Page 2438 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 August 2015
evidentiary certificate to be issued by an owner or a representative of the owner to state these matters. Information presented in the certificate is evidence of the proof of the matter stated unless there is evidence to the contrary. Allowing owners of land to provide evidence by evidentiary certificate reduces the inconvenience to those people as they will no longer have to attend court in person to give evidence.
The seventh and final amendment made by the bill prohibits bicycles powered by internal combustion engines being used on the ACT’s roads or on road-related areas. These bicycles are currently treated by the road transport legislation as a regular bicycle and can legally be used in the ACT provided the power output of the engine does not exceed 200 watts. In reality, it is not possible for internal combustion engines of 200 watts or less to provide enough torque to actually move a bicycle.
ACT Policing regularly come across standard bicycles that have been modified by adding motors taken from lawnmowers and other engine-powered items that significantly exceed the 200 watt limit. However, the brakes, the body, the drive train and the wheels of standard bicycles are not designed to deal with the stresses and forces produced by this type of engine.
Sadly, a number of users of these bicycles have been killed or seriously injured, including in the ACT. People using these bicycles also pose risks to the safety of other road users. These road safety risks have led both Queensland and New South Wales to ban the use of these devices. Once modified in this way, standard bicycles essentially become motorbikes and this change ensures that they will now be treated as motorbikes. Anyone who wishes to ride one of these bicycles on the ACT’s roads or road-related areas will need to first ensure the bicycle is registered as a motorbike.
In reality it is very unlikely that these modified bicycles would be able to comply with the relevant motorbike safety and design rules that would allow them to be registered as motorbikes. The view of bicycle retailers, cycling clubs and representative bodies such as Pedal Power were sought on this amendment and all supported the proposed ban.
I did listen to Mr Hanson’s comments on this today and I was surprised that he did not support this amendment. Firstly, this bill has been on the table for some months now and there has certainly been plenty of opportunity to have a further discussion about this. Mr Hanson, in some earlier remarks, said that he has seen a particular engine that he thinks could be safe and could fit within the rules. There might be a discussion to be had there but that could have been easily done any time in the past two months since this bill was tabled. I am not even sure that that is, in fact, the case because this bill is all about safety for the community. It is intended to prevent deaths and injury.
There are a number of points that I think can be made that counter the observations made by Mr Hanson today. Firstly, and most importantly I think, combustion engines do not cut out power at certain speeds as the pedelec bikes do. I believe Mr Hanson in his remarks said that they behave exactly the same. That is clearly not the case. The pedelec bikes do have a speed limiter built into them. For most models it is at 25 kilometres an hour and what that means is that you cannot deliver the excessive speeds that some of these modified or homemade versions can generate. As I said,