Legal interpretation of riding on footpaths in Victoria

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Alan Erskine, Sep 5, 2003.

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  1. Alan Erskine

    Alan Erskine Guest

    According to a .pdf I downloaded from Bicycle Victoria, the offence is "Ride bicycle on dividing
    strip, footpath, nature strip or traffic island when not permitted" (code 2235). It does not say
    that "Riding of bikes on _all_ footpaths is an offence".

    Now, shopping centres and shopping strips have signs saying that bikes, skate boards and roller
    blades are not allowed, but what about on footpaths outside shopping areas, is that also an offence?
    Remember, the fine applies on footpaths "when not permitted". If there's no sign saying "you can't
    ride your bike here", then is it still an offence and what is the actual offence?

    I've had that file since 16 February and just realised what I was reading. _My_ interpretation of
    this is that it is only an offence to ride a bike on footpaths where there are signs stating that
    you cannot do so and not on footpaths in general. Correct or incorrect?
    --
    Alan Erskine alanerskine(at)optusnet.com.au Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction, Mr Bush?
     
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  2. "Alan Erskine" wrote:

    > According to a .pdf I downloaded from Bicycle Victoria, the offence is "Ride bicycle on dividing
    > strip, footpath, nature strip or traffic island when not permitted" (code 2235). It does not say
    > that "Riding of bikes on _all_ footpaths is an offence".

    My first thought is that these are likely to be the new "Australian Road Rules", covering all states
    and territories. Because riding on footpaths is legal in the ACT (with very few exceptions, like
    within a certain distance of open shops), these rules are just reflecting this.

    John

    > Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction, Mr Bush?

    Now don't you worry about that. Bush's got plenty of them.
     
  3. Alan Erskine <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > According to a .pdf I downloaded from Bicycle Victoria, the offence is
    "Ride
    > bicycle on dividing strip, footpath, nature strip or traffic island when
    not
    > permitted" (code 2235). It does not say that "Riding of bikes on _all_ footpaths is an offence".
    >
    > Now, shopping centres and shopping strips have signs saying that bikes, skate boards and roller
    > blades are not allowed, but what about on
    footpaths
    > outside shopping areas, is that also an offence? Remember, the fine
    applies
    > on footpaths "when not permitted". If there's no sign saying "you can't ride your bike here", then
    > is it still an offence and what is the actual offence?
    >
    > I've had that file since 16 February and just realised what I was reading. _My_ interpretation of
    > this is that it is only an offence to ride a bike
    on
    > footpaths where there are signs stating that you cannot do so and not on footpaths in general.
    > Correct or incorrect?

    That's the sort of thing you would have to argue in court, as would be dependent on existing
    precedent, and possible setting of a future precedent.

    I would have thought it would be interpreted along the lines of "riding on footpaths is not
    permitted when another medium has been provided". Given that footpaths never have signs on them
    forbidding riding, it could be considered to be illegal by default. It is common knowledge that you
    shouldn't ride on footpaths in any case.

    I'll make a point of asking some bike cops next time I see them.
    ---
    DFM
     
  4. "Alan Erskine" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > According to a .pdf I downloaded from Bicycle Victoria, the offence is
    "Ride
    > bicycle on dividing strip, footpath, nature strip or traffic island when
    not
    > permitted" (code 2235). It does not say that "Riding of bikes on _all_ footpaths is an offence".

    The Vicroads website says quite clearly when you are permitted:
    http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrne/vrninte.nsf/alldocs/7696A57ED0F32A0ECA25
    6B980003D610?OpenDocument&Area=[Cyclists]

    ie.when you are under 12 yrs old, over 18 yrs old and supervising a child under 12, have a physical
    or intellectual disability as certified by a medical practitioner making road riding unsuitable,
    or you are engaged in postal deliveries for Australia Post. This still requires you to keep left
    and give way to pedestrians.

    Then of course the exact letter of the law may give you an out, if you get caught and can
    convince the beak.

    Cheers Peter
     
  5. "Peter Signorini" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Then of course the exact letter of the law may give you an out, if you get caught and can convince
    > the beak.

    Well actually, no. http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrpdf/randl/part_15.pdf

    Rule 249 and 250 sets it all out for you. People may not ride on a seperated footpath designated for
    pedestrians, and people 12yrs and older may not ride on any footpath unless specific exemption is
    given in the government gazzette. Bad luck!

    Cheers Peter
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > I would have thought it would be interpreted along the lines of "riding on footpaths is not
    > permitted when another medium has been provided". Given that footpaths never have signs on them
    > forbidding riding, it could be considered to be illegal by default. It is common knowledge that
    > you shouldn't ride on footpaths in any case.
    >
    > I'll make a point of asking some bike cops next time I see them.
    > ---

    I have seen bike cops riding down the footpath on occasion.

    Corner of Johnston St and Hoddle St.

    Admittedly not a bike friendly intersection, but these cops rode across the road using the
    pedestrian light area for both crossings of Hoddle and Johnston St. And waited on the footpath for
    the lights to change each time. They even approached the intersection using the footpath for a
    good 100m....

