A new bicycle law on rights and responsibilities puts restrictions on where and how cyclists can legally ride their bikes while also targeting discourteous drivers who put cyclists in danger.
Legislation that became law in April and went into effect on Wednesday bans bicycles on highways and other roads with high-speed traffic, unless special permission is obtained in advance from the police.
No more croggies and backies
It will now also be illegal for bicycle riders to give backies and croggies to others, while the law specifies that special seats must be used for carrying another passenger, such as a child. This provision is expected to affect many adult foreign nationals and local teens, who often rely on getting a ride on a friend’s bicycle.
Other technical provisions are also included in the new law, such as riders being required to have a while light in the front and a red light in the back during night time.
Drivers must share the road
Drivers are also obligated to yield to cyclists as well as adjust the speed of their vehicles in such away in order to accommodate the safe passage of those riding bicycles. Changing lanes or making turns in such a way that it would cut off cyclists is also forbidden.
At the same time, it is the responsibility of those riding bicycles to monitor traffic behind them, according to the new law.
Skitching is outlawed
Cyclists are also banned from skitching or holding onto a motor vehicle in motion, while it is also illegal to tow or carry dangerous items.
The language in the law did not specify whether speed walking a dog while riding a bicycle is forbidden, but the legislation does ban 'dragging any animal'
The language in the law did not specify whether speed walking a dog while riding a bicycle is forbidden, but the legislation does ban “dragging any animal”.
Fines can go up to €1000 for drivers for a range of offences, such as blocking a bicycle route while failing to yield could also land someone in jail for up to six months.
Carrying a passenger unlawfully on a bicycle, known as giving a croggy or backie, could fetch a fine up to €500 for the person riding the bicycle.
Cyclists can also be fined up to €100 if they fail to yield to pedestrians who enter or show intent that they wish to walk over a bicycle path after exiting a pedestrian crossing. Riding with other bicycles on the left going the same direction is also an offence, according to the new law.
Riding a bicycle recklessly can also land someone in jail for up to three months and a penalty up to €1000.