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A typology of laws in Australia affecting the safety of bicycle users

Elder, S, Steel, A, Katz, R, Crennan, N

Cycling

ARSC conference 2015

A 2014 study shows that the incidence of high threat to life (HTTL) crashes involving cyclists has increased almost 150% since 1999. During that same time period the incidence of HTTL crashes involving road users in protected vehicles has remained relatively constant. Despite this disparity, comparatively few public resources are dedicated to improving the safety of our road environment for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists._x000D_

_x000D_Improving road safety requires more than legislative intervention alone. Road laws will be ineffectual if the public is not adequately educated on their rights and responsibilities, or if suitable infrastructure to facilitate compliance does not exist. However, legislation creates a legitimising foundation for initiatives aimed at improving vulnerable road users' safety, and is therefore a vital piece of the road safety puzzle._x000D_

While legislative strategies are often seen as primary methods by which to promote the safety of vulnerable road users, there is little attention given to the way in which legislative schemes interact with each other, or even if the schemes are designed with vulnerable road users in mind. A first step towards removing that gap in the literature is to develop a typology of legislative schemes affecting vulnerable road users. This paper develops such a typology, highlighting overlaps and inconsistencies between and within Australian jurisdictions._x000D_

The paper will thus provide a clear understanding of the extent to which legislative schemes need re-alignment before they can be validly seen as the legitimate foundation underlying road safety infrastructure and education for vulnerable users._x000D_