1 Improving Cyclist Safety Western Australia A joint initiative to enable cyclists of every level of ability to cycle safely CycleSafe WA
2 This project has received contributions from elite cyclists, cycling performance coaches, cycling advocate groups, motorists, community advisors, health professionals, local media agencies and members of the community. We aim to collect the signatures of 10,000 members of the Western Australian community to enable our petition for improved cyclist safety to be presented in the Legislative Council. We are seeking your support to protect the safety of all Western Australian cyclists. The Cycle Safe WA Team Project Team Craig Pennell Andrew Patterson Brad Hall Patrick Hayburn Chris Singleton Melanie White Mark Lewis IT Support Administrative Support Community Representative Ian Calverley Chris Roberts Natalie Chalwell Nadia Khalil
3 Every cyclist of every ability should be able to ride safely in Western Australia The Problem There is an increase in the number of Western Australian cyclists killed on our roads each year. This year to date, 46 people on bikes have been killed in Australia, a 42% increase on the average over the past ten years. This is at odds with Australia s otherwise falling road toll. Cyclists are vulnerable road users, and the most severe injury outcomes for on-road collisions are from those involving cyclists and motor vehicles. The AIHW report for Trends in Hospitalised Injury, 1 indicates that there were 9,001 hospitalisations for major trauma due to accidents involving pedal cyclists. Over the same period, there were 18,265 hospitalisation of car drivers and passengers. 1 These data clearly demonstrate that cyclists are over-represented in the number of severe injuries occuring on our roads. At present, the number of incidents involving pedal cyclists and motorists is unknown; many are not reported to the police, and our health care system only documents accidents with injuries resulting in high trauma scores. 2 Western Australia needs a system that records all pedal cyclist vs. motor vehicle accidents. By recording this information, we will be able to generate data about the number, location, timing and outcomes of these accidents. This information could be utilised to mark cycling black spots in a similar manner to the marking of traffi c danger areas for motorists. Recording and tracking these data will also allow for assessment of the efficacy of new cycling-specifi c safety initiatives. Cycle Safe WA aims to engage stakeholders to enable cyclists of all levels of ability to cycle safely in WA. Our three areas of focus pertain to improved education, amended legislation and infrastructure. A moment of inattention could cost a cyclist their life
4 Cycling - A Pursuit Worth Protecting With high fuel costs, emerging environmental concerns and an increase in the need for more physical activity, it is easy to understand why the number of Western Australians choosing to ride a bike has grown so rapidly; 512,000 Western Australians ride a bike every week. 3 Although most cyclists make their journeys through shared paths, there are times when people on bikes need to use the road, and this brings them in to contact with motor vehicles. One of the most common problems facing cyclists travelling along the road or in a bike lane is being cut off by a turning car or truck. Whilst 18% of Australian s report riding a bike in the past week, the most common reason cited for not riding more often is fear of motorised vehicles. 4 In a typical week, 18% of Australians ride a bike for transport and recreation; 3.6 million ride for recreation, leisure or sport, and 1.2 million make at least one transport journey per week, including trips to work, university or to visit friends or family. 3 Recreation Bike riding is a popular past time for many Western Australians. Riding around the river, mountain biking and organised events feature in the weekends of many. Western Australia has a signifi cantly higher cycling participation rate than the national average; 22% of Western Australian residents ride in a typical week, 30% in a month and 40% would ride once a year. Children in WA have the highest cycling participation rate in Australia; 57% of WA children ride a bike each week. 3 Transport Cycling is an environmentally sustainable form of transport, and also reduces traffi c burden on our roads. Each week, 1.2 million Western Australians make a bike journey for transport reasons including riding to school, university or work, or just to the local shops. 3 Competition Competitive cycling is increasing in popularity in Western Australia. This is exemplifi ed in the nation wide Australian Time Trial and Masters Cycling Associations that have the highest participation rates from Western Australians. In keeping with the greater number of Western Australians cycling compared with the national average, Western Australians are also over-represented in road and track racing, mountain bike and BMX racing, masters racing, and hand cycle racing.
