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Mandatory use of cycle paths

In Hong Kong, it is prohibited to cycle on a road if a cycle track is available, and there have been prosecutions for it.

Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations – Regulation 51, Additional rules for bicycles, tricycles and rickshaws

(5) Where a portion of aroad is set aside for bicycles or tricycles no person shall ride a bicycle or a tricycle on any other portion of the road.

If we compare the UK, the current version of the Highway Code says that:

Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

So does a ‘portion of the road’ mean only a cycle lane within the width of a road, or include a cycle track?

Many cycle tracks are popular with occasional cyclists, who are not always familiar with how to ride among faster traffic.  Indeed, government departments often seem to assume that this type of cyclist is typical.

There are a few prosecutions for not riding on a cycle track every year (5 in 2010, up from zero in each of the previous two years), however we believe that cyclists should be free to choose to use the road even if a cycle track is available.

 

**IMPORTANT: The above information is provided for reference only and should not be considered legal advice. The government BLIS legal database at www.legislation.gov.hk contains the full text of all Hong Kong laws. **

One Response

  • In October 2012, I was riding my bike along Castle Peak Road-Tam Mi in the direction of Fairview Park/Sheung Shiu (coming from Yuen Long) which is a wide dual-carriageway. The weather conditions were fine and sunny with very good visibility. As I neared a small turning on my left (Nam Sang Wai Road) a black Toyota Prius pulled alongside me and without any indication or warning, turned directly into me as the driver attempted to enter Nam Sang Wai road.
    I was literally thrown into the air (landing very heavily on my back, elbows and knees) and my bicicle catapulted across the opposite side of the road with the force of the impact. The driver (a female) appeared from the vehicle clutching her mobile phone and I also noticed she had a small baby in the back seat of her car. It is my opinion that she was either distracted by the baby or using her mobile phone as there is no other way to explain how she could not of seen me!
    We both reported the accident to the Police and in February of 2013 I was notified by Tuen Mun Traffic Department that both the driver and I were to be prosecuted! I was charged with ‘failing to use the bicycle path’ as I was riding on the road at the time of the accident.
    This law is totally ridiculous and does not allow for the fact that many bike paths in HK are totally unsuitable for anyone other than casual cyclists or mountain bikers. The majority of bike-paths are both badly desined and maintained. In addition, there are regular enforced stops (where the cyclist needs to dismount) and other obstacles such as pedestrians and even motorists using them
    Finally, I am a competitive “ROAD” cyclist and often train at speeds in excess of 35-40kph – this would be totally impossible to achieve on HK’s bike paths!
    In conclusion, through no fault of my own I was knocked off my bike, suffered very painful injuries, extensive damage to my bike. clothing and equipment and to make matters worse am being prosecuted by “Asia’s finest (LOL) for daring to ride my ROAD bike on the road!!



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