Page 6109 - Week 14 - Thursday, 8 December 2011

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Cycling—electric bikes
(Question No 1976)

Ms Le Couteur asked the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, upon notice, on 8 December 2011 (redirected to the Acting Attorney-General):

(1) Are there any plans to increase the current allowable maximum power output of the motor on electric bikes.

(2) How do the ACT regulations currently relate to the national regulations.

(3) Are electric bikes currently allowed to use the existing bike path network or on-road cycle lanes and are they allowed to travel on roads.

(4) If there are some restrictions to electric bikes travelling on particular roads, which roads are these.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

The States and Territories (including the ACT) have been in discussion with the Commonwealth about possible revision of the Australian Design Rule (ADR) definition of power assisted pedal cycles which currently provides for a pedal cycle to have attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts. Consideration is being given to an optional definition in the ADRs allowing for a power assisted pedal cycles to have a continuous rated power of not more than 250 watts provided a number of other limitations including requirements for the rider to be pedalling for auxiliary power to be available above 6km/h and the power assistance to cut out at 25 km/h.

The ADRs are national standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (Cth) which proscribes the import and/or supply to market of vehicles which do not comply with the national standards. The ACT regulations through adoption of the ADRs through the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2000 and the Australian Road Rules (ARRs) through the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000 mirrors the current power limitations for power assisted pedal cycles.

Should the expected optional definition of power assisted pedal cycle be supported nationally, consequential amendments will be progressed to the ARRs, the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2000, and the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management Regulation 2000 to provide for use of vehicles meeting the revised ADR definition to be used on roads and road related areas.

Vehicles meeting the current definition of power assisted pedal cycle are permitted to be used anywhere a non-power assisted pedal cycle may be used and riders have the same rights and responsibilities as those other users.

There are no roads or road related areas within the ACT where bicycles are permitted to travel, but power assisted pedal cycles are prohibited. There are a very few parts of the road network where all bicycles are prohibited, by clear signage, from being ridden due to the road safety risk in those specific locations.

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