News 13 Jul 2009

General: MA looks to bicycle lanes for increased rider safety


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When it comes to road crashes, motorcyclists and scooter riders are vulnerable and restrictions on the use of bicycle lanes should be lifted, according to Australia’s peak body for motorcyclists, Motorcycling Australia.

“There has been an enormous investment in creating safer lanes for bicycles in capitals and major cities across the country,” said Motorcycling Australia’s Dan Rotman, “but riders of scooters and motorcycles- Powered Two Wheelers [PTWs] – are locked out of them because of legislation and regulation.”

He said that there had rightly been an effort to protect bicycle riders from other traffic, but that legislators and road constructors seemed to have forgotten that riders of PTWs were even more vulnerable than bicyclists.

“While injury trends for bicycle riders and car occupants are in decline, riders of PTWs remain highly vulnerable, and part of the solution could be extending the use of bicycle lanes in selected locations,” Rotman said.

Bicycle and PTW riders have a lot in common- a similar exposure to risk, size and footprint- and much of the new bicycle lane infrastructure could safely and easily accommodate both user groups.

“Not every bicycle lane would be appropriate,” Rotman said, “but there’s a great opportunity to conduct a trial to establish how, and where the protection of these exclusive lanes could be extended to all vulnerable road users.”

Motorcycling Australia said that it would like to work with bicycle user groups, the MRA, car user groups and Government to work out how this could be best achieved.

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