Bicycle law enforcement
In road safety plans, engineering and education are vital components - easily justified and
strongly supported. Globally, there are many fine models in place, new projects are being
implemented and other examples continue to be developed.
Such is not necessarily the case with bicycle enforcement, another vital element in road
safety. Appropriate enforcement and the perception regarding the threat or risk of being
caught are major factors contributing to the success of campaigns - good examples
include the anti-drink driving campaign and the use of traffic cameras for speed
Cyclists are over- represented in road trauma. They have a much higher hospitalisation
rate than other road users, and there is concern that education programs and legislative
measures have not been adequately reinforced. Cycling fatalities are not great in number.
The national total of cyclist fatalities since the year 2000 is 220, an average of 27 per
year. In Victoria cyclists fatalities total 47 during the same period, which is an average of
7 per year and bicycle crashes are grossly under-reported at a conservative estimate of
approximately 1 in 30.
There are difficulties with bicycle enforcement - fewer models, less support and it is
generally a low-priority activity for police. There are a number of reasons for this,
including the fact that the true extent of bicycle trauma is not clearly defined in road