    If it's good for the cops then it should be for all.....

    Cheers Ray
     
  7. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "Ray" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > I have seen bike cops riding down the footpath on occasion. If it's good for the cops then it
    > should be for all.....

    haha riiight. Cops can do anything they want. It certainly doesn't make it okay for us to do the
    same. You can watch them break the "law" and then be busted doing exactly the same thing.

    How many cops have broken the speed limit when passing you in a car? Me? Heaps.

    hippy
     
  8. "Alan Erskine" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > According to a .pdf I downloaded from Bicycle Victoria, the offence is
    "Ride
    > bicycle on dividing strip, footpath, nature strip or traffic island when
    not
    > permitted" (code 2235). It does not say that "Riding of bikes on _all_ footpaths is an offence".
    >
    > Now, shopping centres and shopping strips have signs saying that bikes, skate boards and roller
    > blades are not allowed, but what about on
    footpaths
    > outside shopping areas, is that also an offence? Remember, the fine
    applies
    > on footpaths "when not permitted". If there's no sign saying "you can't ride your bike here", then
    > is it still an offence and what is the actual offence?

    Is there any specification about who permits or forbids riding on the footpath? As far as I know,
    generally shopping centres are private property and can impose rules as they wish. However I'd
    question the authority of the local deli owners to forbid cycling on the footpath outside their
    shop. If the local deli owner can put up a sign forbidding cycling, why can't I put one up outside
    my house? The same could be said of the footpath that runs past a shopping centre. I think it needs
    to be determined where the shopping centre/deli/private residence property ends and what authority
    any entity has over the public space outside their property.

    Cheers,

    Frank
     
  9. "Frank Palermo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Is there any specification about who permits or forbids riding on the footpath?

    As far as I know such restrictions and the signs around shopping centres are administered by local
    councils. Except for the bans at the larger shopping centres who can ban whatever they like on their
    private property - don't expect to be able to ride, or even wheel, your bike inside Chaddie.

    Cheer Peter
     
  10. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "Frank Palermo" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:3f5aa65f$0$23614
    > Is there any specification about who permits or forbids riding on the footpath? As far as I know,
    > generally shopping centres are private
    property
    > and can impose rules as they wish. However I'd question the authority of
    the
    > local deli owners to forbid cycling on the footpath outside their shop. If the local deli owner
    > can put up a sign forbidding cycling, why can't I put one up outside my house? The same could be
    > said of the footpath that runs past a shopping centre. I think it needs to be determined where the
    shopping
    > centre/deli/private residence property ends and what authority any entity has over the public
    > space outside their property.

    The footpath outside a shop is crown land right? That means it is governed by the local council
    and/or state laws and/or federal laws. If that's the case, then surely it would come under the 12
    year old and under rule, whereby anyone over the age of 12 must not ride on a footpath? Someone else
    posted the actual "law". What's the problem anyway? Footpaths are more dangerous to ride on than
    roads for cyclists AND other users.

    hippy
     
  11. Alan Erskine

    Alan Erskine Guest

    "hippy" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Frank Palermo" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:3f5aa65f$0$23614
    > > Is there any specification about who permits or forbids riding on the footpath? As far as I
    > > know, generally shopping centres are private
    > property
    > > and can impose rules as they wish. However I'd question the authority of
    > the
    > > local deli owners to forbid cycling on the footpath outside their shop.
    If
    > > the local deli owner can put up a sign forbidding cycling, why can't I
    put
    > > one up outside my house? The same could be said of the footpath that
    runs
    > > past a shopping centre. I think it needs to be determined where the
    > shopping
    > > centre/deli/private residence property ends and what authority any
    entity
    > > has over the public space outside their property.
    >
    > The footpath outside a shop is crown land right? That means it is governed by the local council
    > and/or state laws and/or federal laws. If that's the case, then surely it would come under the 12
    > year old and under rule, whereby anyone over the age of 12 must not ride on a footpath? Someone
    > else posted the actual "law". What's the problem anyway? Footpaths are more dangerous to ride on
    > than roads for cyclists AND other users.
    >
    > hippy

    Council land. The Crown hasn't had any _real_ authority in Australia since 1988. And this is the
    precise point I was reaching. There are signs in strip shopping centres (not Chadstone, Southland
    etc) that say you can't ride bikes, skateboards etc but that only covers these areas, not footpaths
    in general. I haven't seen anything that specifically prohibits adults (or anyone over 12, for that
    matter) from riding a bike on a footpath.

    Might have to ask the next police officer I... 'run' into.
    --
    Alan Erskine alanerskine(at)optusnet.com.au Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction, Mr Bush?
     
  12. "hippy" wrote:

    > What's the problem anyway? Footpaths are more dangerous to ride on than roads for cyclists AND
    > other users.

    That doesn't seem to be the experience in the ACT - quite the contrary in fact. I'm sure it
    depends on pedestrian density (pun intended), "what you're all used to", and how fast you feel
    compelled to ride.

