Sustrans applauds Australian state of Victoria for considering radical cycling safety proposals

Ideas include allowing cyclists to treat red lights as Give Way signs

Sustrans has praised the Australian state of Victoria for its willingness to think outside the box when it comes to cycling safety. Victoria is currently considering a radical list of proposals, which includes allowing cyclists to treat red lights as Give Way signs and a ban on the use of headphones while cycling

VicRoads is the road and traffic authority in the state of Victoria, Australia. It is currently reviewing its cycling-related road rules following a rise in the popularity of cycling in the state in recent years. In July, it posted an online survey to gauge people’s attitudes.

Questions related to many possible changes. While treating red lights as Give Way signs and banning the use of headphones were two of the more eye-catching suggestions, others included allowing motorbikes to share bike lanes, allowing cyclists to use the footpath provided they gave way to pedestrians and requiring drivers to keep a distance of at least a metre from anyone on a bike.

Bristol-based cycling charity, Sustrans, responded positively to VicRoads’ open-mindedness. Speaking to The Bristol Post, the group’s regional director, Ian Barrett, said:

"These are certainly an interesting set of ideas, some more radical than others. It's good that the Australian state of Victoria is thinking outside of the box with making cycling safer and more convenient.

“What would help the most in Bristol would be to design deeper cycling integration into the road system. Reducing traffic speeds and extending the network of high quality routes where cyclists don't need to come into contact with many red lights or vehicles will make the most impact, enabling more people to cycle for their everyday journeys."

The Post also spoke to Bristol cabinet member, Gus Hoyt. A keen cyclist himself, he went further in his support.

"I agree with giving way on a red light if it was treated as a proper Give Way and not a green light. It could keep the traffic moving and prevent cyclists clogging up junctions."

VicRoads is keen to emphasise that at present it is merely gathering information. Speaking to Australian newspaper, The Age, the organisation’s vehicle and road use policy director, James Holgate, said:

"It's a long journey from posing questions in a survey to changes being made. There were 11,000 responses and we are still analysing the data along with information from recent research and cycling crash statistics."

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