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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4296 ..


I also remain optimistic that the feud between motorists and cyclists will end. Generally, I think relations continue to improve, particularly in Canberra where cycling participation increases. In November 2015 the ACT government began a two-year safer cycling reforms trial. This required motorists to provide a minimum overtaking distance when passing cyclists of one metre in speed zones of 60 kilometres an hour or less and 1.5 metres in speed zones greater than 60 kilometres an hour.

The trial also allowed for riders to remain on their bicycles when crossing at pedestrian crossings as long as they met certain conditions, such as slowing and crossing at a speed no greater than 10 kilometres per hour. In addition, the government developed a community awareness and education strategy for the trial, including a cyclist code of conduct.

To assist with compliance with the minimum passing distance rules, the road rules were amended to allow motorists to cross, straddle or drive on centre lines and painted islands when overtaking cyclists, provided the passing manoeuvre is safe to undertake, with a clear view of any approaching traffic.

The trial period formally ended on the 31 October 2017. However, the conditions of the trial have remained in place as the evaluation was undertaken. The independent evaluation of the trial was undertaken by the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research. The objective of the evaluation was to assess the road safety benefits to cyclists as a result of the ACT safer cycling reforms trial and to determine the future of the rules in the territory.

Three data sources from the ACT were examined in the evaluation of the safer cycling reforms trial. The report noted, however, that due to the limited number of crashes and infringements, statistically significant conclusions could not be made, that is, any differences noted in the report could have occurred with a natural fluctuation of crashes or infringements.

The report did, however, make several observations. Firstly, comparison of the crash data for the two years before and two years after the commencement of the trial showed that injury and property damage-only crashes involving cyclists decreased during the trial. Crash data analysis showed that the total number of reported bicycle-related crashes reduced slightly from 401 to 386 between the pre-trial and trial periods.

The number of minimum passing distance-related crashes also reduced slightly from 20 to 18 during the pre-trial and trial period. The number of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles while riding across pedestrian crossings increased in the trial period compared to the pre-trial period, from 22 to 35. These results may indicate that cyclists riding on these paths may not be slowing adequately to the required speed of 10 kilometres an hour when approaching pedestrian crossings or motorists are not looking out for cyclists approaching. Interestingly, there was a small decrease in the number of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles on pedestrian crossings at


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