Bicycle Network: Behaviour
Inquiry into Violence Associated with Motor Vehicle Use
In April 2005 the Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee released the Inquiry into Violence Associated with Motor Vehicle Use
In April 2005 the Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee released the Inquiry into Violence Associated with Motor Vehicle Use. According to the Chair of the Committee the inquiry is the most extensive analysis into the subject of road violence undertaken in Australia and anywhere in the world.
The committee was asked to investigate the incidence, prevalence, severity, cost and impact of violence associated with motor vehicle use and to report on the effectiveness of strategies and initiatives relating to this kind of violence.
The inquiry reviewed international research and asked for public submissions. Bicycle Network Victoria, Bicycle User Groups, academics and other members of the cycling community made submissions.
As a result there are a number recommendations that affect cycling.
Please see the attachment to the right for a copy of Bicycle Network Victoria's submission to the committee, attached to this submission were a number of emails of support from Bicycle Network Victoria members.
Below is a list of some of the recommendations referring specifically to the safety of cyclists.
- Improvements to road design. The provision of marked bike lanes, providing separation could help to reduce the violence against cyclists. The provision of signs advising the need to share the road at potential points of conflicts may prevent some anger at cyclists who are perceived to be violating the law - when they are in fact obeying it - as well as enhancing cyclist safety (page 262 and 335).
- The committee recommends that the VicRoads Redspot Form should be amended to allow the community to identify sites in need of signs advising about the need to share the road with cyclists and motorcycles. Serious consideration should be given to placing appropriate signs or road marking at the sites so identified.
- The committee identified the interaction of car drivers and other road users as an important issue, stating that 'many vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, consider that Victoria's roads are car-centred and potentially dangerous'.
The committee recommended that VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission conduct a campaign designed to encourage cooperative use of the roads.
The Committee received many submissions from cyclists expressing concern about the interaction between motor vehicles and bicycles, particularly in relation to cars passing too close to the side of bicycles.
While in some cases it is likely that such behaviour will be accidental, it was suggested that occasionally it occurs deliberately, in order to 'scare' the cyclist.
At present the only law governing the requisite distance between motor vehicles and bicycles is Rule 140 of the Road Rules - Victoria. This rule provides hat a road user cannot overtake another vehicle (which includes bicycles) unless it is safe to so.
The committee recommends that the Victorian Government enact a new road rule specifying the minimum safe distance to be maintained between motor vehicles and bicycles.
The committee recommends that the Victoria Police should be given the ability to issue penalty tickers for transgression of the minimum safe distance road rule.
The committee recommends that the information regarding the new road rule should form a part of the 'Share the Road' campaign.
There are many other recommendations in the report that if acted upon would make traveling on Victoria's roads safer for all road users. Please refer to the final report to read these recommendations in full.
The government's response to the report is here.