LawTalk Blog

What vehicles can use a bike lane?

cars in bike lanes

Many riders are simply not aware of the rules and regulations that apply to them when riding a scooter or moped bicycle in a bicycle lane. 

What is classified as a Bicycle

Firstly, it is important to understand what the definition of a bicycle is clearly defined in the Australia Road Rules. 

Under the Australian Road Rules, a bicycle is defined as being any two or more wheeled vehicle that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor).  This may include a pedicab, penny farthing, tricycle and a pedelec.

You must note that the definition of a bicycle does not include a wheelchair, wheeled recreation device (such as a scooter, skateboard or roller blades etc), wheeled toy, or any vehicle with an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating).

In respect to power-assisted bicycles, there are two types of bicycles that a person is legally able to ride in South Australia, noting that while the bicycle's attached motor may provide assistance, the pedals must be the main source of propulsion:

  1. A power assisted bicycle that has up to 200 watts of power which is controlled by a throttle or accelerator; or
  2. A power assisted bicycle (or pedal cycle) meeting European standard EN 15194 for a pedelec. This type of pedal cycle has up to 250 watts of continuous power and the power is controlled by the rider using the pedals.  It is also a requirement for this type of pedelec to have a clear label certifying that it complies with EN 15194.

Riding your Scooter or Moped Bicycle in a Bicycle lane is not permitted

You must be aware that South Australian legislation clearly indicates the following:

(1) A driver (except the rider of a bicycle) must not drive in a bicycle lane.

There are exceptions to this rule if it is under the following circumstances:

A driver may drive in a bicycle lane if:

  1. the bicycle lane is not in operation;
  2. stopping in an emergency;
  3. entering or leaving the road from private property, a parking area, including a parking lane, or another road (and then only for up to 50 metres);
  4. overtaking a vehicle turning right or making a U-turn (and then only for up to 50 metres);
  5. avoiding an obstruction (and then only for up to 50 metres); or
  6. driving a public bus, public minibus or taxi picking up or dropping off passengers (and then only for up to 50 metres).

It is important that you are aware of the legislation in respect to the definition of a bicycle and when a person is entitled to use a bicycle lane on our roads.

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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