NSW Police and Crime Stoppers NSW, as part of the 4D’s road safety initiative, are asking road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.
Addressing Car Driver Deaths
The emphasis in promoting the campaign has been on addressing car driver deaths, with a focus on speeding. However, Bicycle NSW has been assured that close pass enforcement will also be included as part of dangerous driving. This is vital as, in spite of the lockdown, bike rider fatalities did not reduce in 2020.
The Dashcam Safety Portal has saved 170,000 hours of police time in the United Kingdom. There are similar opportunities to save lives and maximise road safety here. Bicycle NSW worked with NSW Police to develop reporting guidelines in 2016, and board member John Hawkins has further developed these in 2017.
In the past, Bicycle NSW members have faced refusals to take reports of close passes at some police stations, and by Crime Stoppers. Our member advocates have faced criticism for trying to have these decisions overturned.
Some riders with recorded evidence of close passes have instead had police use it to issue a traffic infringement notice against the rider for taking the lane, not riding in the gutter, or not travelling in marked parking lanes. Based on Bicycle NSW advocacy files, and the lived experience of riders, we were unsurprised at the response when we shared the 4D’s campaign on social media just before Christmas.
“Road safety campaigns should work for all road users, so we are encouraging riders to try reporting incidents and update us on how it works,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“If the 4D’s Road Safety Campaign works well for riders that’s brilliant, and if there is room for improvement we will share this with NSW Police to help make it better,” said Bastien.
Improved road safety is imperative at a time when the NSW Government, NSW Health and many businesses depend on more bike riding to keep travel and service delivery COVID-safe.