Clarification Sought for Vertical Racks

Melbourne, Victoria

Bicycle Industries Australia is seeking clarification on State laws on rear overhang restrictions for bike racks on cars, after retailer reports of customers being fined for their vertical racks.

The organisation is inviting input from any retailers who have information about customers targeted by police for loaded bike racks believed to have exceeded regulations.

“The BIA is currently evaluating whether a targeted approach to the issue is required,” the association’s General Manager, Peter Bourke, said.

Peter said he has sought clarification from each of the States and Territories on how they interpret the regulations, which sit within the Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Standards) Rules 2018 designed to set uniform standards for motor vehicles.

The rules set a maximum rear overhand of 3.7m or 60% of the vehicle’s wheelbase – whichever is the lesser – measured from the rear axle.

He said as part of its investigation, BIA is preparing a fact sheet to assist retailers and others in the industry.

The owner of Melbourne store Urban Pedaler, Gabe Sullens, said three of his customers had been stopped by police during the past six months, as sales of vertical bike racks continued to explode.

“There are three companies producing vertical racks in Victoria in high volumes and retailers are doing really well selling them,” Gabe said.

“We’ve been selling around two a week, at about $1,000 each. In the lead-up to Easter, we will sell up to five of them each week and we were doing similar sales heading into Christmas.

“The move towards vertical racks really started three years ago and sales really escalated pre-Christmas 2020.

“We had a year and a half of solid sales and now they are really taking off.”

Gabe said their popularity in Victoria had escalated with the development of more venues with shuttle-style riding.

“They are becoming extremely popular with families,” he said.

Gabe called for clarity and, if necessary, exemptions within the law to accommodate the vertical racks, which he believes are a safer option for transporting bikes.

“They provide much better visibility for the driver and they make it easier for motorists travelling behind to see through to the vehicle, compared to the tray-style racks that have previously been popular,” he said.

“The vertical racks are also very rigid and hug the bikes in close to the rear of the car compared to tray racks, which could really bounce around if they were carrying a few bikes.”

Leave a Comment