ACT to deliver ‘a metre matters’ trial
Amy Gillett Foundation and Pedal Power ACT commend ACT Government on commitments to improve safety for bike riders
The Amy Gillett Foundation and Pedal Power ACT today welcomed the formal response by the ACT Government to the recommendations of the Vulnerable Road User Inquiry Committee. The Government’s support for 23 of the 28 recommendations showed commitment to improving the safety of vulnerable road users in the ACT, including bike riders.
Tracey Gaudry, CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation said ”The support committed by the ACT Government across the wide range of recommendations represents ground-breaking progress for bike rider safety.
“We welcome the ACT Government’s decision to trial minimum overtaking distance legislation requiring drivers to leave at least a metre when overtaking people riding bikes, and 1.5 metres in speed zones above 60km/h. Everyone’s safety on the roads is improved when we allow each other a safe space to travel and this is critical for bike riders. Now we need to ensure that the trial is supported by an effective community awareness and education campaign, compliance and evaluation.
“The ACT Government’s commitment to safety is clear in their consideration of compulsory cycling training in primary schools, a ‘strict liability scheme’ and lower speed zones in areas of high cycling and pedestrian activity. These are all actions that will lead to real safety benefits for vulnerable road users.”
John Armstrong, Executive Officer of Pedal Power ACT said the Government’s holistic approach to bike rider safety was a positive step forward.
“The ACT Government has recognised that improving bike rider safety is brought about by addressing many aspects, including road use behaviours, education as well as skills training to the next generation of road users.
“Specifically addressing the education of cycling in schools, lower speed zones in built up areas and the minimum overtaking distance legislation trial are all excellent steps towards encouraging more people to enjoy active transport options like cycling.” said Armstrong.
“Working together, Pedal Power ACT and the Amy Gillett Foundation sought to inform the Inquiry Committee about a comprehensive manifesto to improve safety for people riding bikes in the ACT.”
Both Gaudry and Armstrong acknowledged the importance of the ACT Government’s support for the recommendation to include a greater focus on vulnerable road users in both the theoretical and practical driver licence testing – an essential change in new driver training.
“The government’s response to the recommendations paves the way for the ACT to be placed as the Cycling Capital of Australia” said Armstrong “but there is a great deal to be done to make the infrastructure changes required and ensure that the proposed changes are sufficiently sourced in the ensuing budget.”