Page 1792 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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The amendment allows for an evidentiary certificate to be issued by an owner of land or a representative of the owner, stating whether or not an area of land is or is not a road and whether or not an area of land is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles. Information presented in this certificate will be evidence of the matter stated, unless there is evidence to the contrary. Creating the power for owners of land to provide evidence by evidentiary certificate means that they will no longer be inconvenienced by having to attend court to give evidence in person for what is often a non-contentious matter.

The final amendment made by this bill is to ban the use of bicycles powered by an internal combustion engine from being used on territory roads or road related areas. Currently, bicycles powered by internal combustion engines are treated as bicycles, so they are able to be used in the territory if the power output of the engine does not exceed 200 watts. ACT Policing reports that it is regularly encountering bicycles that have been fitted with motors, such as lawnmower engines, that significantly exceed the 200-watt limit. People using these bicycles are not only putting themselves in jeopardy by using what are essentially small motorcycles but also risking the safety of other road users. Conventional bicycles are not designed to withstand the significant stresses that these high-powered engines can impose.

In recent years a number of users of these bicycles have been killed or injured, including one person in the ACT. The road safety hazards posed by these devices have led to Queensland and, more recently, New South Wales banning their use.

These devices are motorbikes in all but name, and this change ensures that they will now be treated as motorbikes, subject to the relevant requirements about motorbike registration. In practice, because these modified bicycles will not comply with the relevant safety and design walls for motorbikes, they will not be able to be registered and therefore they will not be able to be legally used on ACT roads or road related areas.

The views of bicycle retailers, cycling clubs and representative bodies such as Pedal Power were sought on the ban on the use of these vehicles. All responses supported the ban proposed by this bill. Respondents also noted the environmental and noise reduction benefits from the ban.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this bill makes a number of changes to the road transport legislation. These changes will assist enforcement efforts and continue this government’s ongoing efforts to increase road safety for all Canberrans. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

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