The No Bell Bicyclists

By 27 December, 2012 189

An encounter today on the shared footpath/bicycle caused a bicyclist who had no bell. We did not hear him coming from behind. I asked him where his bell was. He said he didn’t need one as it didn’t fit on his bars.

Well here is what you need under the ACT Road Rules:

258 Equipment on a bicycle

A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have:

(a) at least 1 effective brake; and

(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.

Offence provision.

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189 Responses to The No Bell Bicyclists
#1
sien3:29 pm, 27 Dec 12

The person’s voice is a similar device.

Bells are risky. A bell can make someone suddenly move left, right, stop or who knows what. Try ringing a bell near someone from a country that drives on the left.

You can also have a bell, and not use the device.

#2
Tony4:39 pm, 27 Dec 12

Did you take his registration details and report to the pol…. oh, never mind.

#3
Tony4:39 pm, 27 Dec 12

.

#4
Spykler5:19 pm, 27 Dec 12

What ever happened to that simple courtesy of ringing one’s bell? I don’t want to navigate the legal minefield of having to go to court after plowing into a dogwalker or loving couple of one of our cities bike paths..I have been a bell-ringer from way back, but have noticed it is indeed a dying art.

#5
How_Canberran5:40 pm, 27 Dec 12

Tony said :

Did you take his registration details and report to the pol…. oh, never mind.

Whoa there people! Poor Zan appears to have engaged in an ‘encounter’ with an errant Canberran cyclist. The matter appears to be consuming Zan’s holidays and is therefore worthy of RA caring and sharing. A little sympathy please.

How Canberran.

#6
Zan6:43 pm, 27 Dec 12

sien said :

The person’s voice is a similar device….

Except when they have a quiet voice, as he did. A ding on a bell is much louder.

#7
Zan6:47 pm, 27 Dec 12

How_Canberran said :

Tony said :

… The matter appears to be consuming Zan’s holidays….

I am retired. I am pointing out that bells belong on bikes, just as horns are on cars, and should be used to let people know they are coming up behind.

It seems that some silly people do not know or even care about the rules and regulations or even common courtesy.

#8
Postalgeek6:52 pm, 27 Dec 12

Zan, you better make it clear from the outset that you were walking on the left side of the shared path and not blocking the thoroughfare.

More to the matter at hand, I’m thinking of finding a devices that constantly beeps. Some motorbike riders in Asia use them to let others know they are in close proximity without having to wear out their horn thumb. Maybe a timer app for my mounted iphone…

#9
Zan6:59 pm, 27 Dec 12

Hubby and I were walking on the left side of the white dividing line of the shared foot/bicycle path.

#10
screaming banshee7:03 pm, 27 Dec 12

A bell is distinct enough to be sounded a reasonable distance from the people you are approaching, so as to negate the ‘they could do anything’ argument sien proffers. It is also the customary warning device. I do not accept that saying ‘bike’ less than 2 seconds before passing constitutes a warning, or that a persons voice could be considered an appropriate warning device.

Have a bell!
Ring your bell!

I’ve got a 3 year old learning to ride and a 5 year old learning to skate who could go in any direction in a moment. Ring your bell and we will stop so you can safely pass. If you do nothing or just say bike before speeding past and hit my boys, you will regret it.

#11
How_Canberran7:35 pm, 27 Dec 12

Zan said :

Hubby and I were walking on the left side of the white dividing line of the shared foot/bicycle path.

OK. We are slooooowly starting to get somewhere here Zen.

So, you and your life partner were meandering along the shared foot/bicycle path when a silent, yet darstardly bicycle rider wooshed past you (on your right?) and failed to announce his approach to your satisfaction. I read that he then stopped to engage you in light banter regarding his lawful requirement to have a warning device affixed to his bicycle?

Sorry, but this is not the Canberra I know. If you copped a foul mouthful, you would be lucky. A full blown punch-up could have been the worst.

How Canberran.

