11 March 2020

Police look to reduce risk to vulnerable road users

| Michael Weaver
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Police will be targeting motorists who put the lives of vulnerable road users at risk. Photo: File.

Motorcyclists, cyclists, children and pedestrians are being put in the spotlight as ACT Policing targets drivers who put vulnerable road users at risk.

As part of its traffic focus for March, Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Detective Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said police are asking motorists to remember the road is a shared space.

Police will be actively targeting the safe passing of cyclists, with vehicles required to remain a minimum of one metre away from a cyclist in speed zones at or below 60 km/h, and one-and-a-half metres in speed zones above 60 km/h.

“Road users should treat cyclists as if they were any other vehicle, including giving way when required and keeping a safe distance,” Detective Station Sergeant Boorman said.

“Police have been conducting, and will continue to conduct, targeted operations focused on the safe passing of cyclists. The next cyclist you pass could be a police officer,” he warned.

Detective Station Sergeant Boorman said motorcyclists, cyclists, children and pedestrians are all considered vulnerable road users as they do not have the same protection as a car during a collision.

“It’s important to remember the road is a shared space, regardless of how you use the road,” he said.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. We ask that all road users be alert to their surroundings, be vigilant and concentrate when travelling on our roads.

“I’d ask drivers to pay particular attention in and around school zones. Children are some of our most vulnerable road users, and their unpredictability exposes them to high risk around traffic.”

The joint road safety campaign with the Justice and Community Safety Directorate forms part of the ACT Road Safety Strategy 2011-20, which takes a Vision Zero approach to road safety.

Throughout the year, the multi-agency road safety strategy targets specific issues and behaviours which contribute to death and serious injuries on Canberra’s roads, with driver distraction among those concerns.

You can report illegal road user behaviour to police via Crime Stoppers ACT website or by phoning 1800 333 000.

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And if the illegal road user behavior is coming from the cyclist? How do we report this to the police? “A person in lycra on a green bike” cut me off and scratched a key down the length of my car…… If they are going to be on the road with cars shouldn’t they at least need some sort of number plate to enable identification in case of accident or illegal road use?

Must admit I avoid cycling on the roads if there is a half way viable alternative now. Our roads are becoming busier by the day and no matter how well policed the risks and catastrophic outcomes of on-road riding are just too great. I think it is time we created an alternative network for cycles, scooters, mobility vehicles and alike to separate them from faster and heavier traffic.

HiddenDragon7:39 pm 11 Mar 20

“Police have been conducting, and will continue to conduct, targeted operations focused on the safe passing of cyclists. The next cyclist you pass could be a police officer,” he warned.

Will the same be done for pedestrians menaced by cyclists? – no, didn’t think so.

Maybe cyclists can take some responsibility for their own safety and keep as far left as possible, and ride single file on narrow country roads. It shouldn’t all be up to car drivers to keep cyclists safe. They need to mitigate their own risk too.

rationalobserver7:12 pm 12 Mar 20

Agree about cyclists taking responsibility for their own safety. I watched a cyclist turn right and ride across a pedestrian crossing on a left turning lane off Northbourne yesterday, not even a hint of checking for oncoming traffic. Just owned the road and kept going. See things like that all the time. Whilst we are on the topic, can we see some data on how many cyclists have been fined for riding through red lights and riding without a helmet? See that all the time also. You have to wonder why this failure to enforce is the consequence of political pressure.

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