In Western Australia we have two sets of regulations that impact on cycling. The main one being theÂ Road Traffic Code 2000 and the second one being theÂ Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002. Â The Road Traffic Code 2000 came into operation on December 1, 2000 and the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 some two years later on November 1, 2002. So since November 2002 there have beenÂ inconsistenciesÂ between the two sets of regulations. Well it seems that theÂ Department of Transportâ€™s Bikewest branch has, some eight years later, worked out that they stuffed up and are now proposing changes to theÂ Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 to bring the regulations into line with theÂ Road Traffic Code 2000 according to correspondence with theÂ Bicycle Transport Alliance.
In fairness it probably was not “Bikewest” in 2002 that got it wrong, but still it shouldn’t have happened and it shouldn’t have taken eight years to get some action on getting it resolved. Regretfully as theÂ Bicycle Transport Alliance response to the proposed regulations point out, Bikewest has overlooked the bleeding obviousÂ amendmentÂ to the regulations and in addition the review falls well short of a comprehensive review of theÂ Road Traffic Code 2000 from a cyclists view; something that seriously needs to be done as part of the achieving the objectives of theÂ Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011-2015 (we are still waiting for WA’s Bike Plan too).
- Inconsistency on rules for front lights on bicycles. Replace the words â€œan unbroken whiteÂ lightâ€ from Section 12 (1(a)) of the Â Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations with the words â€œaÂ flashing or steady white lightâ€ from the Road Traffic Code Section 224 (1(a)). Â This will allow for the use of either a white flashing light or a steady white light, however, noÂ considerationÂ is given for properly focused lights or controlling the brightness of lights, a matter of growing concern.
- Child carrier seats located in front of handlebars. Remove the words â€œforward of orâ€ fromÂ Section 14 I of the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations.
- Minimum width of a bicycle handlebar. Change the words â€œnot less than 200 mmâ€ to â€œnot lessÂ than 180 mmâ€ in Section 8 of the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations. Sorry fixie riders, no consideration of your short bars here.
- Colour of mudguards (only white or silver are permitted). Repeal Section 13 of the RoadÂ Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations. Â This would allow for any colour of mudguard.
- Power Assisted Pedal Cycles. Amend the Road Traffic Code to adopt the definition of a bicycleÂ used in the Road Traffic Regulations. This would remove any implication that aÂ PAPC may not be ridden on a shared path with auxiliary power engaged.
- Road Traffic Code 2000 regulation 228. Appeal this regulation as a power assisted pedal cycle would now have the same definition as a cycle.