Changes to road rules setting a minimum distance for overtaking cyclists and allowing all age cycling on footpaths will take effect tomorrow.
The Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the changes encouraged all road users to better share the road, while also maintaining pedestrians’ safety on footpaths.
“The new minimum passing distance rule is aimed at ensuring drivers provide enough space when passing cyclists to protect some of our most vulnerable road users,” he said.
“The laws allow for vehicles to legally cross double lines to give cyclists the required space but only when it is safe to do so.
“We expect motorists to use their common sense. In many cases motorists were already crossing double lines to give adequate space to cyclists and this change recognises that and makes it legal.”
Mr Mullighan said the change to allow all-age cycling on footpaths was already legal in four other Australian states and territories.
“We are by no means the first state to make this change. This has been in place for some time in Queensland, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory,” he said.
“Cyclists must ride with due care at all times. When on the footpath, cyclists are still legally required to give way to all pedestrians, to keep left, to ride at a safe speed and to sound a warning bell or similar to alert pedestrians of their approach when necessary.
“We do not envisage people riding on the footpath at speeds at which they would normally travel on the road but rather to use the footpath when they feel safer there.
“The intention of these changes is to ensure that everyone who uses our roads and our footpaths does so respectfully, and with common sense and safety in mind.”
Mr Mullighan said South Australia Police would allow for a three-month education period to enable all road users to adjust to the changes.
“We are committed to working closely with police to ensure the transition to the new laws is as smooth as possible,” he said.
Full details of the changes are available at http://www.mylicence.sa.gov.au