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Using bus and transit lanes in Canberra / ACT

Apr 22, 2014
Using bus and transit lanes in Canberra / ACT
  • There have been a few posts on these topics over the years, so thanks to those authors who have directed me to relevant info. A few threads on threads on these topics are included right at the bottom.

    Legislation and links are current as of 16 November 2012.

    Bus and transit lanes in the ACT / Canberra:
    • You can use bus lanes in the ACT.
    • You can use the B lights just like a bus can.
    • You cannot use bus only lanes in the ACT (though this is not 100% clear in the legislation - see note at the bottom).
    • You can use transit lanes.
    • (You also cannot use bicycle lanes, unless you're within 50m of making a turn and need to use it).

    Full and complete documentation as to the legislation relating to this below. For completeness PDF versions of the ACT Motorcycle Riders Handbook and the two pieces of legislation that deal with the ACT road rules are attached.

    [HR][/HR]

    Information that backs this up: Motorcycle riders handbook 2012, page 67: http://www.rego.act.gov.au/licensing...obikehbook.htm
    [​IMG]

    [HR][/HR]

    In terms of legislation, the current road rules are: http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni...13/default.asp

    BUS LANES
    Our authorisation to ride in bus lanes flows from:
    Rule 154 - we're not a bus but we're allowed to because...
    Rule 158 states that if there's another law that lets us do this, and another law is found in:
    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000 Rule 12


    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Australian Road Rules Incorporation 2010 (No 1)
    154 Bus lanes
    (1) A driver (except the driver of a public bus) must not drive in a bus lane, unless the driver is permitted to drive in the bus lane under rule 158.
    Offence provision.
    Note 1 Public bus is defined in the dictionary.
    Note 2 Rule 158 provides additional exceptions applying to this rule, and also provides a defence to the prosecution of a driver for an offence against this rule.
    (2) A bus lane is a marked lane, or the part of a marked lane:
    (a) beginning at a bus lane sign (whether or not there is also a bus lane road marking) and ending at the nearest of the following:
    (i) an end bus lane sign;
    (ii) a traffic sign that indicates the beginning of another special purpose lane; or
    (b) beginning at a bus lane road marking (if there is no bus lane sign) and ending at the next intersection.
    Note Intersection, marked lane, special purpose lane and traffic sign are defined in the dictionary.
    In this rule: bus lane road marking means a road marking consisting of:
    (a) the letters ‘BL’; or
    (b) the words ‘bus lane’;
    (c) or the words ‘bus only’.
    Note Road marking is defined in the dictionary.

    So then we refer to Rule 158.

    158 Exceptions to driving in special purpose lanes etc
    (1) [deals with exceptions where you're turning etc]
    (2) The driver of any vehicle may drive in a bicycle lane, bus lane, tram lane, transit lane or truck lane if:
    (a) it is necessary for the driver to drive in the lane to avoid an obstruction; or
    (b) information on or with a traffic sign applying to the lane indicates that the driver may drive in the lane; or
    (c) the driver is permitted to drive in the lane under another law of this jurisdiction.

    Now we turn to...
    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000
    12 ARR r 158 (2) (c)—other vehicles permitted to travel in bus lanes
    The drivers of the following vehicles are permitted to drive in a bus lane:
    (a) taxis;
    (b) hire cars;
    (c) demand responsive service vehicles;
    (d) motorbikes.
    Note Section 27A applies the B light rules to drivers of taxis, hire cars, demand responsive service vehicles and motorbikes.

    [HR][/HR]

    B LIGHTS
    We can use B lights just like a bus because of rule 280(2), and also the legislation
    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000, Rule 27A.


    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Australian Road Rules Incorporation 2010 (No 1)
    280 Application of Division
    Additional rules for drivers of trams, tram recovery Vehicles and public buses
    Division 2 Public buses
    (1) This Division applies to the driver of a public bus who is driving in a bus lane.
    Note The rules in Division 1 of this Part apply to drivers of public buses travelling along tram tracks – see rule 273.
    (2) This Division applies to the driver of a vehicle other than a public bus, in the same way as it applies to the driver of a public bus, if:
    (a) the vehicle being driven by the driver is in a class of vehicles specified for this rule by another law of this jurisdiction; and
    (b) the driver is driving in a bus lane to which B lights apply; and
    (c) the driver is permitted to drive in the lane under another law of this jurisdiction.

    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000
    27A ARR r 280 (2) (a)—other vehicles to which B light rules apply
    The following classes of vehicles are specified:
    (a) taxis;
    (b) hire cars;
    (c) demand responsive service vehicles;
    (d) motorbikes.
    Note This section applies the B light rules to drivers of taxis, hire cars, demand responsive service vehicles and riders of motorbikes who, under s 12, are allowed to drive in bus lanes.

    [HR][/HR]

    TRANSIT LANE
    Transit lanes are a bit clearer. Directly arises from Rule 156 in the ACT's law incorporating the Australian Road Rules.

    Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Australian Road Rules Incorporation 2010 (No 1)
    156 Transit lanes
    (1) A driver must not drive in a transit lane unless: (a) the driver is driving:
    (i) a public bus, public minibus, motor bike, taxi or tram; or
    (ii) if the transit lane sign applying to the transit lane is a transit lane (T2) sign — a vehicle carrying at least 1 other person; or
    (iii) if the transit lane sign applying to the transit lane is a transit lane (T3) sign — a vehicle carrying at least 2 other people; or
    (b) the driver is permitted to drive in the transit lane under rule 158.

    BUS ONLY LANES
    The Motorcycle Riders Handbook says we can't use Bus Only Lanes. @airsick raises the point that isn't easily supported by the legislation. Essentially, the legislation says a bus lane is one that's marked with BL, Bus Lane or Bus Only Lane as road markings, or is marked with a "BUS LANE" sign. It's ambiguous as to if this also means BUS ONLY LANE signs - road markings are different to signs.

    Would I use them? Probably not :). I think the ambiguity is there and could be tested, but... I don't feel like testing it :).

    [HR][/HR]

    Some more info might be gleaned from the threads that others have started on this.
    Transition 15 November 2012: http://canberrariders.org.au/threads...on-1-Bus-Lanes
    Riicho 15 March 2011: http://canberrariders.org.au/threads...s-Lanes-In-ACT
    Thread started by corvus2606 12 December 2008: http://canberrariders.org.au/threads/25753-Bus-Lanes
    Thread started by Sim-1 8 November 2011 on Adelaide Ave T2 lane: http://canberrariders.org.au/threads...e-Adelaide-Ave
    Thread by azzachazz 1 December 2009 regarding a no turning right sign: http://canberrariders.org.au/threads...axis-only-sign
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