#12
Deckard7:50 pm, 27 Dec 12

Maybe the guy had a bell in the past but was abused by another pedestrian for ringing it when approaching from behind when they think he didn’t need to.

You really can’t win. Some pedestrians want you to ring every time you pass them, some only want you to ring if they’re in your way. Be prepared to cop some abuse from one or the other.

#13
banco8:01 pm, 27 Dec 12

Clothesline: “a pro wrestling move in which a wrestler puts his arm straight out to the side and knocks his opponent over, either from his own momentum or his opponents”

#14
KB19718:49 pm, 27 Dec 12

So, was there a problem? Did he nearly hit you?

If not, so what?

#15
Rangi9:05 pm, 27 Dec 12

I asked him where his bell was. He said he didn’t need one as it didn’t fit on his bars.

I am surprised he gave such a polite answer, I would expected something more like ‘F off arse clown”

#16
wildturkeycanoe9:05 pm, 27 Dec 12

Zan said :

How_Canberran said :

Tony said :

… The matter appears to be consuming Zan’s holidays….

I am retired. I am pointing out that bells belong on bikes, just as horns are on cars, and should be used to let people know they are coming up behind.

It seems that some silly people do not know or even care about the rules and regulations or even common courtesy.

How many times do you hear the horns in people’s cars being used to warn the driver ahead that they are coming from behind? I thought use of car horn for this purpose is nowadays bordering on road rage.

#17
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:28 pm, 27 Dec 12

Yelling out *passing* seems to be far more effective than any bell.

#18
Very Busy10:49 pm, 27 Dec 12

sien said :

Bells are risky. A bell can make someone suddenly move left, right, stop or who knows what. Try ringing a bell near someone from a country that drives on the left.

It’s not an issue if the cyclist sounds the bell from an appropriate distance and is travelling at a reasonable speed for a shared path. As a daily bicycle commuter who uses the bell, I have never found this to be a problem.

#19
SupaSal10:55 pm, 27 Dec 12

I get them all the time when I’m walking the Staffy Ridgeback Cross, scares me therefore he attacks, Protecting me and him, Can tell you I’m seeing the same people who he has attacked are now ringing their bells or calling out to me, better than reporting it!!

#20
DrKoresh12:39 am, 28 Dec 12

Oh FFS. Did he do anything other than startle you as he went past? Because you haven’t given any details to make me think otherwise. I personally find having a bell rung at me to be incredibly irritating a and rude. I much prefer they use their words, or even better, go around me.

I can’t even find the words to describe how ridiculous you and this whole thread are. The way you end the article with ‘Offence provision.’ as if you were the victim of some terrible crime and as though you don’t commit countless similar misdemeanours every day is the most offensive part. I have to stop now, before I just degenerate into insulting but please try to appreciate what a ludicrous waste of everybody’s time this thread has been. Let it go, I’m sure you break equally stupid and minor laws all the time without even realising. In closing, go read a book or something, I’ve been reading Stephen Fry lately, he’s fun maybe it’ll take your mind off the small (the stupidly, laughably, tediously small) things.

#21
s-s-a1:11 am, 28 Dec 12

If you were driving in the left lane on the freeway and a faster car overtook you (safely and legally) would you expect them to blast you on the horn as they approached from behind?

Cyclists can’t win either way. As PPs have said, using the bell or calling out often seems to cause more offense. And the law only says you have to have a warning device, not that you have to use it every single time you overtake.

You are on a shared path. A sensible person would expect to encounter other people using a variety of modes of transport.

#22
kakosi1:27 am, 28 Dec 12

Why do some people underplay how dangerous a bicycle going at fast speed can be if they collide with a pedestrian?

I saw two cyclists almost collide with tourists around Lake Burley Griffin today. They didn’t ring bells – they were racing along – the young couple jumped out of the way (which was lucky cause these two weren’t going to slow down). And as they passed they yelled out abuse. Very nice introduction to Australian culture.

