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10-year-old child cyclist seriously injured in crash with electric bicycle

By Emily Morris 12 May 2017 33

Police wrap

A 10-year-old child has been seriously injured in a collision involving an electric bicycle in Fadden yesterday.

At approximately 8.45 am on Thursday (11 May 2017) an electric bicycle ridden by a 46-year-old male collided with a 10-year-old child cyclist on a shared use path adjacent to a primary school.

The child cyclist was taken to hospital in a serious condition before later being transferred to a Sydney hospital.

ACT Policing’s Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team are continuing investigations.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or have information that may assist police, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the Crime Stoppers website. Information can be provided anonymously.


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33 Responses to
10-year-old child cyclist seriously injured in crash with electric bicycle
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mel hatch 9:07 am 21 Jun 17

Hi could @dungfungus could please give your information to the local police if you haven’t already about someone riding through fadden numerous times it may be of interest.
Thanks

dungfungus 10:39 am 24 May 17

tim_c said :

I’ve seen a guy riding through Kambah (southbound) on an electric bike which seemed almost the size of touring motorcycle. He continued on through Greenway around the east side of the lake but I’m not sure if he continued on as far as Fadden (lost sight if him fairly quickly the rate he was travelling), but if anyone (cyclist or pedestrian) were to be involved in a collision with him they’ll be doing well to survive it given the speed and weight of his vehicle. I’d have reported it if there was any evidence that anyone might have bothered to do anything about it (I may even have video footage of him overtaking me like I was stationary).

The only people that haven’t seen these illegal bikes are the police and Pedal Power.

I am avoiding shared paths from now on. Few bikes have bells and less have riders that give any warning of their approach.

It’s only a matter of time before we have “path rage”.

tim_c 9:38 am 24 May 17

I’ve seen a guy riding through Kambah (southbound) on an electric bike which seemed almost the size of touring motorcycle. He continued on through Greenway around the east side of the lake but I’m not sure if he continued on as far as Fadden (lost sight if him fairly quickly the rate he was travelling), but if anyone (cyclist or pedestrian) were to be involved in a collision with him they’ll be doing well to survive it given the speed and weight of his vehicle. I’d have reported it if there was any evidence that anyone might have bothered to do anything about it (I may even have video footage of him overtaking me like I was stationary).

tim_c 9:29 am 24 May 17

Acton said :

The danger to pedestrians from speeding cyclists on shared paths has been raised within this forum many times well before this unfortunate, but predictable accident. An articulate and educated community (cyclists and non-cyclists), should ask what is the most effective and practical way to prevent further such accidents. Otherwise it will happen again.

Or is pedestrian safety a secondary consideration when a complacent local government is beholden to a blinkered Greens pro-cycling ideology? Will it take a few more accidents like this, media coverage of permanent injuries, maybe even some fatalities, before a reluctant Minister forms a committee to consider submissions, make recommendations, which will then be reviewed and debated, before being watered down so as not to upset any influential cycling lobby groups or undermine the existing comfortable political status quo?

If you are reading this Pedal Power or Minister, please prove me wrong.

I’m not sure what you’re trying to advocate here. If cyclists ride on the road, they are told to get off the road. Now you’re saying they shouldn’t ride on the cyclepaths either, because there might be other cyclists using them. Or are you saying they shouldn’t ride fast on cycleways… you might as well just ban all cycling for any purpose other than casual recreation, because anyone cycling to actually get anywhere is going to be riding faster than walking pace – would motorists accept a proposal for their commuting to be speed limited to walking pace in case a pedestrian wants to walk across the road without looking?

tim_c 9:22 am 24 May 17

dungfungus said :

…Our ACT government needs to “take the bike by the handlebars” and sort this mess out, immediately.

ACT policing can’t be held accountable either because there are no guidelines etc. to go by.

For starters, all bicycles in the ACT need to registered (fee applicable) and inspected to ensure they are road/path-worthy. Any electric bikes that are not pedal assisted only need to be banned, full-stop.

All bike riders must have a licence and CTP insurance.

