Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cycling Road Rules Review VicRoads Learners Permit Test for Drivers Victorian Government Survey Community Safety



Including the Road Rules for Cyclists on the Learners Permit Test for Drivers would

"increase awareness of Road Rules relating to Cycling" and Sharing the Road.



http://petedoweroadsafetyadvocate.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/cycling-road-rules-review-vicroads.html


“Sharing the Road means obeying the Road Rules, 

being predictable and respecting the rights of others who use the road.”  





Learners Permit Road Rules Test for Drivers



by Pete Dowe


Many in the community appear unaware that most Road Rules apply to cyclists and motorists.

The Victorian Learners Permit Test for Drivers could also become
a non compulsory test on the road rules for Cyclists

by adding just approx. seventeen additional Road Rules for Bicycle Riders to the test.


This would make the Learners Permit test comprehensive.


“Most rules in the Road Rules apply to bicycle riders in the same way

as they apply to drivers—

There are some other rules that are for bicycle riders only,

 or that have exceptions for bicycle riders.”

ADDITIONAL RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS Road Rules Victoria 1999, Victorian Government Gazette

If these additional 17 Road Rules that apply to Cyclists were included in the Learners Permit,
it would heighten Drivers’ awareness of cyclists, cycling, and Sharing the Road.
Vic Roads encourages motorists to cycle by being a ‘green driver’.

Further evidence also suggests that most Cyclists are also Motorists.
Bicycle Network Victoria claims that most of its members are also motorists.

Learners Permit Testing with the additional Road Rules for Cyclists
would therefore also heighten awareness to Cyclists of the Road Rules and increase
cyclists’ road rule compliance, particularly with those transitioning from driving to cycling.

Rules and Responsibilities

Sharing the road with cyclists

“- they have the same rights and responsibilities as you ”
P 135 Road to Solo Driving handbook Part 4 Vic Roads

Sharing the Road Safely
Tip
“Cooperative Driving helps you to be a ‘green driver’ ”... “Even better leave the car at home and walk, ride your bike or use public transport!”

P 125 Road to Solo Driving handbook Part 4 Vic Roads

As previously stated, the Learners Permit for Drivers could also become a non compulsory test on the road rules for Cyclists.

Many in the community desire testing on the Road Rules for Cyclists.

Heightened awareness of the Road Rules for Cyclists would also lead to increased cyclists’ compliance with the Road Rules.

For instance Road Rule 250. Riding on a footpath or shared path states:  

Cyclists must give way to pedestrians on a shared path.

“give way means the rider must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision”

ADDITIONAL RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS Road Rules Victoria 1999, Victorian Government Gazette

 “Cyclists come quickly riding up behind you and do not ring their bells.

On the day before yesterday I was just opposite the emergency entrance of St Vincent's Hospital 

when an elderly lady was walking in the opposite direction.

We were both passed by a bike.” 

She looked at me and said, 'Isn't it frightening? They are going to hit somebody'." 
Hon Terry Mulder MP Shadow Minister for Roads
Hansard May 5th 2009

The widespread behaviour of speeding cyclists on shared paths would suggest that many are unaware of their responsibilities, not simply non-compliant.

In relation to cyclists ringing their bells, cyclists are not required by law to warn pedestrians on approach.

Cyclists are however legally required to have a warning device.

“Bike Bells Law”
Road Rule 258. Equipment on a bicycle

A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have—

(a) at least 1 effective brake; and

(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.

ADDITIONAL RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS Road Rules Victoria 1999, Victorian Government Gazette

Meaning. “You can’t ring your bell if you ain’t got one”

Conversely “You can ring your bell if you do”

Anecdotally many cyclists also appear unaware of their responsibility to have a bell or warning device.

Cyclists have told me the reason they didn’t ring their bell was that they didn’t have one.

Nor do many cyclists realise the importance to pedestrians of warning on approach
and giving way.

“...pedestrians may be frightened or even on occasion knocked. But where is the evidence that they are being seriously injured or killed?”

Julia Blunden, Hawthorn
Progress Leader circa August 2012



As previously stated most Road Rules apply to cyclists and motorists including:

Road Rule 126.

Keeping a safe (stopping) distance behind vehicles


and as Road Rule 126 pertains to cycling bunches.


A bicycle is a vehicle.

The CycleSport Victoria and Amy Gillett Foundation submission to Coroner Johnstone’s inquest into the death of Pedestrian James Gould stated:

“The evidence establishes that there can be difficulties,

especially for inexperienced cyclists, in stopping safely 

when traffic lights are red, when they are riding in bunches.”



I argue it is negligent for a cycling bunch to be a No Stopping Zone.


Whilst ignorance is no excuse, cyclists cannot readily comply with the road rules
if they are not required to learn them and remain ignorant of their responsibilities.

Another case in point is the “Bike Lights Law” unfortunately titled Riding at Night
as it also applies to hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility”

Many cyclists appear unaware that they must have a set of lights which are clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front (and rear) of the bicycle

Road Rule 259. Riding at night

The rider of a bicycle must not ride at night, or in hazardous weather
conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the bicycle, or the rider,
displays—

(a) a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at least
200 metres from the front of the bicycle; and

(b) a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least
200 metres from the rear of the bicycle; and

(c) a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres from the rear
of the bicycle when light is projected onto it by a vehicle’s headlight on low-beam.

Note Low-beam and night are defined in the dictionary.
ADDITIONAL RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS Road Rules Victoria 1999, Victorian Government Gazette

The Learners Permit is also reliable photo ID for purposes of identification.

There would also be no extra cost to the Learners Permit Test and it has existing administration



Objective


Including the Road Rules for Cyclists on the Learners Permit Test for Drivers would

"increase awareness of Road Rules relating to Cycling" and Sharing the Road.



Pete Dowe



Road Rule 250. Riding on a footpath or shared path

(1) The rider of a bicycle who is 12 years old or older must not ride on a footpath.

 (2) Subrule (1) does not apply to a rider in the circumstances specified by the
Corporation by notice published in the Government Gazette.
Note Footpath is defined in the dictionary.

(3) The rider of a bicycle riding on a footpath or shared path must—
(a) keep to the left of the footpath or shared path unless it is impracticable
to do so; and

(b) give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path.

Note 1 Pedestrian is defined in rule 18, and shared path is defined in rule 242.

Note 2 For subrule (2), give way means the rider must slow down and, if necessary, stop to

avoid a collision—see the definition in the dictionary.

(4) In this rule—
footpath does not include a separated footpath.
Note Separated footpath is defined in rule 239.

ADDITIONAL RULES FOR BICYCLE RIDERS Road Rules Victoria 1999, Victorian Government Gazette

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