It’s almost hard to believe that another year has passed us by, and another decade has come to an end.
As our mind shifts to the potential of a new bike this Christmas and the new rides we'll take, we thought we’d take the opportunity to reflect on a year of fighting for the rights of bike riders and campaigning for better bike riding conditions.
When it comes to our advocacy, our team worked tirelessly throughout the year with all levels of government to help make it easier for more people off all ages to ride.
We know that there’s no single approach to reducing risk for people who ride.
That’s why in 2019 we campaigned for better separated infrastructure, speed reduction, a safe systems approach, supportive legislation and programs that present bike riding as a normal everyday activity.
Thanks to the ongoing support of our nearly 50,000 members, we've had a big year campaigning for people who ride bikes. Here's just a small snapshot of some of the major campaigns we worked on in 2019.
- Our 2018 bike rider fatality snapshot revealed that, yet another year had passed where bike rider fatalities remained stagnant. We called for urgent government action across five key priorities to properly address the risks for people who ride bikes.
- We used the opinions of more than 2,000 bike riders to form our submission on distracted driving to the National Transport Commission. By the end of the year, our patience had run out and we renewed our campaign to see illegal mobile phone use added to the charge of culpable driving, something we’ve been campaigning for since 2004.
- We ran NSW election and Federal election campaigns which saw commitments for bikes come from all sides of politics.
- As way to get more people pedalling, we surprised many by calling for the Federal government to pay people $5 to ride to work.
- The last of the funded Bike Futures sessions was held in Launceston and Hobart with speakers from Adelaide and Geelong talking about how to get separated cycleways in place.
- The City of Melbourne approved plans to build permanent Copenhagen-style protected bike lanes on Exhibition Street. In the same month, we campaigned alongside Geelong BUG to ensure that plans for a protected bike lane on High Street, Belmont did not get derailed in favour of car parks.
- A new survey on design solutions for Sydney Road reignited the campaign for separated bike lanes. We joined forces with Revitalise Sydney Road to host phone banking events, supported by an online campaign to get our message out. Sadly, by the end of the year, politics brought momentum to a halt.
- We added our thoughts to the Tasmanian Bicycle Council plan for a separated cycleway loop in Hobart’s city centre.
- We attended the two-day coronial inquest into the death of Norman MacKenzie, who tragically died from injuries sustained in a crash with a bike rider and provided recommendations to help with the inquest.
- The Victorian Government finally came good on its election promise to build separated bike lanes on St Kilda Road and we successfully saw the refunding of our Ride2School program. However, we also saw the government underdeliver for bike infrastructure in the budget.
- 2019 proved to be a horror year for road trauma. We joined other stakeholders at the TAC Road Safety Summit to call for action.
- We attended the sentence hearings for Billie Rodda and Michael Payanides for crashes that resulted in the tragic and high-profile deaths of Jason Lowdnes and Gitta Scheenhouwer respectively. It’s clear that more must and can be done to ensure that all bike riders get home safely.
- We made several recommendations to improve national truck safety and reduce the risk that heavy vehicles pose to people who ride in a review of Heavy Vehicle Law.
- We continued to advocate for separated cycleways in Tasmania’s major urban centres, with the RACT and University of Tasmania publically supporting our stance.
- We kicked off a new #FourPhotos campaign to track the progress of important bike routes across Australia and launched a new national crash reporter to help build the data available on bike crashes and near misses.
- October saw the unanimous approval of the City of Melbourne’s progressive 10-year transport strategy, with our full backing and support.
- We renewed the push for minimum passing distance in our budget submissions, discussions with the new Victorian Roads Minister and supported the laws inclusion as part of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s policy platform.
- We stood up for rail trails at the Legislative Council inquiry into the North-East Rail Trail.
- We worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure bikes weren’t forgotten across all major road and rail projects in Victoria and will continue to fight for better connections and more places to ride.
We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store and look forward to encouraging, supporting and enabling even more people to get pedalling through our campaigns.
The wheel of bike advocacy
Each spoke in our advocacy wheel plays an important part in making it easier for more people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to ride.
Learn more about our general advocacy strategy from our CEO Craig Richards.