Friday, December 4, 2015

Cycling Safety Cycling Safely Victoria’s cycling strategy Focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” may be Negligent. Comment by Pete Dowe Consultation is open until 16 December 2015 to gather the views of all types of cyclists and road users. Cycling Participation Negligence Duty of Care Any Kind of Cycling More Often? Victoria's Cycling Strategy Ride2School “There are more bike-on-bike crashes simply because there are more riders riding in groups these days,” he said. “And it takes time to acquire the special skills to ride safely in a bunch with other riders." Gary Brennan Bicycle Network Victoria Herald Sun May 23rd 2016 “Probably 80 to 90 per cent of cyclists that are on Beach Road today have a very low set of skills…” Marcel Lema Stateline, 1/9/2006 90% of an estimated 10,000 cyclists on Beach Road makes 9,000 poorly skilled riders. Pete Dowe There are “No formal training programs to develop bunch riding skills...” Monash University Accident Research Centre (2009)




“There are more bike-on-bike crashes simply because there are more riders riding in groups these days,” he said. “And it takes time to acquire the special skills to ride safely in a bunch with other riders."

Gary Brennan Bicycle Network Victoria 
Herald Sun
May 23rd 2016


“Probably 80 to 90 per cent of cyclists that are on Beach Road today have a very low set of skills…”

Marcel Lema
Stateline, 1/9/2006

90% of an estimated 10,000 cyclists on Beach Road makes 9,000 poorly skilled riders.

Pete Dowe


There are “No formal training programs to develop bunch riding skills...”

Monash University Accident Research Centre (2009)
                                                                    




“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).



Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said a morning-peak ride to work in Melbourne now felt “like a packed crowd at the MCG”.
“To some extent we have become a victim of our own success. The huge increase in riding is outstripping the provision of decent facilities by the State Government and councils,” he said.

“The crush is getting so bad in some places that riders are starting to get stroppy because there is just not enough space to ride safely.

“Riders like to use their trips to unwind and leave the troubles of the world behind, but the overcrowding of bike lanes is putting everyone on edge.”

The popularity of the bike lanes has led to cycle rage, with faster riders infuriated at being unable to overtake slower cyclists, and some riders forced to swerve into traffic resulting in crashes and near-misses.

 Some women report feeling too intimidated to ride.

Herald Sun Feb 23rd 2016








In fact Bicycle Network Victoria has blamed the unsafe cycling behaviour problem on the increase in cycling participation and inadequate cycling infrastructure.

"The fact so many new riders were taking to the roads meant there were a big group of "newbie" cyclists who had yet to learn the best way to conduct themselves on the roads,”

"the fact infrastructure in Melbourne had not kept up with the huge increase in cycling numbers was a factor in tensions between cyclists and motorists."


Gary Brennan

Bicycle Network Victoria

Herald Sun February 13, 2013


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/radio-station-flooded-with-calls-about-biffo-between-cyclists-and-motorists/story-e6frf7kx-1226577272903-          

Why then ought the “Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources seek to “make it easier for people to take up riding” or focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation”
-          without first giving citizens an informed choice as to the risks involved and risk reduction behaviour,
-          without addressing cyclists’ behaviour modification
-          and without providing adequate cycling infrastructure?


I argue that the Victorian Government

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or its focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” without first addressing cyclists’ behaviour modification and inadequate cycling infrastructure

“may be found to be negligent where a failure to take reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”



The health and fitness objective is however undermined where the means of aerobic exercise is unsafe.



The policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” rationalises:


“The health benefits of cycling such as a more active lifestyle and better fitness far outweigh 

the risks of death or injury from crashes” 


Bicycle Network Victoria


In other words “don’t worry about it, she’ll be right mate”

This is a cavalier approach to the risks of preventable death, truncation of life and serious injury.


“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”


Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).


The policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

therefore conflicts with Victoria's Cycling Strategy.


It does not “encourage safe and respectful behaviours from all road users” nor does it

ensure bike riders and other road users have appropriate rights and responsibilities.”


I argue that the “Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources



"has a duty of care to ensure that reasonable action is taken to minimise the risk of harm to anyone who is reasonably likely to be affected by the department's activities.”


I argue that the Victorian Government

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources


 “may be found to be negligent where a failure to take reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”



Pete Dowe

Road Safety Advocate


CYCLING “MAKING IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE UP RIDING” MAY BE NEGLIGENT.

Focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” may be negligent.








"has a duty of care to ensure that reasonable action is taken to minimise the risk of harm to anyone who is reasonably likely to be affected by the department's activities.”

I argue that the Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

“may be found to be negligent where a failure to take reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”

I argue that a Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

policy of  “making it easier for people to take up riding” or focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation”



may be Negligent.