5 Every cyclist of every ability should be able to ride safely in Western Australia Cycle Safe WA Objectives Legislation Request to have the police and courts address our appreciation that collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles are not treated with the degree of importance we feel appropriate we do not believe that the severity is investigated or prosecuted to the appropriate degree. Education We request that the government initiate or fund a comprehensive education program that informs the general public, media, law enforcement, and cyclists of the statutory rights of cyclists to use public roads. This should include a formal undertaking from the media not to propagate any opinion that marginalises or in any way incites or excuses the use of violence against cyclists. Infrastructure We propose a road maintenance and construction strategy and best practice manual that will set minimum standards for on and off road cycling infrastructure that is to be progressively implemented throughout the metropolitan area within a hierarchy established on current use and projected needs.
6 Current Limitations Accident Reporting At present, the number of incidents involving cyclists and motorists is unknown; many are not reported to the police, and our health care system only documents accidents with injuries resulting in a trauma score greater than As a result, a large number, and possibly the majority of these accidents are not recorded. By recording this information, we will be able to generate data about the number, location, timing and outcomes of these accidents. This information could be utilised to mark cyclist black spots in a similar manner to the marking of traffi c danger areas for motorists. Recording and tracking this data will also allow for assessment of the effi cacy of new cycling-specifi c safety initiatives. Awareness of Road Rules Whilst diffi cult to quantify, a general lack of knowledge regarding the current statutory rights of cyclists on public roads is suspected to contribute to the level of aggression by motorists. Current legislation permits cyclists to ride two abreast on a public road, and three abreast while passing another cyclist(s), and where necessary for safety reasons, a cyclist is permitted to occupy the whole lane. While these rights are generally known to most cyclists, riders are frequently advised by drivers (and occasionally by pedestrians while riding on dual use paths) that they should not be riding on the road. Greater public understanding that cyclists enjoy the same rights on public roads as motor vehicles, and that this space is not paid for by drivers, or the exclusive domain of motor vehicles would benefit the sharing of public roads. Cyclists may legally use the whole lane on roads with lane markings. They are allowed to ride two abreast (side-by-side). Cyclists have an equal right to use the road as other vehicles. Motor vehicles are required to share the road and allow them plenty of room. An extract from the Drive Safe handbook for Western Australian road users
7 City to the sea L P S utilising the Principal Shared Path L P S August 2013; ; SUBIACO DAGLISH SHENTON PERTH PARK KARRAKATTA CLAREMONT SOUTH PERTH NEDLANDS PEPPERMINT GROVE MOSMAN PARK NORTH FREMANTLE EAST FREMANTLE FREMANTLE Every cyclist of every ability should be able to ride safely in Western Australia L P S L P S L L P S S P Published by the Department of Transport. For other Bikewest publications and further information visit au/cycling Contact Department of Transport GPO Box C102, Perth WA 6839 Telephone: (08) Facsimile: (08) Website: DoT XX Culture of Intolerance While it appears that Western Australian drivers are generally more aware of cyclists than those in other Australian states and territories, there remains a culture of intolerance towards cyclists that is often manifest in abuse, ranging from verbal abuse to deliberately swerving at cyclists, throwing items from moving cars, and direct physical abuse by motorists stopping to confront cyclists. We recognise that changing this culture is a long-term goal and that an element of agressive behaviour by those in the position of power against a vulnerable demographic is likely to remain to some extent. We believe that a combination of education and appropriate penalties against those found guilty of such conduct will signifi cantly reduce the incidence of such behaviour. Detailed maps for commuter and recreational cyclists are available from the Department of Transport. Existing infrastructure supports commuting to and from Perth. If cyclists are seeking to commute between suburbs in a non-radial pattern, they are often required to utilise dangerous sections of road. Legend Preferred Route (Shared by Pedestrians & Cyclists) On Road Route Other Shared Path Good Road Riding Environment Sealed Shoulder or Bicycle Lane Railway, Train Station Traffic Light Take Extra Care Bike Shop Bathers Esplanade Res Fishing DoT Boat Harbour Marine Tce WA Maritime Museum E Shed Rottnest Markets Ferry Terminal Fremantle University of Notre Dame Wool Store South Rottnest Ferry Terminal Markets Tce Fremantle Heliport North Quay 20km Bike ing Bike Locker, Shelter Fishing Surfing Point of Interest Restaurant / Cafe Pleasant Rest Area Public Toilets Shopping Area Fremantle Passenger Terminal Queen Queens Fremantle Square John Curtin Fremantle FREMANTLE College Oval of the Arts Fremantle Hospital East Fremantle Primary School Port Frermantle Harbour St 19km Port Surf Life Saving Club Old Signal Station 18km Fremantle Bridge Location Map Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Swan Hotel Railway Hotel Vlamingh Victoria St Stirling Hwy Vlamingh NORTH FREMANTLE lands Left Bank Bar Swan Surf Life Saving Club 17km McGabe Memorial North Fremantle Primary School Gilbert Fraser River Riverside EAST FREMANTLE Leighton lands Rd Stirling North Fremantle Rocky Bay John Tonkin Rd 16km Cables Artificial Surf Reef Mosman Yacht Club Hwy 15km Seaview Golf Club Curtin Beehive Montessori School Victoria Gibbon Street Buckland Iona Pres Hill Primary School Mosman Primary School MOSMAN skate park Vlamingh lands 14km Centenary Marine Stirling Mosman Surf Life Saving Club COTTESLOE Mosman Palmerston St Owston St Chidley Point Res View Tce St Hildas Anglican School for Girls Jabe Dodd 13km Seaview Golf Club Ave Primary School Mosman Bay Pde Forrest St North Surf Life Saving Club PEPPERMINT GROVE Manners Hill Keanes Point Res Town Office View St Yacht Club Forrest St Eric St Hwy Swan River Mews 12km Grant St Curtin Ave 11km Grant Street North Primary School Presbyterian Ladies College 0 Scale 500m Methodist Ladies College Christ Church Grammar School Yacht Club Claremont Museum Published by the Departme For other Bikewest publicat information visit cyclingmaps Contact Department of Transport GPO Box C102, Perth WA 6 Telephone: (08) Facsimile: (08) Website: PSP Claremont Claremont Claremont Primary School Princess C Sti CLAREM Vi Map available from au/mediafiles/active-transport/at_cyc_map_ Fremantle_Perth.pdf Perth to Fremantle Bike Route Riding from Perth CBD to Fremantle on the Principal Shared Path Perth to Fremantle Bike Route Riding from Perth CBD to Fremantle, Y BIKE: e in Perth now regularly leave their el by bike. In addition to improving ycling can also help reduce traffic a fun and inexpensive way to get ous routes you can ride along to on. It will also help you gauge how vel a particular distance, with most 10km in minutes. and know your route. met. ble to other road users. where you feel it is safe. ter with you. SAFETY TIPS: pedestrians. d other path users. vertaking. ert path users of your approach. space when passing. S: Right turn Stopping BLIC TRANSPORT: bike on the train except during these s: Station between 7.00am-9.00am. ty Station between 4.30pm-6.30pm. he lift, where provided, and walk their ain stations. Infrastructure Gaps Western Australia, and the Perth metropolitan area in particular has the best cycling infrastructure in the country, and is frequently commented on by visiting cyclists. Notwithstanding, the standard of cycling-specifi c infrastructure falls far below those of many Western European nations who have actively pursued cycling as a priority transport alternative. We note that West Cycle has recently commissioned SKM consultants to prepare a Cycling Facilities Audit and Strategy that will include consideration of recreational and commuting infrastructure. In addition, the Department of Transport has prepared and is responsible for the implementation of the WA Bicycle Network Plan. These two documents, when completed and actively implemented with adequate government funding, will provide for a safer cycling environment through the construction of required separated cycling paths and modifi cations to shared car/bike environments.
8 Is Strict Liability the Solution? Western Europe is one of the safest places in the world for pedal cyclists. Denmark, France and Sweden have the best safety records for pedestrians and people on bikes these countries have adopted policy based on Strict Liability. Under a regime of Strict Liability (Relative), the liability of the offender is presumed unless the latter proves that the accident did not occur as a result of negligent behaviour. 5 In France, a regime of almost absolute Strict Liability has been adopted. A recent review commissioned by the European Parliament into the compensation of victims of road traffi c accidents in the EU summarised the law pertaining to liability regimes adopted by member countries. Three categories of regime were identifi ed: Strict Liability (relative), Strict Liability (plus comparative negligence) and fault based system. 5 Of the 27 EU countries reviewed, 15 have adopted Strict Liability (relative) regime, nine have adopted a fault-based system and three have a Strict Liability (comparative negligence) regime. 5 Strict Liability (Relative) Fault Based Strict Liability (Comparative Negligence) Austria Bulgaria Finland Belgium Cyprus Germany Czech Republic Ireland Greece Denmark Lithuania Estonia Malta France Portugal Italy Romania Hungary Slovakia Latvia UK Luxembourg Netherlands Poland Slovenia Spain Sweden Cycle Safe WA supports the adoption of a liability regime modelled on the Strict Liability (Relative) that is in practice in 15 European Countries. These 15 countries encompass Denmark, Sweden and France, which are the safest countries for pedal cyclists in Europe.
