist must afford is measured from the cyclist to the most right. Therefore, either 1m or 1.5m from the cyclist to the right, traveling in the same direction.
5. Treat bicycle riders like any other vehicle on the road. Give way to cyclists and when required to do so, travel at a safe following distance.

So what are the basic rules bicycle riders need to adhere to?
1. Keep at least one hand on the handlebar.
2. Wear a helmet.
3. Only carry a passenger if there is a second seat and the bicycle is designed to carry a passenger.
4. Use hand signals when turning right, hand should be open and palm facing forward.
5. Keep 2 metres between you and the back of a motor vehicle when you follow that vehicle for more than 200meters.
6. Avoid being a traffic hazard. Do not ride into the path of a motor vehicle or pedestrian.
7. Keep left, ride as close as possible to the left side (or on the road shoulder) on a single lane road.
8. You may take up any position within the lane on a multi lane road.
9. Ride to the left of any oncoming vehicle.
10. Not overtake another vehicle on the left, if it is indicating to turn left.
11. Not ride with more than 2 riders side by side unless you are overtaking another rider.
12. Ride no more than 1.5m apart, when traveling beside another rider.


Let’s be respectful and considerate this festive season and ensure we keep all loved ones safe. Common sense should always be applied, and safety put first and foremost for all road users. Patience and consideration for all road users should always be applied all the time. For the record, the author is not a cyclist.

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