One of BBUG’s members recently obtained an exemption and this is what they learned…
The road rules say:
Rule 250(1A)(b) amended by S.R. No. 96/2019 rule 11(5).
(b) the rider of the bicycle is 13 years old or older and—
(i) has a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner; and
(ii) the certificate states that the rider has a disability or medical condition which makes it undesirable, impracticable or inexpedient for the rider to ride on the road; and
(iii) the rider is complying with the conditions (if any) stated on the certificate; and
(iv) if the disability or medical condition is of a temporary nature, the certificate contains an expiry date and has not expired; and
(v) the rider is carrying the certificate; and
(vi) the rider produces the certificate when requested to do so by a police officer or authorised person;
Road Rule 250 1A(b) provides for a medical exemption for footpath riding issued by a registered medical practitioner on the basis of Disability or Medical Condition and worded as set out in the rules.
Highlighting the relevant section on a printed copy of the road rules can be useful because some doctors are not familiar with this exemption.
You should identify how, where and when your disability or medical condition effects your riding on the road, eg: the physical demands of shoulder scanning, riding one handed whilst signalling etc are quite different to driving, it doesn’t necessarily mean all roads, it could be more noticeable on busy roads where the risk is higher and the consequences greater.
The Doctor may add conditions and an expiry date to the certificate, if your condition is temporary or under review or state that your condition is permanent.
Your disability or medical condition is a private matter so it is not necessary to be disclosed on the certificate or to police or others if you are stopped.
When riding on the footpath you are expected to keep to the left where practicable, avoid heavily pedestrianed areas and ride with caution.
The medical exemption is a two for the price of one deal because Road Rule 250 1A(c) allows your riding partner to accompany and supervise you whilst you ride on the footpath. You must carry the certificate with you and present it to a police officer or Authorised Officer when requested.
If your disability or medical condition relates to a current TAC claim then ask them to fund the cost of your medical practitioner
It is worth carrying a copy, printed or digitised of the road rule with your certificate as not all police are across the footpath cycling road rules.
The proposed Glass Creek / Jacka Trails was removed from the Boroondara Bicycle Strategy, it would have created a safe walking and cycling links to local schools and community facilities using gravel paths in the north of Boroondara, it ran through the wards of Nick StavrouCr Felicity Sinfield and Cynthia Watson
With the scrapping of these trails, footpath riding might be the safe and expedient option for exempt riders for the years to come.