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TAS Australian Law - Illegal to Lead Dog on Bicycle?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Jake Jones, 14 March 2016.

  1. Jake Jones

    Jake Jones Member

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    Hello,

    I am trying to get some clarification on the law relating to leading a dog while riding a bicycle. From what I have researched of road rules, it is illegal to have an animal on a lead while riding, even if they were attached with a purposely designed lead.

    Now the question is, is it also illegal under Australian law to do so while on a path and not on the road?

    Secondly, is there written restrictions of size/weight/shape of bicycle trailers? The only information I can find is on carrying children in trailers.

    I ask as I hope to go bicycle touring with my faithful dog.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    It appears different states have different laws. In NSW the Road Rules state that:

    "A driver, motorcycle rider, bicycle rider or passenger must not lead an animal, including by tethering, while the vehicle is moving.
    Animals should be seated or housed in appropriate areas.

    Note:

    A driver must not drive with an animal in the driver’s lap.
    A motorcycle rider must not ride with an animal between the handlebars and the rider."


    As I understand it this also applies to "road related areas" such as footpaths and shared use paths like bike tracks.

    Not sure about TAS though sorry.
     
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  3. Jake Jones

    Jake Jones Member

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    Bummer that sure is a hindrance
     
  4. nidan_i

    nidan_i Active Member

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    Been doing that here in XXX for nearly a year. Many people shout online and on forums such as this one about how dangerous it is citing bad experiences they've had and how stupid people are to do it.

    Well, my take on it is that when I see how they were doing it, I know who the stupid ones are.

    The way I do it safely is:

    1) I never hold the lead in the hand or on the wrist. You cannot steer effectively in the case that the dog pulls due to a distraction.

    2) I have a small 16" wheel cycle and I tether the lead as low down as possible, on the chain stay or low down on the rear carrier. This way the pulling force moment is comparatively low. On the odd occasion when he does get distracted (very rare these days) he absolutely cannot pull me over... and he's a very strong dog.

    It's as if he is pulling the rear wheel sideways from near ground level... which with someone sitting on the bike is virtually impossible. The higher the tether point, the more the chance of being pulled over.

    3) I tether the dog on the LHS of the cycle... so if on the road the dog is kerbside away from traffic. The lead length is short so he cannot run in front of the front wheel. his nose can only get abeam the front wheel axle point. Include a short length of ocky strap stuff as a bit of a shock-absorber if you like, You need to play around with this to get the length just right.

    4) The dog must be trained appropriately. a good 'heel', pulling is ok unless we are approaching a junction or roundabout... when he should respond to 'slowdown' or 'wait'.... and a good 'look' command. usually after his initial burst of pent up energy he'll settle down to just staying alongside, neither pulling nor dragging. Make sure your brakes are always well adjusted.

    5) Rarely break into a run except for the initial 50 metres to let off some steam... at which point we settle down to his fast or medium walk gait. Never push him past his limits... if you know your dog you'll know when.

    6) Always carry water bottles and vessel for dog to take a drink. have a rest if he's very tired. i never go more than about 3km each way tops.

    7) Stop at favourite trees/posts etc

    8) I always keep a good lookout for dogs/cats/rabbits etc and take avoidance action if you feel it's necessary... talk to the dog if required so he knows you're onto it... andr be prepared for a possible tug. Stop if you feel you have to until the distraction passes.

    9) I sometimes use the footpath if few people are using it... or alternatively the road. If on footpath am always considerate of other users and go slowly ringing my bell if required to give a timely warning. People invariably look around and give way if it's a narrow path. I thank them... and everyone's happy.

    Most people smile and see a happy well exercised dog loving his walkies. But there are always those holier than thou arseholes walking around telling you how to live your life and how stupid i am.


    PS, if I were to use my normal roadster bicycle to do this (which I never have had to do) I would manufacture a steel down bracket from the chain stay whose end would be about 250mm from the ground with a tethering point at it's end. Some kind of triangulation for rigidity would be incorporated.
     
  5. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    The right way or the wrong way is irrelevant here. If it's illegal, it's illegal. There are a ton of laws which are 'wrong' but that doesn't you're not going to get ticketed/charged/arrested/convicted/disqualified etc if you break them.
     
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  6. nidan_i

    nidan_i Active Member

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    in spite of a missing word i understand your reply. My only reason for posting was to help the OP do it safely if he decides to risk it. In no way did I infer that doing it safely would make it legal.

    Thank you for (re)stating the obvious. Takes a lawyer to do that.
     
  7. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    If you personally decide that the illegal action is worth the risk, to you, then so be it! This decision is yours to make. Disagreeing with a law does not change the fact that it exists.

    Perhaps these people are aware that it is against the law?

    I am a strong believer of 'civil disobedience' movements, where there is need to fight injustice, however, I do not believe this qualifies.

    Not that I think that your post falls into this category at this point, but for your general information, there is a term used for knowingly encouraging others to break the law. It's called incitement. Also illegal.
     
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  8. nidan_i

    nidan_i Active Member

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    No incitement for the OP to break the law. Just advising him how to do it safely if he does decide to break the law. Not to do so would be dereliction of duty to a higher law... that of caring for the safety of another. He is already aware of the law thanks to opinions previously given. What you stated was nothing new... and you are a complete jerk that you thought your contribution was necessary. Just had to get your superfluous post in, didn't you?

    At least my post was well thought out, addressed the physical risks that would be encountered with well thought out advice based on a thorough risk analysis. What did your post say? Don't break the law and do not encourage others to break the law. Nothing even remotely new or original in that.
     
  9. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so as far as I can understand, nidan_i, is that while you acknowledge that leashing a dog while riding is against the law and that this question has already been answered, by Sophia (who by the way generally offers some great advice in my opinion), that it would be a deriliction of duty (of yours (?)) if OP was not advised how to break the law by keeping the safety of his dog (usually aka furred family member) safe. This is interesting.

    I would take OP's question and subsequent response to mean that 1. S/He was seeking information about the laws prior to breaking them, and as you say, was given an adequate reply, and, that 2. That perhaps while not entirely satisfied with the law in this regard, his/her response of "bummer that it is hinderance" was an acceptance of that law although they felt it an imposition.

    Not sure how there would be any deriliction of duty, on your part, in advising a law abiding citizen, albeit you say safely, to breach the law, when this had little to do with the OP's posts?
     
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  10. nidan_i

    nidan_i Active Member

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    Not only the safety of the dog... but all other road users. And you persist with your mantra... I get it... it's illegal... we know... thanks for nothing
     
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