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”.