The Pedal Power ACT and the Amy Gillett Foundation have welcomed the ACT Government’s formal response to the Vulnerable Road User Inquiry’s recommendations, and in particular their clear desire to improve the safety afforded to the region’s bike riders.
John Armstrong, Executive Officer of Pedal Power ACT said the Government’s holistic approach to bike rider safety was a positive step forward.
“The ACT Government has recognised that improving bike rider safety is brought about by addressing many aspects, including road use behaviours, education as well as skills training to the next generation of road users.”
“Specifically addressing the education of cycling in schools, the speed zones in built up areas and the trailing of an overtaking distance legislation to assist in ensuring the safety of those who choose to ride a bike indicates an excellent step towards encouraging more people to enjoy active transport options like cycling” said Armstrong.
“Working together, Pedal Power ACT and the Amy Gillett Foundation sought to inform the Committee of the many ways they could take action to make bike riding safer in the ACT.”
Dr Marilyn Johnson, Research Manager at the Amy Gillett Foundation said the ACT Government’s endorsement of 23 out of 28 recommendations in part or in full, reflected a genuine desire to improve the environment for the ACT’s 181,000 bike riders.
Dr Johnson said “we commend the ACT Government for showing their commitment to improving the safety afforded to the region’s bike riders by moving to implement the minimum overtaking distance legislation trial. It is fundamental that the trial be accompanied by robust awareness, education, enforcement and evaluation.”
Dr Johnson continued “the recommendation to consider compulsory cycling training in primary schools was of particular significance to the Amy Gillett Foundation, and we commend the Government for seeing the benefits in providing these skills to the next generation of road users.”
Both Armstrong and Johnson were equal in their enthusiasm for the recommendation to include a greater focus on vulnerable road users in both the theoretical and practical driver licence testing, recognising this as an effective manner to educate new road users.
“The government’s response to the recommendations paves the way for the ACT to be placed as the Cycling Capital of Australia” said Armstrong “but there is a great deal to be done to make the infrastructure changes required and ensure that the proposed changes are sufficiently sourced in the ensuing budget.”