LEADING CYCLING SAFETY ORGANISATIONS JOIN AGF SUBMISSION TO THE DRAFT NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY STRATEGY 2021-30

The AGF is pleased to have submitted a joint response to the draft National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) 2021-2030 on behalf of leading Australian cycling organisations, including AusCycling, Bicycle Queensland, Bike SA, Pedal Power, We Ride and WestCycle.

On 24 February 2021, the Office of Road Safety released the draft National Road Safety Strategy 2021-30, aimed to outline a social model approach to deliver road safety actions by mapping a path to foster a road safety culture across Australian society, for open consultation and feedback.

Following a full review of the draft NRSS, the submission incorporates the views and feedback from the aforementioned organisations, who share concerns that the current draft NRSS will not keep Australians safe when riding a bicycle.

The current strategy takes a driver-centric approach to road safety and offers little provision for meaningful action to protect cyclists. Though this joint submission, the group strongly encourages the Office of Road Safety to reconsider the entire strategy through the lens of vulnerable road users, in particular, cyclists.

The inclusion of Movement and Place in the draft NRSS is an important step towards achieving safe, liveable communities but it must be accompanied by broader actions to keep people safe on all modes including on their bicycles, especially as we’ve seen cycling thrive during 2020 as millions of Australians pumped up their tyres and explored their cities during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Together, 19 recommendations have been outlined on how the draft NRSS can be strengthened to provide a strategy that will protect cyclists and provide a way forward over the next decade to keep people riding safely.

Our recommendations: 

  1. Update the icons to be more inclusive of all modes to show road safety means everyone. Safe roads can be a road without the inclusion of a car. Safe road use can be a person’s face without referring to a car or a truck or any mode. People across all modes are responsible for their actions, taking the person out of the car would be more inclusive of all road users.
  2. Revise the Strategy at a Glance to remove the duplication of the Movement and Place icons and the “Themes.”
  3. Delete the blue “Themes” box. While it’s pretty, it doesn’t make sense and suggests that speed management is not important.
  4. Replace photographs, see page 7-8 for details
  5. Edit the Strong accountability mechanisms principle to establish an external advisory group to monitor progress.
  6. The external advisory group must include a representative who provides input on safety from the cycling perspective.
  7. The NRSS includes a clear description within Vulnerable road user safety identifying that the safety needs of cyclists, pedestrians and motorbike riders are different and require different and targeted actions.
  8. The NRSS makes a clear connection between infrastructure types and road safety outcomes.
  9. Include support for pop-up infrastructure in the Priority actions.
  10. Include the need for reduced speed limits to 30km/h in areas identified as M1 and M2 in the Movement and Place matrix.
  11. The NRSS recommends that the Cycle Aware module be included in all state/territory driver licensing processes to ensure novice drivers are trained to share the road with cyclists safely.
  12. The NRSS recommends that Sharing Roads Safely is required for all drivers as part of state/territory government contract requirements.
  13. The Office of Road Safety works with the CLOCS-A working group to adopt CLOCS-A as a national standard to improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and motorbike riders.
  14. We strongly recommend that “systems assisting drivers to stay in their lane” be removed as an example of safe vehicle technology.
  15. The NRSS clearly states the need for concerted action to ban the importation and sale of motor vehicles that fail the ANCAP safety tests for vulnerable road users.
  16. The Office of Road Safety takes a leadership role to prevent these motor vehicles from entering the Australian motor vehicle fleet.
  17. Include as an action a review of the road rules with the aim of simplifying the rules to improve safety for vulnerable road users.
  18. The NRSS include as an action, the establishment and funding of a national Road Trauma Support Services based on the service in Victoria.
  19. The Office of Road Safety co-ordinates an annual information sheet similar to the 2015, BITRE Information Sheet 71, Australian cycling safety: casualties, crash types and participation levels Produced on a regular (at least annual) basis, this type of tracking will help to monitor important safety outcomes for cyclists. 

Read the full submission here:

AGF and our partners look forward to any opportunity to discuss our recommendations and to assist the Office of Road Safety to develop a NRSS for the next decade that includes safety for all cyclists.

Article by AGF Media

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