Cycling Regulations – Response

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the relevant minister questions regarding South Australia’s new cycling regulations.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Dignity for Disability is broadly supportive of new measures to keep cyclists safer; however, we do have some concerns about how the new changes might affect people with disabilities, in particular. I recently had a very productive round table on the regulations, which was attended by representatives of the Blind Citizens Council, Guide Dogs SA representing people with both sight and hearing related disabilities, and a few individuals. There were also representatives from the office of the Minister for Transport and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The people present at the round table were concerned about how allowing additional categories of people to cycle on footpaths might affect those pedestrians who will not necessarily be able to see or hear cyclists approaching them, and it was agreed that there will be a need for more awareness for both cyclists and pedestrians about their rights and responsibilities and about how to be responsive to each other’s needs. We believe such a campaign is not only necessary for the safety of people with disabilities but also takes into account the fact that many pedestrians walking along footpaths may be distracted by headphones, mobile phones or other devices. So there is a need not to assume that everyone will see or hear a cyclist approaching.

We are aware, of course, that pedestrians always have right of way, but we are also concerned that some cyclists have behaved, and might continue to behave, selfishly on footpaths and shared pathways. I have also heard from wheelchair users who believe that it is unfair that people using powered mobility aids, such as electric wheelchairs and gophers, are restricted under law to travelling on footpaths at a maximum speed of 10 km/h while there is no current speed restriction on cyclists. My questions to the minister are:

1.Will the government run an awareness campaign across various media about the fact that not everyone will be able to see or hear a cyclist approaching along a footpath and therefore that there is a need for both cyclists and pedestrians to exercise caution?

2.Will the government ensure that the current education campaign, and any future campaigns, include measures to make them accessible, including audio descriptions for people who are blind or vision impaired and Auslan interpretation and captioning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, since people with sensory impairments are particularly concerned?

3.Will the minister research the idea of imposing a speed limit on cyclists travelling on footpaths, as already exists for people using powered mobility aids?

4.In the states and territories—Queensland, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory—where cycling on footpaths for all people has been permitted for some years, are there higher rates of police complaints, injuries and deaths of pedestrians?

5.What government-funded programs are currently in place to ensure that people with disabilities can ride bikes for both recreation and fitness, particularly people with mobility disabilities, vision impairment, blindness or intellectual disability, given the barriers to participation that these groups can face?

6.In South Australia how many pedestrians have been catastrophically injured or killed by cyclists on footpaths, shared pathways or roads in the past 50 years?

7.In South Australia how many pedestrians have been catastrophically injured or killed by vehicles on footpaths, shared pathways or roads in the past 50 years?

8.In South Australia how many powered or manual wheelchair users or gopher users have been catastrophically injured or killed by cyclists on footpaths, shared pathways or roads in the past 50 years?

9.In South Australia how many powered or manual wheelchair users or gopher users have been catastrophically injured or killed by vehicles on footpaths, shared pathways or roads in that same time period?

10.In South Australia how many cyclists, in comparison, have been catastrophically injured or killed by vehicles on footpaths, shared pathways or roads in the past 50 years?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): I will take those questions to the Minister for Transport in another place and bring back a reply. I know that the Minister for Transport, as many ministers do, appreciates your raising these issues and this week he was specifically talking about the constructive way you have raised many of these issues already with him. I am sure he will provide a reply as soon as he can.

In reply to the Hon. K.L. VINCENT (28 October 2016).

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure has been provided with the following advice:

  1. The Motor Accident Commission is running a campaign to inform and educate people about the new cycling laws. The campaign consists of:

Bus shelter ads

Online videos and information

Radio ads

Informational flyer in motor vehicle registration renewal reminders.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), the RAA, Bicycle SA and other community groups have helped spread information relating to the new cycling laws to their members and followers.

The main messages in the campaign for people considering riding on the footpath are:

Keep to the left unless it is impracticable to do so,

Give way to any person walking on the footpath or shared path,

Ring a bell or provide a verbal warning to alert people walking, if necessary, to avert danger. This could be just a friendly ‘hello’ to make sure the person walking is aware that you are nearby; and

Exercise due care by travelling at a safe speed and be prepared to stop, if necessary.

For more information, visit mylicence.sa.gov.au/road-rules/newcyclinglaws

  1. DPTI has been in the process of moving all websites across to a new accessible template that is Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) AA compliant. My Licence is due to be moved across soon. Other DPTI websites such as the DPTI internet website, Infrastructure, On Deck and On Road have already been transferred to this compliance.

The My Licence website has a responsive design which means it can be accessible from all smart phones, tablets and PC’s and in all internet browsers. DPTI strives to meet the WC3 guidelines as that is the standard for an SA government website. Colours and contrast with the website meet standard guidelines.