“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).

Therefore it matters very much how you take up riding.

I argue “Making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

encourages people to participate in road usage without an informed choice as to the risks 

and in a manner in which they are unprepared and ignorant of risk reduction behaviour,

which affects the safety of all road users.





I argue  “Making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation”

encourages people to participate in road usage in a manner in which 

they are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured, 

which affects the safety of all road users.

I advocate that the maximum legal age for riding on a footpath remain at 11 years of age.

Riding on the footpath is hazardous,

and much more hazardous over 11 years of age.

Six of the Nine cyclists fatally injured

riding from the footpath onto the road or a crossing DCA 148 in Victoria during the period June 30th 2004- June 30th 2013 according to VicRoads CrashStats

were aged 13 years or above and therefore illegally on the footpath.

394 of the 510 total cyclists seriously injured

riding from the footpath or driveway onto the road or a crossing DCA 147 and DCA 148 during the same period

were aged 13 years or above and therefore illegally on the footpath.

“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).

I argue that it may be negligent for the Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources



to further encourage/ promote/ legalise footpath riding over the age of 11.

Cycling behaviour cannot be a cycling safety issue while the goal is to

“make it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus is on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

Cycling behaviour as a cycling safety issue is outside the terms of reference of

“making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

 “Dooring” is a cycling safety issue in the wider community

whereas riding from the footpath or driveway onto the road or a crossing are not a cycling safety issue

as accident types (DCA 147 and DCA 148)

in the wider community.

Yet “Dooring” has caused less fatalities and serious injuries during the same 10 year period in Victoria than riding from the footpath or driveway onto the road or a crossing.

Collisions with car doors opened onto traffic or “dooring” (DCA 163)

account for one cyclist fatality,

and 306 serious injuries in Victoria during the period June 30th 2004- June 30th 2013

according to VicRoads CrashStats.

Whereas Nine cyclists were fatally injured

and 510 cyclists were seriously injured

riding from the footpath or driveway onto the road or a crossing DCA 147 and DCA 148

during the same period.

I argue that the focus on “Dooring” DCA 163 as an accident type

but not DCA 147 and DCA 148 riding from the footpath or driveway onto the road or a crossing

is because unsafe cycling behaviour where the cyclist is responsible for the collision,

is outside the terms of reference of  “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

While the goal of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

is to

“make it easier for people to take up riding” or on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

it is then politically incorrect for cycling behaviour to be a cycling safety issue.

Therefore preventable cyclists’ deaths and serious injuries caused by the cyclist being responsible for the accident are neglected and ignored.

They are the "wrong kind" of preventable deaths and serious injuries.

One might well ask: 

"What are the right kind of preventable deaths and serious injuries!!!?”

            I argue that “Making it easier for people to take up riding“ or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

also “Makes it easier for people to take up riding without a set of bike lights."

“Making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” is therefore also in conflict

with the Victoria Police “Road to Zero” Road Toll campaign.

I argue the focus on cyclists’ voluntary compliance with the bike lights law, Road Rule 259, affects the safety of all road users.

"...Police visited the Upfield Bike Path at Albert Street, Brunswick one evening recently...

50 sets of lights were provided to intercepted bikes riding without lights after dark.

No fines were issued..."

Moreland City News/ Moreland Leader June 3rd 2013 



 “Making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” also conflicts 

with the key objective of the cycling participation policy:

Increased health and fitness and increased life span through the reputed benefits of aerobic exercise.

The health and fitness objective is however undermined where the means of aerobic exercise is unsafe.

Unsafe travel, unsafe exercise, unsafe cycling behaviour 

which increases the risk of preventable death, truncation of life and serious injury.

The dogma of the goal to increase cycling participation by 

“making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

is that it dictates we must have unsafe cycling or people won’t cycle.

So for instance unsafe helmet-less cycling has been put forward by the 

Freestyle Cycling Campaign as a means of boosting participation.

If one finds the helmet requirement can be deemed too onerous,

one wonders which other cyclists’ responsibilities could not be deemed a prohibitive disincentive

to “making it easier for people to take up riding”? or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

a set of Bike lights?

Fundamental road safety measures

such as risk reduction behaviour,

and the responsibility to show a duty of care to one’s own safety as well as to other road users

can also be deemed a disincentive to

“making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

The Freestyle Cycling campaign also deems the requirement to wear a helmet a disincentive to cycling participation because it reminds people of the risks of death, truncation of life and serious injury.

Remaining ignorant as to the risks involved in cycling has therefore also been put forward as a 

means of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

The policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” rationalises:

“The health benefits of cycling such as a more active lifestyle and better fitness far outweigh 

the risks of death or injury from crashes”                

Bicycle Network Victoria

In other words “don’t worry about it, she’ll be right mate”

This is a cavalier approach to the risks of preventable death, truncation of life and serious injury.