Ha ha, I don’t know where you’ve been living, but the ACT Government can’t even ensure all the cars on the roads are roadworthy, or currently registered (and covered by TPI), or that the drivers are licenced (including not disqualified).

wildturkeycanoe 2:08 pm 16 May 17

dungfungus said :

Creating speed limit zones for shared paths near schools would cost millions.
Banning electric bikes will cost nothing.

Even if speed limit zones were created, how does anybody comply without a calibrated speedometer to indicate their speed? How would enforcement happen without some form of identification of the vehicles? Finally, how are penalties handed out when lack of licensing leaves no disqualification possible and offenders could be any age from 2 to 92?

dungfungus 8:10 pm 15 May 17

random said :

Not sure of all the details but I don’t like the presumption in comments that the adult cyclist was necessarily at fault. Children tend to have much limited awareness of their surroundings and limited control of bicycles, scooters etc. They can frequently be observed veering into the wrong lane or otherwise behaving unpredictably. I have seen children move into the path of walkers/joggers too. They’re like tiny drunk adults. If a drunk cyclist veered into a road and was hit by a car, we wouldn’t be talking about reducing speed limits.

Let’s also not forget the salient point that it was 8:45am on a path adjacent to a primary school. There are some arterial paths used primarily by cyclists — e.g. the path down Ginninderra Drive — where it is relatively rare to encounter pedestrians at all. That’s a different kettle of fish to a path next to a primary school right in the period when all the kids are arriving.

Starting with speed restrictions on paths in school zones — 8:00-9:30 etc. — seems like a reasonable step.

The fact that the police have seized the electric bike the adult was riding obviously is of some import.

Creating speed limit zones for shared paths near schools would cost millions.

Banning electric bikes will cost nothing.

random 2:58 pm 15 May 17

Not sure of all the details but I don’t like the presumption in comments that the adult cyclist was necessarily at fault. Children tend to have much limited awareness of their surroundings and limited control of bicycles, scooters etc. They can frequently be observed veering into the wrong lane or otherwise behaving unpredictably. I have seen children move into the path of walkers/joggers too. They’re like tiny drunk adults. If a drunk cyclist veered into a road and was hit by a car, we wouldn’t be talking about reducing speed limits.

Let’s also not forget the salient point that it was 8:45am on a path adjacent to a primary school. There are some arterial paths used primarily by cyclists — e.g. the path down Ginninderra Drive — where it is relatively rare to encounter pedestrians at all. That’s a different kettle of fish to a path next to a primary school right in the period when all the kids are arriving.

Starting with speed restrictions on paths in school zones — 8:00-9:30 etc. — seems like a reasonable step.

dungfungus 2:40 pm 15 May 17

Acton said :

The danger to pedestrians from speeding cyclists on shared paths has been raised within this forum many times well before this unfortunate, but predictable accident. An articulate and educated community (cyclists and non-cyclists), should ask what is the most effective and practical way to prevent further such accidents. Otherwise it will happen again.

Or is pedestrian safety a secondary consideration when a complacent local government is beholden to a blinkered Greens pro-cycling ideology? Will it take a few more accidents like this, media coverage of permanent injuries, maybe even some fatalities, before a reluctant Minister forms a committee to consider submissions, make recommendations, which will then be reviewed and debated, before being watered down so as not to upset any influential cycling lobby groups or undermine the existing comfortable political status quo?

If you are reading this Pedal Power or Minister, please prove me wrong.

In fact, this could be a great opportunity for Pedal Power to show leadership and push for regulations and compulsory bicycle registration/licensing.

I think they already are agents for third party / public liability insurance for their members and expansion of this would enhance the flow of commissions. They could also provide property insurance for accident damage and theft. I would be happy to set it up for them (for a fee).

dungfungus 12:37 pm 15 May 17

Given the circumstances of this accident being two cyclists involved, Pedal Power is facing a dilemma.

They either support those who ride predominantly with pedal power and ban the high powered electric cyclists or embrace both.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for a response.

