New safer cycling rules remain with strong community support

Released 04/12/2017

Support for safer cycling reforms has strengthened among Canberra road users over a two year trial period, and the new rules will remain in place while a full evaluation is conducted, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said today.

“Preliminary results from a community attitudes survey in October show that 91 per cent of respondents were at least somewhat supportive of the minimum overtaking distances and this support has strengthened over the trial period,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Almost half of all respondents stated that they are completely supportive of the minimum overtaking distances – up from 33 per cent in 2015 when the trial commenced.”

The minimum passing distance regulations require drivers to maintain an overtaking distance of at least one metre when passing a cyclist at under 60km/h. When driving at a speed over 60km/h the minimum distance increases to 1.5 metres. The reforms also include new rules allowing cyclists to ride across pedestrian crossings in a safe manner.

“The survey indicates an increase in community awareness of the reforms with 70 per cent of respondents aware of the trial, up from only 36 per cent in 2015.”

The new regulations will remain in place while a full review of the trial is conducted.

“Data shows that the reforms are improving attitudes among road users about the importance of cyclist safety, so it makes sense for the trial to continue while we further evaluate whether the regulations should be maintained in Canberra permanently. So now’s not the time to get lax around cyclists, but to continue to respect the trial rules,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The Government will look at crash incidents involving cyclists and at the enforcement of the new regulations to inform a full review of the trial. It will also be important to collect information about the impact of the changes on other vulnerable road users.

“After the trial, most Canberrans are now aware of these cycling safety measures, which is pleasing. To make our Vision Zero a reality we need everyone to be aware of other road users, particularly vulnerable Canberrans”, Mr Rattenbury added.

Mr Rattenbury will be available for comment today during a tour of the North building in Civic (12:30pm).

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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