    John
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > "hippy" wrote:
    >
    > > What's the problem anyway? Footpaths are more dangerous to ride on than roads for cyclists AND
    > > other users.
    >
    > That doesn't seem to be the experience in the ACT - quite the contrary in fact. I'm sure it
    > depends on pedestrian density (pun intended), "what you're all used to", and how fast you feel
    > compelled to ride.
    >
    I agree, there are footpaths that are infinitely safer to ride on than the road and have next to
    zero pedestrian traffic.

    By all means stick to the road in the high density pedestrian areas, but if it comes to my personal
    safety and there isn't a pedestrian within cooee, I'd rather take the path. 80km/h moderately heavy
    traffic on narrow fringe urban roads just doesn't do it for me on a bike.

    I ride to enjoy it, not get the shit scared out of me :)

    Cheers Ray.
     
  14. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "John Henderson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > That doesn't seem to be the experience in the ACT - quite the contrary in fact. I'm sure it
    > depends on pedestrian density (pun intended), "what you're all used to", and how fast you feel
    > compelled to ride.

    Good point. Doing 60kph down a footpath unable to see the cars that are about to reverse in
    front of me isn't my idea of fun. Doing 60kph alongside a car going down the adjacent road - now
    that's fun :)

    hippy
     
  15. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "Alan Erskine" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Council land. The Crown hasn't had any _real_ authority in Australia
    since
    > 1988. And this is the precise point I was reaching. There are signs
    in
    > strip shopping centres (not Chadstone, Southland etc) that say you
    can't
    > ride bikes, skateboards etc but that only covers these areas, not
    footpaths
    > in general. I haven't seen anything that specifically prohibits
    adults (or
    > anyone over 12, for that matter) from riding a bike on a footpath.

    What about the links that Peter Signorini posted earlier in this thread? Don't they say that people
    over 12 cannot legally ride on footpaths?

    hippy
    - still confuzzeded...
     
  16. Ray <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] says...
    > > I would have thought it would be interpreted along the lines of "riding
    on
    > > footpaths is not permitted when another medium has been provided". Given that footpaths never
    > > have signs on them forbidding riding, it could be considered to be illegal by default. It is
    > > common knowledge that you shouldn't ride on footpaths in any case.
    > >
    > > I'll make a point of asking some bike cops next time I see them.
    > > ---
    >
    > I have seen bike cops riding down the footpath on occasion.
    >
    > Corner of Johnston St and Hoddle St.
    >
    > Admittedly not a bike friendly intersection,

    That reminds me. When a green right-turning arrow is displayed (but a red for through traffic), is
    it illegal to go through an intersection from the curb? There is no crossover between the bikes path
    and the cars path, but it still seems like a dodgy thing to do.
    ---
    DFM
     
  17. "Alan Erskine" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Council land. The Crown hasn't had any _real_ authority in Australia
    since
    > 1988. And this is the precise point I was reaching. There are signs in strip shopping centres (not
    > Chadstone, Southland etc) that say you can't ride bikes, skateboards etc but that only covers
    > these areas, not
    footpaths
    > in general. I haven't seen anything that specifically prohibits adults
    (or
    > anyone over 12, for that matter) from riding a bike on a footpath.

    You need to check out Rule 250

    http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrpdf/randl/part_15.pdf

    Cheers Peter
     
  18. "hippy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Good point. Doing 60kph down a footpath unable to see the cars that are about to reverse in
    > front of me isn't my idea of fun. Doing 60kph alongside a car going down the adjacent road - now
    > that's fun :)

    Yes, I'm quite happy in that scenario. But even if I'm only doing 35 kmh and riding across town for
    15 kms on the footpath I would not be happy, what with cars backing out, peds. wandering, and having
    no right of way at any of the 200 cross streets I have to deal with.

    Footpath riding maybe OK to take the littlies for a ride(1) or visiting the local store (but then
    they don't want you riding at the shops). To cover any sort of distance across Melbourne you need to
    be able to ride safely and skilfully in traffic.

    Cheers Peter

    (1) Ever since my kids were able to ride their own bikes we have ridden with them on the roads and
    taught them correct traffic skills. Now at 10 and 12 they are quite competent riders on the
    road, getting themselves to school and around the local streets. They don't ride footpaths and
    are happy riding with us in traffic, even occasionally at night.
     
  19. Glen F

    Glen F Guest

    It's interesting that Victoria, too, has departed from the "uniform" national road rules on this
    one, but in entirely the opposite direction to Qld and ACT (which permit footpath cycling by all).
    What happened to the dispensation for adults supervising under 12s on a footpath? Why was that
    deleted? When was this discussed? Who's idea was it? Are they just anti-bike, anti-kid,
    anti-parent or what??

    What is it about state governments in this country, that they can't agree anytime on anything...
     
  20. troyq

    troyq New Member

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    Assuming that you are facing a red light? then yes it would be...

    Which also begs an interesting question... picture a t-intersection where you as a cyclist are travelling across the top of the T i.e. there is a footpath to the left of you all the way through the intersection.

    On my commute I have often witnessed other cyclists mount the footpath to the left (with a red light at the intersection) and then rejoin the road on the other side of the intersection. Now they must be committing some offence but which one is it? Riding on the footpath or running a red light?
     
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