Pedal Power pushes for more education on contentious crossing rule

Ian Bushnell 26 July 2019 203
Pedal Power ACT believes there needs to be more education on new road rules allowing cyclists to cross on intersections. Photo: Supplied by Pedal Power ACT.

Pedal Power ACT believe there needs to be more education on new road rules allowing cyclists to ride across crossings. Photo: Supplied by Pedal Power ACT.

The ACT Government and police should do more to educate road users about new rules relating to pedestrian crossings and cyclists, according to the Territory’s cycling lobby group.

Laws allowing cyclists to ride across crossings came into effect earlier this year but there has been continuing debate about the change.

Pedal Power ACT CEO, Ian Ross, said the 2019 ACT Road Rules Handbook made it very clear – motorists must give way to pedestrians and cyclists on a marked pedestrian crossing.

“The change was the result of the ACT Government’s Safer Cycling Reforms trial, which included changes to the minimum passing distance rules and allowing riders to remain on their bicycles when crossing at crossings,” he said.

“Pedal Power strongly supported both of these reforms because we knew they would help keep bike riders safe and lead to more people riding.”

He said it was important to make this rule because road rules that make bike riding safe and convenient result in more people riding.

“The new rule is also better for drivers who prefer the person cycling to cross as quickly as possible. The quicker the person crosses, the less the traffic is held up,” he said.

More education of Canberra motorists and bike riders was needed to make this new rule clear to everyone.

“While the new rule allows riders to ride across crossings, we will continue to promote that they need to approach and cross ‘slowly and safely’ – at no faster than jogging or brisk walking speed,” Mr Ross said.

“If motorists are aware that it is their responsibility to always give way to pedestrians and bike riders at crossings, they are more likely to do the right thing and slow as they approach these intersections with paths.”

Mr Ross said the new rule was a good rule for motorists and riders, “we just need more time and education to ensure everyone knows what the rule is”.

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203 Responses to Pedal Power pushes for more education on contentious crossing rule
mark boast mark boast 10:21 am 05 Aug 19

I’ll start by saying that I am a member of Pedal Power’s Advocacy group so support Ian’s sensible call for new laws “bedding down” period. That said I’ve found that the vast majority of drivers and motorcyclists have shown excellent behaviour to me cycling across road crossings. A wave of acknowledgement usually comes from both sides. So it can and does work. The behaviours of the minorities on both sides that don’t abide by the laws should not be cause for the rest of us to change our ways. And defensive driving and riding is a must for all. How do we know whether that cyclist or pedestrians doesn’t have a sight or hearing disability? Assume the worst and hopefully it won’t happen at our road crossings.

gositsa gositsa 5:06 pm 02 Aug 19

Yesterday as I was a driving up to a crossing a cyclist approached, he slowed right down, I gave him a wave, he crossed at a reasonable speed & waved to me. Off we both safely went. How hard is it!?

Ctl_Alt_Del Ctl_Alt_Del 9:16 am 02 Aug 19

Having recently been to Vietnam and India I laugh when I read about all Canberra’s problems with sharing the road.

BlowMeDown BlowMeDown 7:33 pm 01 Aug 19

At most crossings pedestrians and cyclists move parallel to the roadway as they approach a crossing then either do a sharp 90 degree turn to cross or continue on. This keeps motorists guessing, will they or won’t they with almost no time to react if they do cross. It’s unreasonable to require motorists to stop on mere suspicion that someone may cross.

If not being allowed to ride across a zebra crossing was all that was keeping a potential cyclist in their car than I call BS on that. This is more about the cycling lobby making driving as inconvenient as they possibly can generally and has nothing to do with safety.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:05 am 02 Aug 19

    There is a good example of this bad planning in Watson Street, Turner where the crossing is setback about 50 metres from Barry drive. At night time it is impossible to see cyclists travelling without their lights (plenty of those around too) until they do the 90 degree turn onto the crossing. For some, that will be too late.