Acton 11:07 am 15 May 17

The danger to pedestrians from speeding cyclists on shared paths has been raised within this forum many times well before this unfortunate, but predictable accident. An articulate and educated community (cyclists and non-cyclists), should ask what is the most effective and practical way to prevent further such accidents. Otherwise it will happen again.

Or is pedestrian safety a secondary consideration when a complacent local government is beholden to a blinkered Greens pro-cycling ideology? Will it take a few more accidents like this, media coverage of permanent injuries, maybe even some fatalities, before a reluctant Minister forms a committee to consider submissions, make recommendations, which will then be reviewed and debated, before being watered down so as not to upset any influential cycling lobby groups or undermine the existing comfortable political status quo? If you are reading this Pedal Power or Minister, please prove me wrong.

dungfungus 9:12 am 15 May 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

2902 said :

its unfortunate that someone was injured but hearing people calling to ban all bikes from paths or impose compulsory rego is a typical knee jerk reaction. Not sure why the majority should be punished for the actions of one

Examples where the majority were punished due to the actions of just one:
– Martin Bryant, caused the ban and tightening on ownership of firearms across Australia.
– Kieran Loveridge, one punch law penalties increased.
– Megan Kanka, victim whose rape and death saw the introduction of new sex offender laws.
– Jessica Lunsford, similar to above.
– Eddie Mabo, Recognition of land rights for indigenous people, though not a punishment per se, but certainly made things harder for some.

I’d say almost all the things that have been introduced through law or otherwise, for the protection of the public, were instigated by individuals. Petitions are started by one person, who then gain support from the general public. The banning of fireworks in the A.C.T. is a good example of a minority ruining things for the majority. Bicycle helmet laws, registration of dogs, bag limits for fishing, ban on wood heaters for new Canberra suburbs….I could keep going all day. All the things that get changed which affect everybody, were in their origins started by individuals.
Further more, why is compulsory registration a punishment? Do you consider automotive registration a punishment? What about licensing of tradespeople, registration of businesses and many more examples of government regulation? It will provide an increased level of protection for the vulnerable users of our pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, which can only be described as a good thing. If you are referring to the cost for such a venture, why would it have to be prohibitive? Surely a few dollars a year isn’t much to ask, especially when cyclists boast of the savings they make from not driving to work. Fishing licenses cost around $30 a year, but it doesn’t stop millions of people from fishing.
A cycling registration could perhaps entail a CTP insurance component, thus protecting victims and the unfortunate instigators from hefty medical bills or legal penalties. Many of the more “professional” cyclists already willingly pay for this insurance, so I can’t see why making it compulsory is a bad thing.
In this particular case I’d bet the person responsible for the accident wishes they had insurance to cover any future recuperation of the medical costs, that are being borne by the parents of the injured child.

“Fishing licenses cost around $30 a year, …………..”

Currently no such thing in the ACT but it would be a good idea to introduce them concurrently with bicycling rego and licensing.

devils_advocate 8:47 am 15 May 17

2902 said :

its unfortunate that someone was injured but hearing people calling to ban all bikes from paths or impose compulsory rego is a typical knee jerk reaction. Not sure why the majority should be punished for the actions of one

The whole of the ACT’s regulatory system is based on punishing all for the actions of a few. E.g. preventing sales of alcohol after 11pm. They had a red-hot go at it again with lock-out laws but luckily common sense (and political sense) prevailed.
back to the case at hand, I think the issues is that the legislature hasn’t kept up with technological change. Motorised bicycles used to be a bit of a curiosity, and battery technology (size, weight, charging hours) didn’t really facilitate mass use. It was restricted to a few hobbyists. Now it’s entered the mainstream but it happened gradually and no-one was really paying attention. I think motorised bikes (including e-bikes) should not be allowed on paths.

wildturkeycanoe 8:05 am 15 May 17

2902 said :

its unfortunate that someone was injured but hearing people calling to ban all bikes from paths or impose compulsory rego is a typical knee jerk reaction. Not sure why the majority should be punished for the actions of one

Examples where the majority were punished due to the actions of just one:
– Martin Bryant, caused the ban and tightening on ownership of firearms across Australia.
– Kieran Loveridge, one punch law penalties increased.
– Megan Kanka, victim whose rape and death saw the introduction of new sex offender laws.
– Jessica Lunsford, similar to above.
– Eddie Mabo, Recognition of land rights for indigenous people, though not a punishment per se, but certainly made things harder for some.

