BIKE RIDERS ASKED TO BRIGHTEN UP & LIGHTEN UP THIS WINTER
RoadSafe North East is encouraging bike riders to ‘ditch the black’ and ‘go fluoro’ this winter, as part of its ongoing efforts to create a safer environment for the bike riding community of North East Victoria. Whilst Tour de France riders will brighten up the French countryside in their colourful jerseys in July, many bike riders on North East country roads and in towns, need to ‘brighten up’, according to RoadSafe North East.
Road Safe North East spokesperson, Robbie Allen, said that all types of bike riders, whether riding for work, fitness or leisure, need to make themselves as visible as possible on the country roads and in urban environments, especially during the darker winter months when conditions can change quickly.
“Our message to cyclists is to take responsibility for how they can make themselves safer on the roads. We are sending a special shout-out to those male cyclists in full black lycra, and to their loved ones – do your man a favour and tell him fluoro is the new black! And don’t forget to lighten up – front and back, said Robbie Allen.
The new campaign will be launched in conjunction with the YMCA Wangaratta’s local take on the world’s most famous bike race, ‘Tour de Wang’ – an indoor fitness challenge that mirrors the Tour de France course, with ‘time trial’, ‘mountain’ and ‘flat’ sessions.
“Partnering with RoadSafe NE to help deliver these important messages is a perfect fit during our Tour de Wang promotion. For some participants the tour is a progression to riding on the road, which can be a daunting process for a first timer, so it’s great to offer them tips for safe riding,” said Jackie Hobbs, Community Development Officer, YMCA Wangaratta.
RoadSafe NE will continue to support the Amy Gillett Foundation’s ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign, working to amend road rules across Australia where drivers are required to provide a safe distance when overtaking bicycle riders. Research commissioned by the Amy Gillett Foundation (Crosby & Textor, October 2015), showed that since the amended road rule trial commenced in Queensland (April 2014), the majority of bicycle riders reported an increase in the space drivers give them. Over half of South Australian bicycle riders said drivers observed the amended rules (Bike SA Survey, October 2015).
Amy Gillet Foundation CEO Phoebe Dunn said the Foundation supports the work of RoadSafe North East in making bicycle riding safer.
“Being seen is important, it’s one of the Amy Gillett Foundation’s eight ride rules and we strongly recommend wearing light or bright colours in high visibility or reflective materials year round,” Ms Dunn said
Ms Dunn added that the Foundation is continuing its push to see a metre matters laws introduced in Victoria – one of the few remaining states in Australia yet to introduce the laws, which will make bicycle riding safer for everyone.
“Minimum overtaking distances are now law in South Australia and Queensland, two-year trials are well underway in New South Wales and the ACT, and Tasmania now has a version of these laws. Only Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory remain as Australian jurisdictions yet to commit to making bike riding safer through the introduction of minimum overtaking distance laws.”
“Our recommendation is clear – mandate a safe passing distance for drivers overtaking cyclists of one metre where the speed limit is 60 kilometres per hour or lower and 1.5 metres where the speed limit is higher. It should be adopted Australia wide with no exceptions,” Ms Dunn said.
Michelle Armstrong (RoadSafe NE)
Photos thanks to Trish Storer, YMCA Wangaratta