Cyclists and left turning drivers: an examination of safe and legal aspects of the interaction

Georgina McMenamin, Marilyn Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


Priority on Australian roads is the safe and efficient movement of people and goods with an emphasis on the movement of motor vehicles. Comparatively there has been little consideration of safety when we are vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists. Fundamental to safety when we ride on the roads, is safe interactions between cyclists and drivers. This study involved an investigation into a specific interaction is not well understood – when a cyclist is travelling straight and a driver is turning left. More specifically, this study aimed to provide new insights to understand how engineering and legal aspects influence safety issues related to this interaction. To achieve this, definitions of safe and legal were explored and then applied video observations from interactions at intersections in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria (n=275). Two thirds of interactions (188, 68.4%) had elements of non-compliance and potential contributing influences included infrastructure/road design (i.e. road markings, bikes lanes, pedestrians and number of vehicle lanes) as well as observed behaviours (cyclists and drivers). Findings highlight that while there is a connection between engineering (road design) and law (road rules), the two currently operate in parallel and are likely to be contributing to inconsistent behaviours and confusion among road users.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2019 Proceedings
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2019 - Hyatt Hotel, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 30 Sep 20192 Oct 2019
Conference number: 41st (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2019
Abbreviated titleATRF 2019
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