2016 Federal Election Policies

Our Policies

There are numerous policies that can help support and increase cycling participation and create a safer cycling environment. Many of these policies involve only minor changes to existing infrastructure, laws or an adjustment to government priority-setting; some will need a complete re-think or overhaul.  Following is a list of policy initiatives we have established or support.

 

Cycling – a single issue with multiple impacts

Our Policies

Road Safety

  • A national minimal standard for cycling facilities and infrastructure, road surface, signage, bike lane design criteria and road regulations.
  • A legislated bias towards protecting vulnerable road users through improved enforcement.
  • Support for a national, minimum cyclist passing distance of 1 metre for up to 60 kph and 1.5 metres for over that speed,
  • Establish a national inquiry to review the efficacy of “mandatory bicycle helmet legislation”. Based on the recommendations of a recent inquiry in Queensland, we are ready to support the reform of bicycle helmet regulations that would allow adult cyclists the choice of wearing a helmet or not.
  • A review of speed limits to take into account road design and quality for both present and proposed road users.
  • Clarity and sufficiency in CTP insurance schemes to address injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists.

  • 3.6 million (17%) people ride a bike in Australia each week and 7.4 million (37%) had ridden at least once in the previous year.

Infrastructure

  • Increased funding for the maintenance of current cycle paths and cycle lanes with a focus on outer-urban and regional roads and paths.
  • A national program to evaluate and encourage large businesses to promote non-motor vehicle options for employees.
  • A fundamental change to the Black Spot funding program to ensure it is not used as a political reward program and that projects deliver outcomes that meet or exceed current Austroads standards for safe design for all road users.
  • Development of a national “rail trails” network through new legislation and funding. (a safe cycling network – see railtrails.org.au) https://www.railtrails.org.au
  • The provision of bicycle storage in public transport and shopping and workplace destinations, to encourage travel by bicycle and bicycling tourism.
  • Automatic right-of-way preferencing of pedestrians and cyclists at signalised intersections by eliminating, wherever possible, “permission “or call buttons.
  • Commit a small percentage (circa. 2%) of the infrastructure budgets (roads, public transport and town planning) to expanding cycling infrastructure and facilities.

  • Cycling infrastructure is underfunded and the ACP proposes to quadruple it. According to the National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016, bicycle expenditure makes up just 0.6% of road related expenditure in Australia, yet 2% of commuters are cyclists.

Education and attitudes - to improve awareness and safety

  • Ensuring all young people undergo bicycle skills training while at school.
  • Improve attitudes between road users, especially towards vulnerable road users, led by government-driven campaigns.
  • Motorist licensing tests to include 20% of questions towards road sharing regulations.
  • An evaluation of the adequacy of laws and penalties that apply to aggressive behaviour by drivers of motor vehicles towards pedestrians and cyclists (motor cyclists and bicyclists).
  • End violent assaults and verbal abuse towards vulnerable road users

  • Over a third of our children ride a bike weekly – the highest levels of cycling participation is amongst 2 to 9 year old children where 44% had ridden in the previous week, and 32% of 10 to 17 year olds.

Health - of humans and the environment

Allocate a small proportion (circa. 0.5%) of the health budget to improve cycling infrastructure which would encourage the frequency and levels of participation. The health and wellbeing and social benefits of cycling as a form of exercise are well documented. Cycling at recommended levels:

  • reduces obesity and hence helps to reduce diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis;
  • increases mental health and wellbeing;
  • increases muscular strength and flexibility, and hence helps to reduce leg and back pain.

Increased commuter cycling also reduces car traffic and hence helps to reduce air pollution, which is a known risk factor in asthma.

Government Accountability

The establishment of a non-partisan, cross-party commission – empowered to ensure government is acting to meet its cycling strategy targets and to report annually to the public on these actions and measures.

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