A new anti-hoon law

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On 10 June, the Minister for Road Safety, Shane Rattenbury, announced new laws that now make it illegal for anyone to throw objects at or place objects in the way of motor vehicles or bicycles so as to risk the safety of drivers, riders or passengers.

We applaud this new legislation. Full credit to Minister Rattenbury for initiating it and to Attorney General Corbell for introducing it. However, it is disappointing this kind of behaviour in our community happens so often that a law is required. It does however provide us with a sense of fulfilment – as we now know we can assist our members if they are on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour.

Previously we would receive a complaint from a member or the general public about an experience they’d been subjected to when out on their bike. We would take the matter to Road Safety forums Pedal Power ACT is a part of, but with no legislation in place it was difficult to get a positive outcome.

The Minister for Road Safety, Shane Rattenbury, was quoted as saying, “These new laws will help protect the Territory’s road users from irresponsible and dangerous actions, such as throwing rocks at cars or cyclists.”

“Throwing objects at cyclists is unfortunately a relatively common practice, and many regular cyclists will have a story of being hit or nearly hit by an object thrown from a car.  These days, with the popularity of helmet cams, a quick internet search will bring up videos of cyclists being subjected to dangerous behaviour.”

“The consequences of this type of behaviour could be potentially catastrophic and any person found guilty of this offence now faces up to two years imprisonment.”

“We strive to be a jurisdiction that is open and friendly to people using all forms of transport – in fact we want to particularly encourage people to use more sustainable and active means of travelling.”

“It is really important that, in encouraging more Canberrans to choose active travel, we have laws that ensure our roads are safe for everybody.”

If a Pedal Power ACT member is involved in any situation like this, we urge you to report the incident to ACT Police. You can do this on-line through Crime Stoppers. [Link : https://act.crimestoppers.com.au/crime-stoppers-information-report ] We understand it’s difficult to at the time – but if possible try and record the vehicle licence plate and get a description of the person who threw the object. The more information you can provide, the better the chance for a conviction.

If you require any assistance in your claim with ACT Police, please contact us via advocacy@pedalpower.org.au.

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