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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 December 2021) . . Page.. 3923 ..

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (No 2)

Mr Steel, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (10.52): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (No 2) in the Assembly today. Members will note that this is the third piece of legislation that I have introduced this year to improve road safety. It shows the seriousness with which the ACT government is pursuing our commitment to the realisation of vision zero, which means zero deaths and zero serious injuries on the ACT’s roads. We recognise that all road accidents, and the trauma and heartbreak they too often bring, are preventable. It should be our shared focus and goal to prevent them.

Our road transport laws are never really finished, as technology, risks and community expectations change across time. Our laws need to be continually updated to ensure that they provide the best coverage and protections possible for all Canberrans as things change.

The ACT government has recently announced our intention to progressively expand the popular shared e-scooter scheme to all of Canberra’s town centres over the coming year. Canberrans have welcomed e-scooters as another useful transport option, and we see the expansion of the scheme as an opportunity to provide an alternative form of travel for Canberrans, together with our other low and zero emissions options like public transport and active travel.

As we work to expand the scheme, we recognise the need to update our legislative frameworks to ensure that e-scooters and other alternatives to motor vehicles are used safely and responsibly. That is why this bill builds on the amendments that I introduced to the Assembly in August.

That bill addressed penalties for causing harm to other road users, particularly vulnerable users like cyclists and pedestrians. It also started to build the framework for the safer use of new transport modes like e-scooters. I am glad that the bill has been progressively making its way through an inquiry by the transport committee, and I look forward to engaging with its findings soon.

The bill that I am introducing today builds on that first tranche of legislation by strengthening and clarifying the penalties framework for unsafe road behaviours

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