9 Every cyclist of every ability should be able to ride safely in Western Australia Our Petition To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Western Australia in Parliament assembled. We, the undersigned, say that cycling is a legitimate recreational and practical use of public roads with demonstrated benefits to the community. Further, we believe that the attitude of some elements of the driving public is unnecessarily placing the lives and wellbeing of cyclists at risk. Accordingly, we request that the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Western Australia in Parliament assembled seek to address this situation by: Investigating and reporting on how collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles are investigated and prosecuted to determine if existing legislation is suffi cient or suffi ciently enforced to act as a deterrent against aggressive or otherwise dangerous (intended or otherwise) behaviour to cyclists. These investigations and reporting are to include mandatory collection of data from hospital admissions; Implementing, or causing to be implemented a broad education program focussed on new and existing drivers, the media, and enforcement agencies as to the legal rights of cyclists on public roads. This education is to include a best practice manual for media commentators on the dangers of promoting or allowing to be promoted material that incites or is likely to incite dangerous behaviour against cyclists; and Funding a comprehensive Cycling Facilities Plan that identifi es major recreational and commuting cycling routes and improving the safety of these routes through appropriate measures, including road widening, consideration of traffi c furniture and signage advising other traffi c of the frequency of cyclists. Whilst 18% of Australian s report riding a bike in the past week, the most common reason cited for not riding more often is fear of motorised vehicles.
10 References and Related Material References 1. Pointer S. Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia to Canberra, Australia: Burrell M. G62 Request for Cycling Trauma Stats. In: Pennel C, editor. of cyclist injury statistics ed. Perth, Western Australia Australian Bicycle Council. Summary Sheet 2011 National Cycling Participation Survey [cited /11/2013]; Available from: https://http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/media/ vanilla/file/ncp2011_national_2.pdf. 4. Priest A. Cycling and the Police. Is the fear of riding a bicycle in Australia valid? 2013 [cited /11/2013]; Available from: 5. Renda A, Schrefl er L. Compensation Of Victims Of Cross-Border Road Traffi c Accidents In The EU: Assessment Of Selected Options. Directorate-General Internal Policies Policy Department C Citizens Rights and Constitutional Affairs, Related Material Information related to cycling and the law in Western Australia - mediafiles/active-transport/at_cyc_p_cycling_and_the_law.pdf Information related to improving harmony between motorists and people on bikes - transport.wa.gov.au/mediafiles/active-transport/at_cyc_p_fs12 harmony.pdf The French Loi Badinter under which drivers are deemed liable for all harm caused by his vehicle without any fault, and without any defence of force majeure and with signifi cant restrictions to the defence of contributory negligence - les/733_compensation_-_traffi c_road_ accidents_.pdf The Danish system of liability detailed under the International Association of National Motor Insurers Bureaux - Commuter and recreational cyclist maps provided for Western Australians by the Department of Transport - Amy Gillett Foundation Report Where the rubber meets the road - assets/pdffilestore/amygillett-where-the-rubber-meets-the-road.pdf WestCycle, the peak body for cycling in Western Australia announced by the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mr Terry Waldron in September The Amy Gillett Foundation is asking all Member s of Parliament to lead the introduction of a Bill into their State or Territory Parliament for the amendment of the Road Rules and to lobby for the Australian Road Rules to be updated to set an improved national model. The amendment must introduce a regulation requiring a minimum of 1 metre when a motor vehicle overtakes a bicycle rider -
11 Supporters Hall Cycle Training Unicorn-Specialized Cycling Team Satalyst-Giant National Race Team Westcycle The Post Minaret Capital IC-TECH Ride Advice Bike Force TBE Cyclemania Garland Cycles South Perth Riders Choice Fat Duck (Bunbury) Passmore Cycles (Albany) Revolutions (Geraldton) Churchill Cycles Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Cardiothoracic Unit State Trauma Programme, Royal Perth Hospital
12 Additional Information Associate Professor Craig Pennell