Police Minister's Response

Police Minister's Response

Postby stealthbike » Mon May 06, 2013 12:15 pm

I started a thread in January (Enough is Enough) about the dangerous behaviour of cyclists on PSPs riding two abreast and overtaking when riders are travelling in the opposite direction. At the time, I had contacted police and got no help, so in frustration I wrote to the Minister of Police. After receiving an automated reply, eventually I received a response that said nothing can be addressed as we were now in election mode! Today I received the Minister's proper response (4 months after I wrote to her - but better late than never), which I have typed below (the response came as a scanned pdf, so I am unable to paste it here).

Thank you for your email regarding dangerous cycling on the Kwinana Principal Shared Use Path.

Your comments regarding the unsafe practices on the PSP, in particular between Canning and Narrows bridges are concerning, and I have passed these on to WA Police.

The RAC, as the Road User Representative on the Road Safety Council, has recently undertaken two cycling forums to assist agencies and the community better understand and respond to cycling safety issues. The development of an awareness raising and education campaign to influence driver and bicycle rider behaviour has been discussed and roles are likely to be identified for the Department of Transport and the Office of Road Safety.

I look forward to the outcomes of these forums being progressed, particularly educating people about safety, as the number of cyclists commuting to and from work, as well as for recreational benefits, continues to grow.

Thanks you for bringing this to my attention.

Yours sincerely
Lisa Harvey MLA


Whilst her response is positive, I am not optimistic that anything will change in terms of policing behaviour on the PSP. She indicated that she will contact the police but that doesn't mean that they will take any action.
The education campaign looks more likely and I also welcome this long overdue initiative if it comes to fruition.
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by BNA » Mon May 06, 2013 1:50 pm

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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby CycleSnail » Mon May 06, 2013 1:50 pm

Thanks, Stealthbike, it is indeed a positive sounding response.

I think any campaign organised via the Road Safety Council would be focused on roads, not on shared paths, specially if road trauma trust fund funding is required.

Beyond the pages of rules and regulations that already exist, what would be the top ten items for a code of conduct for people riding bicycles?
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon May 06, 2013 2:40 pm

Thanks for that Stealthbike.

That section inparticular is of interst to me. Traffic volume, state of repair, narrow width, lack of railings at river walls, the general attractiveness for not-so-slow group and individual rides all conspire to make this a section that needs a lot of attention safety-wise. I ride it six days a week abnd it is a rare day when I do not have several riders shave by very closely to me at speed with more trust in me and others than they should have.

Thanks for your opinion Cyclesnail. (FYI Cyclesnail is Heinrich from Bicycle Transport Alliance and so gets to meet with, talk with and cajole those in authority. So gets a grasp on what is happening (or not happening) in the corridors of power.)
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby stealthbike » Mon May 06, 2013 2:55 pm

Beyond the pages of rules and regulations that already exist, what would be the top ten items for a code of conduct for people riding bicycles?


I will get the ball rolling. Here is my starter list in no particular order:
1. Ride at a safe speed that is suitable to the conditions, infrastructure and number of users.
2. Never move into the path of an oncoming cyclist (ie only overtake when it is safe to do so).
3. Single file on PSPs.
4. Obey all traffic laws (ie stop at a red light).
5. Do not join/form groups unless you are trained/experienced.
6. Slow down when approaching pedestrians and slower riders and ring your bell.
7. Signal your intentions (slowing, passing, turning, etc).
8. Do not ride in group formation on a PSP.
9. "take the lane' when riding through roundabouts - to discourage motorists from attempting to pass you.
10. Whilst it is legal to ride two abreast on a road, consider riding single file when road infrastructure makes it difficult or dangerous for motorists to pass you.
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby Karati » Mon May 06, 2013 3:53 pm

I'd say less fluff and more campaign to build a path of appropriate width and quality for the volume of traffic would be the way to go.
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby Redbull » Mon May 06, 2013 5:28 pm

How about

Don't stop with all your mates and block one side of the path whilst you fix your tyre/ adjust hair and make up/ chat/ or whatever you are doing. Be courteous to the people still riding and move completely off the path.
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby Marty Moose » Mon May 06, 2013 7:04 pm

Always bothers me when the "Royal Automobile Club" is helping us especially when they are really an insurance company first and foremost. I'm gobsmacked they even have anything to do with road safety at all. The fox in in the hen house and he's not on our side.

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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby Thoglette » Mon May 06, 2013 11:52 pm

Karati wrote:I'd say less fluff and more campaign to build a path of appropriate width and quality for the volume of traffic would be the way to go.


Plus One.

"The Rules" might say "single file" but unless there's $$$$ thrown at an education campaign you're dreaming.
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby rolandp » Tue May 07, 2013 12:43 am

Whilst we have 'shared paths', can we ask that all users of the 'shared paths' have the same rules? Eg stick left, carry lights, check/indicate before turning, single file, wear a helmet etc :)

PS thanks for sending off letter to Minister of Police. I must do the same on an other topic.
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby CycleSnail » Tue May 07, 2013 8:21 am

stealthbike wrote:
Beyond the pages of rules and regulations that already exist, what would be the top ten items for a code of conduct for people riding bicycles?


