Demand number 4: review the road rules to remove barriers to safe cycling

Sally is riding out of the city on a busy road, heading towards an excellent bicycle route.  She needs to turn right.  Rather than cut across two lanes of fast-moving traffic, Sally pulls onto the footpath at a pedestrian crossing and crosses with the pedestrian lights.

Sally did this because she was looking out for her own safety.  But at the same time, Sally breached the road rules that make it an offence for a cyclist to ride on a footpath, and to cross at a pedestrian crossing.

Ideally, Sally wouldn’t have to make this call, because there would be more safe bike lanes forming a coordinated network across the city.

But until that happens, we believe that cyclists should not be punished for taking defensive action.

We think these offences don’t look at the reality of roads from a cyclist’s perspective. Even the definition of a ‘road’ in the road rules implies that roads are for cars.

The car dooring bill goes some way to addressing the inadequate penalties that currently apply to car drivers who endanger cyclists.  But we would like to see a broader review of all road rules – looking at strategies to make it safer (such as clear rules on safe passing distances), and looking at removing barriers to safe cycling.

What do you think?  Are there road rules that just don’t make sense for cyclists?

Riding from Melbourne’s south? Get pushy!

Can't see a safe way into the city? Join us and 'get pushy'!

We’ve heard again and again from non-cycling friends who live south of the yarra.  They want to ride to work too.  But they can’t see a safe way into the city.  It’s time to get pushy – Melbourne needs a network of safe bike lanes across the city, and in all directions!

 

Join us on “leap day” to get pushy for cycle safety

Bike safety feel like an uphill battle? Get pushy!

Where when?

Date: Wednesday 29 February 2012

Time: 12:45pm for a 1pm start

Place:  Gordon Reserve – the small grass triangle on Spring Street just south of Parliament House, near the corner of Little Collins Street.

What is this all about?

We are everyday cyclists. We care about cycle safety. And we think it’s time to get a bit pushy. What we don’t want: roads only for cars. Roads so unforgiving that small errors have catastrophic consequences. What we do want: safe bike lanes. More of them. And respect.

Greens MP Greg Barber has introduced a bill to increase the penalty for dooring to the same as running a red light. This is a good first step to raise awareness. But we want more.

Ride your bike to Gordon Reserve to support the Dooring Bill and call for:
1. More safe bike lanes
2. A culture of respect on the roads