ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Bicycle law enforcement

Harman, Brett



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 enforcement. 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 casualty information.