Ana Ana 4:38 pm 01 Aug 19

I think everyone should STOP before leaping on to or riding across a pedestrian crossing. I am often amazed at people who walk along the street and abruptly turn and walk on to a crossing and don’t need to even check that the car driver has seen them. It’s like a crossing turns them into Superman and no harm can come to them.

    astro2 astro2 12:58 pm 03 Aug 19

    When you say “everyone should STOP” assume you mean everyone -including cars. So that would read everyone should stop before leaping on to, riding or driving across a pedestrian crossing. As a driver, I’ve always slowed down approaching a pedestrian crossing. It isn’t just about cyclists, it’s about everyone who may want to cross – including the elderly and vision-imparied people. Too often lately I’ve seen drivers who must think it is imperative that they never slow down, playing chicken with elderly people who are too nervous to walk out on the crossing whilst the entitled driver zooms across. This is disgraceful behaviour and needs to be called out.

Paul Gigg Paul Gigg 9:53 am 31 Jul 19

Can we start with the cyclists learning the road rules first. Then we can have that conversation.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:07 am 31 Jul 19

    As most adults who also cycle have a car licence, they have learnt the road rules. I guess some who cycle might ignore them at the same rate as people who only ever drive, although as they have experience with both cycling and driving, whereas people who only drive, don't, they are more likely to drive more sensibly and look out for people cycling. It's called awareness and empathy which some car drivers don't share, because they don't cycle and remain less aware.

    Paul Gigg Paul Gigg 11:21 am 31 Jul 19

    Julie Macklin I tend to agree with you on most things. If both sides gave a little more latitude things would be different. Trouble is on a bike you are going to get hurt, in a car less so. I ride a motorbike and I ride with that in kind. Not much fun lying under car knowing that you were in the right.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 1:35 pm 31 Jul 19

    Paul Gigg "If both sides gave a little more latitude things would be different." That's true, although I think most are already. It's only the minority of people in cars and on bikes, who aren't. On a bike I approach the crossing, looking carefully for cars and don't cross until I know the car driver has seen me and is going to stop. Then I continue cycling across. I rarely need to stop, as most car drivers are considerate, keep a look out and do stop. It's very rare I need to stop, as inconsiderate drivers are rare. I think many of those, fortunately rare, inconsiderate, inattentive drivers (whose driving ability is also questionable) are outing themselves on forums like this. When in my car I approach crossings being aware that someone could cross, and look and don't speed over them.

Lorenzo Ramirez Lorenzo Ramirez 9:12 am 31 Jul 19

There are equally stupid and brainless cyclist and motorists. Running red lights / speeding on zebra crossing ✅ not stopping on stop signs✅ Abusive✅ The main difference with these 2 type of people is that cyclists can’t tail gate, unable to speed more than 40kph in a normal commute and kill you instantly in the event of accident.

Kerry Mulgrue Kerry Mulgrue 9:45 pm 30 Jul 19

Question. Do motorists have to give way to pedestrians and cyclists approaching the crossing but not yet on the crossing?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 1:28 pm 31 Jul 19

    Depends how far away the people walking and cycling are to the crossing. It's a matter of common sense.

    Kerry Mulgrue Kerry Mulgrue 7:02 pm 31 Jul 19

    Julie Macklin Common sense isn't all that common. Take the cyclist who approaches the crossing at 10 plus Km/H and zooms across the crossing giving the motorists little chance to stop. Then they yell abuse at the motorist for almost causing a crash.

    Claire Perry Claire Perry 11:38 am 01 Aug 19

    if the driver is likely to hit anyone on a crossing he should slow enough that he can stop and/or won't hit them. a 4 year old toddler can also pull away from mum's hand and dash onto a road.

    Kerry Mulgrue Kerry Mulgrue 6:32 pm 01 Aug 19

    Claire Perry Even a fast moving toddler can't move at 10kM/H plus but a cyclist moving at that pace can move out of your cone of vision and onto the crossing before you can register that they are there, and cyclists will do it. They should slow to walking pace for at least 20 metres before they go onto the crossing. It is after all their safety I am concerned about.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:23 pm 01 Aug 19

    Are you saying that drivers don't have common sense? I like to think better of most people than that suggestion. Fortunately with all my driving about Canberra I have never had a person on a bike "zoom" onto a crossing unexpectedly. But perhaps that's because I know what a crossing is and I take care to notice a potential person who is going to cross. Some people here are outing themselves as unobservant drivers who don't approach a crossing as they should. What have you done to have had a person on a bike yell at you? Sounds like you were not observant and are trying to pass the blame.

