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      Recently, in Bangalore, a father-son duo were stopped and fined for carrying their bicycles on a car rack.

      They were driving from the trails back home, when the Bangalore police stopped and penalised them.

      This news erupted in cycling circles and within hours everyone was left aghast. But this isn’t the first time that car racks have been fined and surely won’t be the last.

      Carrying a cycle outside a vehicle is bound to attract the attention of policemen. Irrespective of which part of the country you are driving in.

      Immediately Bhaskar Rao, ADGP (Internal Security) and an avid cyclist, clarified on Twitter, that this isn’t the case:

      Let it be amply clear, carrying cycles on your car doesn’t attract any penalty. It is only rear and top overhang. Protrusion on either side is an offence as it is lateral overhang and will pose danger to other road users.


      An extremely pertinent distinction drawn by the IPS officer. A roof rack has the bikes protruding skywards and is therefore not a danger to fellow road users. Similarly a bike hanging off a rear rack is protruding rearwards and therefore safe.

      Any object jutting out on either side of the vehicle is a traffic hazard. Which is the case on most bicycle racks with their wheels intact. Your best option is to either remove the wheels when hanging it off a rear rack or to use a roof rack.

      A roof rack of course comes with the additional challenge of being extra careful while navigating through subways and covered parking lots.

      Having a protruding bicycle is not just a hazard for other road users, but for your bicycle as well. You could easily end up damaging your wheels and frame in congested traffic. Indian traffic as we know, doesn’t maintain social distancing!

      Cops often use the pretext that any modification to the vehicle needs RTO approval. But this isn’t the case with bicycle racks, since it isn’t a modification to the vehicle, just a temporary attachment.

      To stay safe from penalties, hang your bike in a manner that it doesn’t protrude outside the width of your vehicle. And ensure that your vehicle’s number plate is not hidden. For added safety you can use your bike tail light to safeguard against any rearward protruding part.

      News Source: Bangalore Mirror

      Using bicycle roof rack in India
      Bikes sitting pretty atop a roof rack
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