“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).

The policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or the focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” 

therefore conflicts with Victoria's Cycling Strategy.

It does not “encourage safe and respectful behaviours from all road users” nor does it

ensure bike riders and other road users have appropriate rights and responsibilities.”

"Sharing the Road means obeying the Road Rules, being predictable

 and respecting the rights of others who use the road"

Code of Conduct for Training Cyclists

In fact Bicycle Network Victoria has blamed the unsafe cycling behaviour problem on the increase in cycling participation and inadequate cycling infrastructure.

"The fact so many new riders were taking to the roads meant there were a big group of "newbie" cyclists who had yet to learn the best way to conduct themselves on the roads,”

"the fact infrastructure in Melbourne had not kept up with the huge increase in cycling numbers was a factor in tensions between cyclists and motorists."

Gary Brennan

Bicycle Network Victoria

Herald Sun February 13, 2013


“Bicycle Riders may not ride more than two abreast unless overtaking,
three wide is permissible
whilst the passing group is overtaking in single file.”

Code of Conduct for Training Cyclists

Riding two abreast Road Rule 151

If riding in the same (lane) please consider other road users and,
if necessary, change to single file to allow drivers to overtake safely.

VicRoads

”when cyclists breach road rules...” in particular the “…cycling specific rule of riding two abreast or three abreast when overtaking, other road users become frustrated and take undue risks and/or show inappropriate aggression often to other cyclists.”

CycleSport Victoria and Amy Gillett Foundation submission to Coroner Johnstone





“Also, some "outlier" cyclists were "doing stupid things" and creating risks by using apps to record competing times on some segments of busy commuter bike paths.”

A caller who claimed to have clocked cyclists at 35km/h on some stretches of Gardiner's Creek path was probably correct, he said.

In fact, Mr Brennan said he had clocked riders doing 40km/h on a stretch between Toorak Road and Waverley.

Gary Brennan

Bicycle Network Victoria

Herald Sun February 13, 2013


VicRoads and Bicycle Network Victoria recommend a maximum speed of 20kmh for cyclists on shared paths.

I argue this consensus on 20kmh maximum speed limit ought be legislated into a road rule for shared paths and that 20kmh speed limit signage ought be provided on shared paths.



-          Why then ought the “Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources seek to “make it easier for people to take up riding” or focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation”
-          without first giving citizens an informed choice as to the risks involved and risk reduction behaviour,
-          without addressing cyclists’ behaviour modification

-          and without providing adequate cycling infrastructure?


Cycling behaviour modification is best addressed off road before people take up cycling.

If cycling is to be a serious form of transport and I argue cycling should become a serious form of transport then the Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, the Victorian Cycling Community and Victoria’s Cycling Strategy must take Cyclists’ responsibilities seriously.



I argue that the “Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources



"has a duty of care to ensure that reasonable action is taken to minimise the risk of harm to anyone who is reasonably likely to be affected by the department's activities.”

I argue that the Victorian Government

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” or its focus on encouraging/ increasing cycling “participation” without first addressing cyclists’ behaviour modification and inadequate cycling infrastructure

 “may be found to be negligent where a failure to take reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”



Pete Dowe

Road Safety Advocate




Consultation is open until 16 December 2015 to gather the views of all types of cyclists and road users.

Do you ride a bike? Help us update Victoria’s cycling strategy

Published: 21 October 2015
Cyclists are encouraged to have their say on the priorities for the future of cycling in Victoria through an update to Victoria's cycling strategy.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is updating the strategy and developing a new cycling action plan.
Consultation is open until 16 December 2015 to gather the views of all types of cyclists and road users.
Feedback is being sought on how to strengthen the following six directions in an updated cycling strategy:
  1. Encouraging cycling participation
  2. Improving cyclists' safety
  3. Promoting the health benefits of cycling
  4. Highlighting the environmental benefits of cycling
  5. Growing cycle tourism in regional Victoria
  6. Planning networks and prioritising investment.
People can complete an online survey to share their ideas about how to improve cyclist safety and participation in Victoria.
The department is also holding workshops in key metropolitan and regional locations during consultation. Visit the cycling strategy website to register.
The ideas collected during consultation will be incorporated into a draft updated strategy, which will be made available for comment before being finalised for release in mid-2016.
For more information or to register for a workshop, visit economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/cycling-strategy or email cycling.strategy@ecodev.vic.gov.au

http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/news-and-media-releases/do-you-ride-a-bike-help-us-update-victorias-cycling-strategy

No comments:

Post a Comment