The Amy Gillett Foundation has developed a strong and articulate submission to the Inquiry into speed limits and road safety in regional NSW by the NSW Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety.
With input from fellow Australian cycling advocacy organisations AusCycling, Bicycle Network, Bicycle NSW, Bicycle Queensland, BikeSA, Pedal Power ACT, WeRide Australia, WestCycle, and 30 please, our joint submission indicates speed limit policy is crucial to improve road safety for people on bikes.
Cycling is very popular in NSW, with 2,910,000 NSW residents riding a bike in the last 12 months. Creating safe road conditions for people riding bikes has economic and productivity benefits, strengthens community connections; supports increased physical activity; improves mental health, reduces emissions; and prevents road trauma.
- Define speed limits focused on survivability of all road users (2026 Road Safety Action Plan [2, p.15]), based on crash risk and severity assessments.
- Develop a road infrastructure interventions (e.g., setting speed limits) protocol that includes the consideration of local characteristics (e.i., mode split, land use, nearby landmarks) with road crash survivability as the guiding principle, especially of vulnerable road users.
- Cautiously embrace, but not rely on, new vehicle technologies when setting road speed limits, while developing robust studies to assess their safety benefits for non-motorised road users.
- Consider e-bike adoption rates and international experiences on their impact on road trauma trends in the adoption of new speed limits.
- Account for the impact of speed limits and related road interventions on cyclists’ wellbeing in the road network.
- Identify and invite government agencies that promote active mobility (i.e., cycling and walking) to this discussion, and jointly assess the alignment between speed limit setting criteria and their strategies.
- Establish training programs for local decision-makers to guarantee safe road conditions are created for non-motorised road users in regional areas.
- Expand databases for cyclist crashes, including single-vehicle non-motorised ones.
Along with our partners, we are happy to discuss our recommendations with the Joint Select Committee and any other agencies working on road safety initiatives across Australia. We look forward to the outcomes of this inquiry and truly hope that we see action as soon as possible.