In a recent discussion at the Australian Bicycle Forums the issue of whether cyclists can pass a vehicle turning at the traffic lights was discussed. Having seen a cyclist hit a car (I am not blaming the motorist here as they wouldn’t have expected the cyclist to come on their inside whilst turning left) I thought it was worth highlighting the regulations as they stand in Western Australia. The regulations here do vary from the Australian Road Rules and hence other states.
In Western Australia, the relevant regulation in the WA Road Traffic Code 2000 states:
(1) When overtaking a moving vehicle, a driver of a vehicle (other than a bicycle) shall, except as provided in sub-regulations (2) and (3), pass to the right of that vehicle, at a safe distance.Points: 2 Modified penalty: 2 PU
(2) Where a carriageway is a one-way carriageway, or has 2 or more marked lanes for vehicles travelling in the same direction, a driver may overtake and pass in another marked lane to the left of a vehicle, if conditions permit him or her to do so with safety.
(3) A driver overtaking a vehicle making, or apparently about to make, a right turn or U turn from the middle of the carriageway and giving a right change of direction signal, shall pass to the left of it and of any vehicle that may be stationary behind it, but only if it is safe to do so.
Points: 2 Modified penalty: 2 PU
(4) The rider of a bicycle shall not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is making, or apparently about to make, a left turn, or is signalling a left turn. [my emphasis]
Modified penalty: 2 PU
[Regulation 122 amended in Gazette 13 Nov 2009 p. 4589-90.]
The relevant regulation for cyclists is 122(4) which denies cyclists the option of passing on the left, a vehicle turning or apparently about to make a left turn, or is signalling a left turn. This in-effect means no filtering of left turning vehicles including vehicles waiting at red lights.