Media Release: Driver education key to cyclist safety

15 October 2018

https://vimeo.com/294712829?from=outro-embed

Urgent action is needed to improve the safety of cyclists on our roads. Road safety data shows that, in spite of falling levels of cycling in NSW, cycling injuries and fatalities have risen at a state and national level.

Bicycle NSW successfully campaigned for the introduction of Minimum Passing Distance laws, and it was confirmed last May after a two year trial, they would be permanent. New laws aren’t enough on their own to make riders safe, and Bicycle NSW has called for changes in enforcement of Minimum Passing Distance.

Bicycle NSW, Police and the Amy Gillett Foundation have agreed to work together to improve enforcement of minimum passing distance, police and driver education to improve safety in NSW. Bicycle NSW has joined with Cycling organisaitons across Australia to call for similar measures nation-wide.

Additional interstate bicycle organisation statements:

Bicycle Queensland CEO, Anne Savage, spoke very highly of work currently underway with Queensland Police.

“We’re looking at a comprehensive package of measures to assist both bicycle riders and Police improve the enforcement of safe passing laws in Queensland,” she said.

Pedal Power ACT CEO, Ian Ross, said “here in the ACT we are discussing a campaign with Police based on improved awareness and education on safe passing distance and we have received funding to buy the mats used by UK Police in their enforcement and education campaigns.”

In a presentation at the 2018 Australasian Road Safety Conference, Bicycle NSW and the Amy Gillett foundation shared the work they were doing to improve cycling safety and We Ride Australia shared a video interview with the UK’s West Midlands Police about their successful safe passing campaign that reduced cyclist death and injury by 20%.  This campaign, focused on driver education, has now been adopted by over half of all UK County Police forces.

“We agree with the report of the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy, that Australia has failed to implement a harm elimination agenda to protect vulnerable road users. We need State and National Government to implement road safety measures that prioritise the protection of people,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

Bicycle NSW applauds the efforts Bicycle Network and the Amy Gillet Foundation to get Minimum Passing Distance legislation passed in Victoria, and supports the national call for increased driver education and police enforcement of safe passing to protect people riding bikes.