    Kerry Mulgrue Kerry Mulgrue 7:02 am 02 Aug 19

    Julie Macklin I have been riding motorcycles around Canberra for the past fifty years and my learned ability to observe the actions of other road users has saved my life on many, many occasions. Common sense is a rare commodity especially when people get behind the wheel of the car, or especially when they get on a bicycle. I have been abused recently for not seeing an unlit bicycle one very dark evening. You figure out who was in the wrong.

Zillah Roach Zillah Roach 8:59 pm 30 Jul 19

Sorry I was nearly wipe out by a cyclist when I was walking over a crossing, no sympathy here anymore

Michael Carlson Michael Carlson 7:23 pm 30 Jul 19

Put a big yellow square at each side of the pedestrian crossing with the saying (Ready to cross)

Car gives way for anyone in square waiting to cross, No body in square car keeps driving.

Shirley Vee Shirley Vee 4:47 pm 30 Jul 19

Cyclists always need to stop and make sure drivers stop as they don’t always see them, especially in a blind spot, this has happened to me on a couple occasions and they come so fast from nowhere.... they must stop and be safe, doesn’t matter if they dismount or not as long as they stop

Simon Condon Simon Condon 11:29 am 30 Jul 19

should do more to edify road users

Chinmoy Misra Chinmoy Misra 10:25 am 30 Jul 19

This is a pretty complicated issue. As a motorist, I welcome anything that gets more people using other forms of transport as it eases congestion. But I have had a lot of near misses. It’s far to easy to blast through a crossing at top speed, and with little regulation and ramifications, a lot of people do.. and about half of them are young kids. I think there needs to be an obstacle in front of all crossings that forces you to slow down

    Andrew Wright Andrew Wright 7:50 pm 30 Jul 19

    Chinmoy: Forces cars to slow? Absolutely. Make the areas approaching crossings 20 or 25kph.

    Chinmoy Misra Chinmoy Misra 7:58 pm 30 Jul 19

    Andrew Wright I was suggesting something to slow cyclists down sorry. Tbh my reaction time would still not be quick enough if i were going 25kph.

    This used to be a daily problem for me while studying at ANU which had speed humps as you approach most of the crossings. The issue is that as a cyclist, I am capable of hitting a crossing going 25kph+... and there is not even a slap on the wrist for me if I do.

Anil Manandhar Anil Manandhar 8:59 am 30 Jul 19

more education should be given to cyclists about wearing helmets wait before traffic lights do not jump in front of cars

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 5:18 am 30 Jul 19

Well it’s pretty bloody simple. Don’t run over other people.

If you rear-end another car, it’s your fault, no matter how suddenly they stop. Keep a safe lookout and drive accordingly.

If you come to a zebra crossing and someone might cross it - now there’s a surprise - be aware and don’t run them down.


Omid Rezvani Omid Rezvani 10:50 pm 29 Jul 19

According to this picture, cars do, but water doesn't give way to cyclists :))

David Jenkins David Jenkins 10:29 pm 29 Jul 19

It just needs common sense on both sides. Sadly, there seems to be a shortage of that going around.

It’s no good being in the right if you’re in the ambulance.

Elaine Walls Elaine Walls 9:08 pm 29 Jul 19

The pedestrian crossing on Challis Street, Dickson near Dara Oval is downright dangerous. It is difficult for drivers to see cyclists because of the awkward angle of the crossing and no lighting. As I drive around Dickson at dusk, I’m amazed by the number of cyclists who have NO lights at all or dull blinking lights.

    Michael Maley Michael Maley 5:12 pm 30 Jul 19

    I was thinking of that crossing myself before I even read your comment. It's a death trap.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 6:14 pm 29 Jul 19

When I ride my bike I can see if cars are coming. I slow for the crossing. I don't dismount. Unlike some people here, whose driving ability sounds scary, most people are reasonable and have no problems seeing me approach and slow for me, or even stop, before I reach the crossing. Then I am across and they are on their way. As they consider me, I consider them and keep riding and don't slow their progress by unnecessarily stopping, getting off and walking across.

Judy Elferkh Judy Elferkh 5:42 pm 29 Jul 19

Cyclists hit the crossing way to quickly. It does not promote safer roads. They should dismount and walk the bike across and give way to people on foot.

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