image: Wadandi Track | Elements Margaret River / Shire of Augusta Margaret River

Due to some recent press regarding MTB riders using dual use tracks, the following has been prepared as a reminder to the MRORCA members of your responsibilities as a rider on these trails.

Furthermore, we would hope that all MTB riders remember that being courteous and respectful to pedestrians is the best way to keep everyone safe and community relations in tact.

There are standard requirements that need to be met before a bicycle can be considered legal for use on the roads and shared paths.

These requirements include:

  • a bell (or other effective warning device) that functions correctly and is fixed in a convenient position;
  • an effective foot operated or hand operated rear wheel brake. A front brake is optional;
  • a red reflector fitted to the rear;
  • a yellow side reflector (visible from both sides) on each wheel; and
  • yellow reflectors fitted to both side edges of each pedal.

Rules affecting cycling

When using a public road all bicycle riders must obey the same rules as other vehicles such as cars and trucks. The most common rules include those applying to traffic control lights, stop signs, careless and reckless riding, riding under the influence of alcohol, and keeping left.

Rules applying only to cyclists

In addition to the road rules applying to all vehicles, there are some specific rules that only apply to bicycle riders, who:

  • Must have at least one hand on the handlebar while in motion.
  • Must wear an approved helmet while in motion (see page 10).
  • Must not ride within two metres of the rear of a motor vehicle, over a distance of more than 200 metres.
  • Must not hold onto another moving vehicle or be towed by it.
  • Must not ride a bicycle on a freeway or other road that has designated restrictions that prohibit bicycle riding.

Riders can access a full version of the Road Traffic Act 1974, Road Traffic Code 2000, and the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 at their library or on the State Law Publisher’s website.

Shared paths and footpaths

There are some special rules for the use of shared paths (formerly called dual-use paths) and footpaths in WA. Shared paths are paths that
are designated for shared use by cyclists and pedestrians.

  • Riders must keep left on shared paths and footpaths unless overtaking.
  • Riders must give way to pedestrians at all times (pedestrians include people walking, using motorised and non-motorised wheelchairs, and people on rollerblades and skates).
  • At shared path intersections, you must signal your intention to turn and give way to motor vehicles entering or exiting an intersecting road.
  • Riders must travel in single file on all paths, though they can travel two abreast on a road.
  • Riders must not ride carelessly or recklessly. Riding recklessly includes riding at a speed that places other riders and pedestrians at risk.
  • Animals must not be tied to a moving bike.

Furthermore some things to keep in mind are:

  • Courtesy is the best safety on the trail. Remember that your behaviour is a reflection on the MTB community as a whole.
  • Whilst it is legal to ride two abreast on a road, consider riding single file when road infrastructure makes it difficult or dangerous for a motorist to pass you.
  • Equestrians have the right of way over other users on all trails.  Walkers have next priority and then cyclists.
  • Pass other trail users with care and travel in single file on busy trails.
  • Ride your MTB at a controlled speed, especially approaching blind corners.
  • When using a shared path or separated footpath, ride in a manner and a speed that will enable you to give way to pedestrians. Always let people walking or slower bike riders know you are about to pass by ringing your bell or simply calling out.
  • Remember there are plenty of MTB only trails in the region, so when using dual use paths and roads be mindful of other uses.

It is important that all members of the cycling community report behaviour by other road users that could be considered dangerous or overtly threatening in nature. It could help prevent further problems in the future for other riders.

Any troubling incidents should be reported to your local police as soon as possible. If the incident involves a vehicle, it is useful to note the relevant make, model and registration details for ID purposes.

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