I’d say almost all the things that have been introduced through law or otherwise, for the protection of the public, were instigated by individuals. Petitions are started by one person, who then gain support from the general public. The banning of fireworks in the A.C.T. is a good example of a minority ruining things for the majority. Bicycle helmet laws, registration of dogs, bag limits for fishing, ban on wood heaters for new Canberra suburbs….I could keep going all day. All the things that get changed which affect everybody, were in their origins started by individuals.
Further more, why is compulsory registration a punishment? Do you consider automotive registration a punishment? What about licensing of tradespeople, registration of businesses and many more examples of government regulation? It will provide an increased level of protection for the vulnerable users of our pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, which can only be described as a good thing. If you are referring to the cost for such a venture, why would it have to be prohibitive? Surely a few dollars a year isn’t much to ask, especially when cyclists boast of the savings they make from not driving to work. Fishing licenses cost around $30 a year, but it doesn’t stop millions of people from fishing.
A cycling registration could perhaps entail a CTP insurance component, thus protecting victims and the unfortunate instigators from hefty medical bills or legal penalties. Many of the more “professional” cyclists already willingly pay for this insurance, so I can’t see why making it compulsory is a bad thing.
In this particular case I’d bet the person responsible for the accident wishes they had insurance to cover any future recuperation of the medical costs, that are being borne by the parents of the injured child.

dungfungus 7:51 am 15 May 17

2902 said :

its unfortunate that someone was injured but hearing people calling to ban all bikes from paths or impose compulsory rego is a typical knee jerk reaction. Not sure why the majority should be punished for the actions of one

The only person being “punished” at this time is the unfortunate child who has been injured.

By the way, that child was a cyclist too.

dungfungus 7:48 am 15 May 17

Acton said :

According to this article on the Pedal Power website, the legal speed limit for a bike on a footpath in Canberra is 50 km/h.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/news/is-there-a-speed-limit-for-bikes-on-a-footpath/

An ABC report on the legal speedlimit on ACT footpaths seems to confirm, or does not dispute, 50km/h. Crazy.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/specials/curious-canberra/2016-05-09/is-there-a-speed-limit-for-bikes-on-footpaths/7391490

While electric bikes are not specifically mentioned, hitting a pedestrian with a bike (pedal or electric) is likely to cause injury and the higher the speed of the cyclist the greater the injury to the pedestrian.

However, the rule is that “The use of shared paths is restricted to non-motorised transport (with the exception of motorised wheelchairs and power assisted pedal cycles).” This is why trail bikes are not allowed on shared paths and neither should electric bikes.

So what is the solution to speeding cyclists on shared paths? Cycling and pedestrian advocacy groups agree that greater segregation of walking and cycling paths would improve safety for all. Here is another solution:

“Cyclists in the ACT are permitted to ride on footpaths. In NSW however, only cyclists under the age of 12 are permitted to ride on footpaths, as well as supervising cyclists of all ages.”

http://www.tccs.act.gov.au/roads-paths/cycling/cycling_information/road_rules

So to mitigate further cyclist-pedestrian accidents the ACT should follow the example of NSW: – only cyclists under the age of 12 are permitted to ride on footpaths.

Such a rule could be implemented faster and at less cost than duplicating or segregating all footpaths.

Is there a distinction between a footpath and a shared path?

Some suburbs in Canberra don’t even have the “old style” footpaths beside the road but somewhere in that suburb there will be at least one “shared path”.

