ROAD RULES: Proposed Changes to the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002


In Western Australia we have two sets of regulations that impact on cycling. The main one being the Road Traffic Code 2000 and the second one being the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002.  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 been inconsistencies between the two sets of regulations. Well it seems that the Department of Transport’s Bikewest branch has, some eight years later, worked out that they stuffed up and are now proposing changes to the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 to bring the regulations into line with the Road Traffic Code 2000 according to correspondence with the 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 the Bicycle Transport Alliance response to the proposed regulations point out, Bikewest has overlooked the bleeding obvious amendment to the regulations and in addition the review falls well short of a comprehensive review of the Road Traffic Code 2000 from a cyclists view; something that seriously needs to be done as part of the achieving the objectives of the Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011-2015 (we are still waiting for WA’s Bike Plan too).

With regards to the proposed changes, all of which have been supported by the Bicycle Transport Alliance and well done to them for this, they are:
  1. Inconsistency on rules for front lights on bicycles. Replace the words “an unbroken white light” from Section 12 (1(a)) of the  Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations with the words “a flashing or steady white light” from the Road Traffic Code Section 224 (1(a)).  This will allow for the use of either a white flashing light or a steady white light, however, no consideration is given for properly focused lights or controlling the brightness of lights, a matter of growing concern.
  2. Child carrier seats located in front of handlebars. Remove the words “forward of or” from Section 14 I of the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations.
  3. Minimum width of a bicycle handlebar. Change the words “not less than 200 mm” to “not less than 180 mm” in Section 8 of the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations. Sorry fixie riders, no consideration of your short bars here.
  4. Colour of mudguards (only white or silver are permitted). Repeal Section 13 of the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations.  This would allow for any colour of mudguard.
  5. Power Assisted Pedal Cycles. Amend the Road Traffic Code to adopt the definition of a bicycle used in the Road Traffic Regulations. This would remove any implication that a PAPC may not be ridden on a shared path with auxiliary power engaged.
  6. Road Traffic Code 2000 regulation 228. Appeal this regulation as a power assisted pedal cycle would now have the same definition as a cycle.
The missing change or rather repeal of a Section as pointed out the Bicycle Transport Alliance is Section 11(4) referring to the requirement to have reflectors on your pedals.  That is right, your modern clip-less pedals are meant to have reflectors attached to them!  I would love to see you try and do that 🙂
Hopefully the seven amendments will be made quickly along with the additional one proposed by the Bicycle Transport Alliance.


  1. ROAD RULES: How does the WA Road Code Apply to Cyclists? | Aushiker: Bicycling & Hiking in Western Australia - 10 June 2011

    […] Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002.  The Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 are in the process of being updated to be consistent with the Road Traffic Code […]

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