Bicycle Network: Behaviour
Review of Road Rules
The Federal Government is reviewing the national road rules and vehicle regulations. Changes are needed to make our roads more bike friendly.
Road rules up for review
17 November 2011. National Transport Commission research into road rules has found that there is a lack of knowledge about the rights of bike riders.
Australians were unsure about who was at fault in dooring crashes, uncertain about how bike lanes were meant to be used, and confused about how to overtake a bike rider.
The findings are in a discussion paper, Review of the Australian Road Rules and Australian Vehicle Standards.
Two thousand people were interviewed to ascertain the level of knowledge of road rules held by adult Australians.
NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos said the review was essential to ensure the rules are responsive to Australia’s ever-changing transport environment.
“With the emergence of new vehicle and fuel technologies and a growing but ageing population, it’s important the rules support national goals for safer and more sustainable transport.”
The paper found that on average, changes to the road rules are implemented within 18 months but could be implemented sooner and on a common date across states and territories. This would help reduce deaths and injuries, where new or updated rules deliver large road safety benefits.
The survey found that 67 per cent of Australians believe the current road rules are appropriate.
It also found that 35 per cent of participants were made aware of road rules changes by television and radio advertising, with 54 per cent admitting to using common sense when unsure of rules.
“We need to ensure that changes to road rules are effectively communicated to the community so that motorists, riders and pedestrians are fully informed,” said Mr Dimopoulos.
Other areas for consideration include developing a mix of performance-based rules and advice rather than the current prescriptive approach to reduce the number of rules and keep pace with technology.
The paper also explores the effectiveness of the Australian Vehicle Standards Rules. The discussion paper is open for comment on the NTC website until 16 December 2011.
“I encourage all Australians to review the discussion paper and provide us with feedback as these rules impact upon everybody,” said Mr Dimopoulos.
Submissions can be made via the NTC website (www.ntc.gov.au) or by mail to Review of the Australian Road Rules and Australian Vehicle Standards Rules, National Transport Commission, Level 15/628 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000.
Click here to download the Review of the Australian Road Rules and Australian Vehicle Standards Rulesdiscussion paper and to make a submission.
Feedback received during the consultation period will inform the development of a draft evaluation report for public consultation in April 2012.
Bicycle Network will be making a submission in regard to rule changes aimed at reducing the risk to bike riders.