The current campaign’s videos have been closed captioned to ensure the deaf or hard of hearing can turn on the captioning, the page is also available for computer on screen readers to assist the vision impaired.

It is state government policy that all web pages are readily available to a broad audience as soon as possible and this includes people with disabilities. DPTI in the future is also working towards a translation service for customers that do not speak English. DPTI is always striving for WCAG AA compliance with all websites and content and looks to improve their techniques and content to meet industry requirements.

  1. By law, a person cycling on a footpath is required to give way to people walking and to exercise due care by travelling at a safe speed and being prepared to stop if necessary. Although the speed limit that applies to footpaths is that of the adjacent road or the default speed limit, cyclists moderate their speed (for their own safety as vulnerable road users) based upon the local conditions and environment.

For example, people ride more slowly around pedestrians and when driveways are obscured. A common sense approach to enforcement is preferable to assessing and posting speed limits on all paths and is consistent with the approach used in other states and territories.

People using powered mobility aids, for example a motorised wheelchair are classed as pedestrians if the maximum speed of the motorised wheelchair on level ground cannot exceed 10 km/h. This is not a speed limit for paths or wheelchairs but rather a restriction on the governed motorised device to be classified as a pedestrian rather than a motor vehicle. Motorised wheelchair riders have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians. Unladen motorised wheelchairs can weigh up to 110 kg, significantly more than a bicycle.

  1. Other jurisdictions that allow all-ages footpath cycling, which include Queensland, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory – were contacted in the assessment of regulatory options and each stressed that all-age cycling on footpaths does not present a regulatory, compliance or enforcement problem and there is very little evidence to suggest cyclists pose a safety risk to other path users.

More information is contained within the Regulatory Impact Statement:

http://www.dpc.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/pubimages/documents/RIS_Cycling%20on%20Footpaths%20and%20Minimum%20Overtaking%20Distance.pdf

  1. The Office for Recreation and Sport currently funds the delivery of cycling to people with a disability. This program is conducted by Cycling SA (Road to Rio Phase III) which continues to build an underpinning program for developing athletes with a disability to ensure Cycling SA feeds quality riders into South Australian Sports Institute and Cycling Australia programs.

Eligible organisations are able to apply for funding through the Sport and Recreation Development and Inclusion program. To be eligible for funding through this program, an organisation must be:

Not-for-profit

Properly constituted and incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act (1985) or have another comparable legal status

A sport or active recreation organisation; or

A non-sport or active recreation organisation when the project outcomes deliver significant benefit for sport or active recreation organisations or when the project benefits targeted populations and does not duplicate a program delivered by sport or active recreation organisations.

 

Active recreation and sport is defined as:

Active Recreation is where:

the primary purpose and primary focus of the activity undertaken, is to engage in human physical activity for its own sake

the physical activity gained is not an indirect benefit of the primary activity

organisations delivering these activities do so for the primary purpose of human physical activity.

Sport is where:

A human activity capable of achieving a result requiring physical exertion and/or physical skill which, by its nature and organisation, is competitive and is generally accepted as being a sport.

Other organisations such as Disability Recreation and Sports SA (hand cycling), Blind Sports SA (tandem cycling) and Inclusive Sport SA, offer sport and recreation opportunities for people with a disability to cycle in competitive and recreational events, and cycling organisations and coaches can teach people with disabilities to cycle for transport, fun and fitness.

  1. To ensure data reliability and accuracy the DPTI has limited the analysis to 20 years from 1995 to 2014 inclusive, for the following answers relating to crash history. A ‘road’ or ‘road related area’ mentioned below are as defined in the Australian Road Rules and Australian Transport Safety Bureau guidelines for inclusion in the national crash database.

In South Australia, in the last 20 years between 1995 and 2014, 24 pedestrians have been seriously injured, and one pedestrian killed as a result of a collision with a cyclist on our roads and road-related areas. The pedestrian fatality occurred on a road.

  1. In South Australia, in the last 20 years between 1995 and 2014, 2,155 pedestrians have been seriously injured, and 350 pedestrians killed as a result of a collision with a vehicle on our roads and road-related areas.
  2. In South Australia, in the last 20 years between 1995 and 2014, no powered or manual wheelchair users or gopher users have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a collision with a cyclist on our roads or road-related areas.
  3. In South Australia, in the last 20 years between 1995 and 2014, 28 powered/manual wheelchair users or gopher users have been seriously injured, and 12 powered/manual wheelchair users or gopher users killed as a result of a collision with a vehicle on our roads and road-related areas.
  4. In South Australia, in the last 20 years between 1995 and 2014, 1,005 cyclists have been seriously injured and 67 killed as a result of a collision with a vehicle on our roads and road-related areas.