RAA calls for safety first approach from all road users to reduce trauma

24 May, 2022

Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and RAA is urging riders to put safety first on every journey.

We are also calling on drivers to be aware of bicyclists as the daylight hours fade and wet weather returns, reducing visibility.

Last year police pulled over cyclists for 7,836 offences, 4152 resulting in fines worth $765,420.

The number one offence (4,264) was failing to wear a helmet, followed by riding at night without a front white light or without a red rear light (2,923), SAPOL records show.

Cyclists were also being caught riding with no hands on the handlebars (53), failing to ride in the bicycle lane (11) and dinkying a friend (4) in this period. One rider was also busted hanging onto a moving vehicle.

RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain is urging riders to do the right thing for safety’s sake.

“Cyclists are vulnerable road users so they should take every precaution to keep themselves safe from injury or worse,’’ he said.

“It’s crucially important to wear an appropriate safety helmet because its purpose is to reduce brain injury, which tragically can result from a collision.

“It’s also vitally important to be seen at night, so cyclists must make sure they have the correct lighting if riding in the dark, in heavy rain or dusty conditions.’’

Mr Mountain also had some advice for motorists driving past cyclists.

“The minimum safe passing distance is one metre for speeds up to 60km/h and one and a half metres for roads with a higher speed limit,’’ he said.

“While motorists can cross double lines to overtake cyclists, they can only do this when the road is clear – don’t attempt this when there is oncoming traffic but wait behind the cyclists until it’s clear to pass.’’

Police figures show 68 motorists were caught driving in a bike lane and another 26 failed to keep a safe distance when passing a cyclist last year.

Mr Mountain reminded drivers that they can only travel up to 50 metres in a marked bicycle lane to turn or leave the road.

“All road users should respect the road rules and each other to reduce trauma on our roads – last year eight people lost their lives on our roads in June, and we don’t want to see a repeat of that this year,’’ Mr Mountain said.

More cyclists were caught in Adelaide’s western suburbs last year, SAPOL figures show, almost twice as many as the southern suburbs, which recorded the second highest level of offences in Adelaide. The highest number of offences in regional SA was in the Yorke Mid North police LSA. (see table below).

Mr Mountain said the number of offences in the various police districts could be due to the level of enforcement and the number of cyclists, noting the western district would include coastal areas as well as cycling corridors popular with riders.

SAPOL metro district                              Offences     $ value

Western                                                      1,915            70,923

Southern                                                     1,041            48,448

Eastern                                                          674            24,035

Northern                                                       354            14,173                

SAPOL Local Service Area

Yorke Mid North                                       1,235            91,228

Eyre Western                                              970             45,148

Murray Mallee                                            692             39,649

Limestone Coast                                         442             21,746

Hills Fleurieu                                                327             13,483

Far North                                                      124               7,638

Barossa                                                            55               3,638

Source SAPOL 2022