Lenient 9:21 pm 14 May 17

> inertia [mass x velocity]

mass x velocity = momentum

inertia is the manifestation of mass reflecting resistance to motion from the application of force

2902 6:52 pm 14 May 17

its unfortunate that someone was injured but hearing people calling to ban all bikes from paths or impose compulsory rego is a typical knee jerk reaction. Not sure why the majority should be punished for the actions of one

Postalgeek 3:51 pm 14 May 17

Acton said :

Obviously the speed of the cyclist in this case is for the police to determine, not me. The point being missed, or deliberately avoided, is that high-speed cycling of 30+ km/h, which is quite possible and apparently (from previous discussion on this forum) currently allowable on shared paths is incompatible with pedestrian safety. However, for some in the cycling community the safety of pedestrians on shared paths is a secondary consideration to the ‘rights’ of cyclists to use the same paths at whatever speed they choose to ride at. Hence, the inevitability of a serious accident involving a high-speed cyclist colliding with a pedestrian. This should not be a difficult concept to comprehend.

No, I didn’t miss your point.

I’m cynical about the sincerity of some posters here when it comes to pedestrian safety.

They are vocal about bikes on shared paths and the horror of a legal ebike (that provides assistance up to 25kmph). ‘Think of the pedestrians’ they say. At 25kmph these bikes, that weigh around 20kgs plus rider are travelling 15 kmph less than a two ton vehicle (plus driver) in a 40 km school zone. But when it comes to pedestrians being hit and killed by cars, well, we don’t blame cars, we blame drivers, or the pedestrian. Case in point:

https://the-riotact.com/another-pedestrian-injured-on-northbourne/184768/comment-page-2#comments

And we know why: because to restrict cars would be to impact on the critics personally and disrupt their convenience. I’m not anti-car. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and target one and not the other. Personally I want to see more bikes, and more ebikes, because basic physics indicates that they are safer for pedestrians than cars. Statistics, no matter how you angle them, will show that the overwhelming majority of pedestrians (and drivers) are killed or maimed by cars. I prefer my kid to share a path with a bicycle than have to cross a road in a school zone during pick-ups/drop-offs. If my kid is going to be hit by something, I choose a bicycle. You’re free to choose a car.

And that doesn’t dismiss the need for regulation of ebikes (I don’t even know if the ebike in this incident is legal. If not, it may as well be a trail bike, or car, or tank. None of them are allowed on shared paths). But if you are serious about pedestrian safety, then I think a lot of bicycle critics concerned about pedestrian safety don’t seem to be focussing on the Big Picture:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/pedestrians-are-being-killed-on-australias-roads-at-higher-rates-than-ever-before/news-story/a40cf3133f2a93a2a4281ccd1e726e63

Acton 11:26 am 14 May 17

According to this article on the Pedal Power website, the legal speed limit for a bike on a footpath in Canberra is 50 km/h.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/news/is-there-a-speed-limit-for-bikes-on-a-footpath/

An ABC report on the legal speedlimit on ACT footpaths seems to confirm, or does not dispute, 50km/h. Crazy.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/specials/curious-canberra/2016-05-09/is-there-a-speed-limit-for-bikes-on-footpaths/7391490

While electric bikes are not specifically mentioned, hitting a pedestrian with a bike (pedal or electric) is likely to cause injury and the higher the speed of the cyclist the greater the injury to the pedestrian.

However, the rule is that “The use of shared paths is restricted to non-motorised transport (with the exception of motorised wheelchairs and power assisted pedal cycles).” This is why trail bikes are not allowed on shared paths and neither should electric bikes.

So what is the solution to speeding cyclists on shared paths? Cycling and pedestrian advocacy groups agree that greater segregation of walking and cycling paths would improve safety for all. Here is another solution:

“Cyclists in the ACT are permitted to ride on footpaths. In NSW however, only cyclists under the age of 12 are permitted to ride on footpaths, as well as supervising cyclists of all ages.”

http://www.tccs.act.gov.au/roads-paths/cycling/cycling_information/road_rules

So to mitigate further cyclist-pedestrian accidents the ACT should follow the example of NSW: – only cyclists under the age of 12 are permitted to ride on footpaths.

Such a rule could be implemented faster and at less cost than duplicating or segregating all footpaths.

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