Current laws in Australia state that you have to have a bell on our bike. But that is only the start...
Cut from Bicycle Victoria website:
Bicycle Victoria supports the use of bicycle bells, especially by riders using Rail Trails and bike paths (shared footways) where there are many people walking.
Our Share the Path code includes the following guidelines:
- Keep left unless overtaking
- Overtake on the right
- Wheeled traffic gives way to foot traffic
- Ring your bell, call ‘Passing’ and slow when passing others from behind
- Move off path if stopped.
Generally, we advise that riders use bells rather than horns, as bells are recognisable as the sound of a bicycle.
Another advantage of bells is that they can be rung either politely and gently or with urgency to warn walkers that you are coming up behind.
Bells are of little use in alerting people in motor vehicles but can help alert people who are about to step onto the roadway.
Traffic regulations require a rider to have a bell fitted. The penalty for riding a bicycle without a bell is $50. The penalty refers specifically to a bell. The old definition of an audible warning device no longer applies - so you can't argue that your voice meets the regulations.
A bicycle for normal road use must be sold with 'an efficient bell or some other suitable audible warning device'.
This standard excludes second hand bikes, tandems, folding bikes, track racing bikes, one of a kind bicycles, power assisted bicycles and the smaller children's bicycles.
The link (right) 'ACCC Pedal Bike Standards' contains a guide to the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1927: 1998 Pedal Bicycles - Safety Requirements.
The standards are enforced on wholesalers and retailers through the ACCC using the provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
See attachments below:
- PART 15—Additional Rules for Bicycle Riders (VIC Roads) - [part15.pdf]
- Trade Practices Act 1974 for Cycles - AS/NZS 1927:1998 Pedal Bicycles - Safety Requirements - [Product.pdf]
Another great source of information can be found here: http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/BicyclesPedestrians/