I will get the ball rolling. Here is my starter list in no particular order:
1. Ride at a safe speed that is suitable to the conditions, infrastructure and number of users.
2. Never move into the path of an oncoming cyclist (ie only overtake when it is safe to do so).
3. Single file on PSPs.
4. Obey all traffic laws (ie stop at a red light).
5. Do not join/form groups unless you are trained/experienced.
6. Slow down when approaching pedestrians and slower riders and ring your bell.
7. Signal your intentions (slowing, passing, turning, etc).
8. Do not ride in group formation on a PSP.
9. "take the lane' when riding through roundabouts - to discourage motorists from attempting to pass you.
10. Whilst it is legal to ride two abreast on a road, consider riding single file when road infrastructure makes it difficult or dangerous for motorists to pass you.


That is a pretty comprehensive list that would remove a lot of the agression on the paths.

Rant warning:
About the involvement of the RAC - they have about 600'000 members vs a few hundred members of cycling advocacy organisations. They will always dominate road usage discussions. The challenge is to find working arrangements with them (or alternatively ALL cyclist need to become members of one or more cycling advocacy organisations .... dream on ....). The RAC has joined with the BTA and other cycling organisations to request more funding for cycling infrastructure, with moderate success (I am greedy, anything less than 3% of the transport budget is in my opinion not enough)
Rant over.-
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue May 07, 2013 11:04 am

On the single file: While, for quite obvious reasons, I do not get to ride in company much I do support the needs of those cyclists who are out there for much the same purpose as peds -just a quiet stroll with a friend or two - who just happen to use their boring pedestrian bikes in place of walking shoes.

The single file requirement seems to deny this type of rider. If it was ever policed those quite legit and and generally safer riders would be lost.

I do not mean to say that there are no inconsiderate tools out there but this class or not highly represented in that cohort.

So often we hold up the dutch cycling culture sort of thing yet this is as close to that type of riding that we get. (See much single file riding in a the videos out there?) I'd be in favour of dropping that legal requirment. It doesn't disdavantage tools in the least anyway.

Of course the fast flying and groups brigade are disadvantaged in that they may have to slow down occasionally to pass safely. But that would not be a bad thing anyway. And I don't see those riders as having any more legitimacy than the ped-on-wheels and are often a bigger hazard and (big BIG generalisation) more likely to ride with less than required regard anyway.
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby Marmoset » Tue May 07, 2013 1:03 pm

I have to agree with you there Colin, if I'm out at the weekend it's often with somebody, either a riding buddy or my family, and it's a nice change to have a chat whilst riding instead of just getting to/from work in a reasonable time. It's all about keeping an eye on what's happening around you, just like driving really, just because your not in a car it doesn't mean people have to be less aware. I think people often underestimate how much more likely you are to get injured in a bike/bike collision as there's a helluva lot less protection around you.

BTW - you're a very hard man to knock off, how are you supposed to safely clip someone who doesn't have any handlebars :wink:

I must slow down and say hi when I see you next, but I seem to be out a bit later nowadays and don't see you as much up and down the freeway.

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Items for a Cycling Code of Conduct

Postby CycleSnail » Tue May 07, 2013 1:14 pm

Based on the suggestions from stealthbike and other sources these items could be part of a code of conduct (I somewhat "lost" the ten points....)

Other road users:
Carry a bell and use – avoid surprising people
Signal your intentions (slowing, passing, turning, etc).
Slow down when approaching pedestrians and slower riders

Use of paths
Be courteous and patient with pedestrians and other path users who are moving more slowly than you – shared paths are for sharing, not speeding
Only overtake when there is enough room and it is safe to do so, and never move into the path of an oncoming cyclist
Do not ride in group formation on a PSP
Do not join/form groups unless you are trained/experienced

Safety when riding in traffic
Ride at a safe speed that is suitable to the conditions, infrastructure and number of users. This includes slowing down as needed when space is limited or if you cannot see clearly ahead
In dull and dark weather make sure you have lights so you can be seen
Don’t use a mobile phone or earphones while cycling
Be aware of drivers’ blind spots and opening of doors, try for eye contact with car drivers at lights.
Ride a metre from the kerb in a straight line. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic
Be predictable and signal your intentions
Whilst it is legal to ride two abreast on a road, consider riding single file when road infrastructure makes it difficult or dangerous for motorists to pass you.

The law
Obey traffic laws (traffic lights and signs, stop signals, crossing double lines, lack of lights, riding more than two abreast, wear helmet, etc)

Bunch riding
Be predictable, don’t overlap wheels, maintain a steady pace, communicate, ride within your own limits, join or leave from the rear, no audio devices (There is a brochure on bunch riding from Cycle Sport Victoria)
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Re: Police Minister's Response

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue May 07, 2013 10:11 pm

Marmoset wrote:BTW - you're a very hard man to knock off, how are you supposed to safely clip someone who doesn't have any handlebars :wink:


As it happens, some one did find a way last November. I got a fairly deeply sliced foot out of it and my trip meter is now attached to the unicycle with lacky bands until I can find a way to repair. :cry:

You just go for my pedal as that guy did. Though unlike a shoulder charge you have to be prepared to go down as well.

Marmoset wrote:I must slow down and say hi when I see you next, but I seem to be out a bit later nowadays and don't see you as much up and down the freeway.

A few people have quizzed me on why I am not riding as much. In fact I am riding more. It is just that I am mostly leaving earlier these days as my commute has gotten a few kms longer - 5:30ish departure, off the Narrows by around 7:00ish. I have also eschewed the Manning PSP for a more pleasant ride around Mt Pleasant. And my new home commute route has now only about 2 kms on the PSP.

By all means I am always happy if someone slows down for a chat. Just be aware of what is behind you first as you pull out and back off down to my sorta speed. That is what the twit I alluded to above failed to do with a three person pile up the result.
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