#23
bryansworld5:58 am, 28 Dec 12

I am a daily commuter cyclist who uses a bell to warn pedestrians that I am overtaking. When walking or running on shared paths I find cyclists that do not warn you that they are overtaking annoying and sometimes dangerous. The lycra dudes seem to be the worst. Way too cool to have a bell.

#24
bikhet7:07 am, 28 Dec 12

To all those getting stuck into Zan – you’re a bunch of self-centered pricks.

In another thread there’s a report of someone doing 168 in a 90 zone. No-one was hurt as a result of the driver’s stupidity. Do you claim that that driver can break the law because it doesn’t suit him? That what you are doing on behalf of the cyclist without a bell.

How Canberran!

#25
dungfungus8:06 am, 28 Dec 12

DrKoresh said :

Oh FFS. Did he do anything other than startle you as he went past? Because you haven’t given any details to make me think otherwise. I personally find having a bell rung at me to be incredibly irritating a and rude. I much prefer they use their words, or even better, go around me.

I can’t even find the words to describe how ridiculous you and this whole thread are. The way you end the article with ‘Offence provision.’ as if you were the victim of some terrible crime and as though you don’t commit countless similar misdemeanours every day is the most offensive part. I have to stop now, before I just degenerate into insulting but please try to appreciate what a ludicrous waste of everybody’s time this thread has been. Let it go, I’m sure you break equally stupid and minor laws all the time without even realising. In closing, go read a book or something, I’ve been reading Stephen Fry lately, he’s fun maybe it’ll take your mind off the small (the stupidly, laughably, tediously small) things.

What would be the situation if there was a collision between the errant cyclist and the pedestrian and the cyclist came off seriously injured?
I’ll tell you; every member of Petal Power would be on this blog condemning pedestrians.
Enjoy your Stephen Fry (I prefer Lamb’s Fry myself)

#26
KB19718:13 am, 28 Dec 12

Deckard said :

Maybe the guy had a bell in the past but was abused by another pedestrian for ringing it when approaching from behind when they think he didn’t need to.

You really can’t win. Some pedestrians want you to ring every time you pass them, some only want you to ring if they’re in your way. Be prepared to cop some abuse from one or the other.

Believe it or not, this has actually happened to me. I even have a witness to prove it.

#27
schmeah8:14 am, 28 Dec 12

I think people riding their bikes at night time without lights are a much bigger issue. I used to go jogging in Turner in the evening during the winter on the footpath and on a couple of occasions nearly got wiped out by students on bikes with no lights and no reflective gear. Typically international students who simply had no idea; they couldn’t see me and I couldn’t see them until they almost took me out .. and no, never heard a bell either.

Don’t even get me started on those I see riding on the road without lights ..

#28
KB19718:17 am, 28 Dec 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Yelling out *passing* seems to be far more effective than any bell.

This.

The bell gets ignored or swallowed by road noise if the track is near a road or wind if it is windy. I find yelling “bike back’ far more effective BUT it has to be done at a distance to give the walkers time to react with a thank you as I ride past.

#29
Zan8:17 am, 28 Dec 12

Are all you a bit short of grey cells? The point is that it is the law to have a bell on the bike. That is what this is about. Not about whether I got a fright on the bike path.

It is the LAW to have a bell on the bike.

ACT Road Rules:

258 Equipment on a bicycle

A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have:
(a) at least 1 effective brake; and
(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.
Offence provision.

#30
wildturkeycanoe8:41 am, 28 Dec 12

Zan, I wonder if you drive a car. If you did, how do you contain your frustration at the constant law breaking on our roads every minute of your travels?
If the person coming up behind you was on a skateboard, roller skates or fold up scooter, would you still be in angst if they didn’t “ring” before overtaking you?
Now here is an interesting scenario to add to your worries – if the pedestrian has their MP3 player plugged in and blaring ACDC at 90dB, how do they hear your bicycle bell? The whole concept of fair warning goes out the window, so should they ban personal music headsets from shared paths too????

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