Safety signage must be paramount in plan for pop-up cycling lanes: VTA

Road safety is a shared responsibility according to the CEO of the Victorian Transport Association.

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has urged the State Government to ensure road safety signage is prominent and prevalent in its plan to construct 100 kilometres of pop-up cycling lanes around inner-Melbourne suburbs to accommodate an expected increase in bicycle usage when Covid-19 restrictions ease.

The Victorian Government yesterday announced $13 million would be spent to deliver the new and improved lanes to help ease road congestion and provide an alternative to public transport for inner city residents.

VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, said that appropriate road signage and proactive efforts to ensure both cyclists and motorists alike observe road rules was essential to ensure safety for all road users.

“With expectations of even more road congestion as users shun public transport for what they may perceive to be the safer environment of a car or a bike, it is essential any new infrastructure includes prominent signage that effectively communicates important safety information to cyclists and motorists,” said Anderson.

“For cyclists who have been gifted with dedicated lanes, this signage should include messages reminding them to remain inside their allocated lanes because with the narrowing of streets the new lanes will create there will be less room for cars, buses, delivery vans and trucks.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility and every road user, whether they are riding a bike or driving a truck, must observe rules and regulations that are required of them in order to prevent accidents from occurring,” he said.

Anderson said the VTA would be doing its bit to remind heavy vehicle operators of the requirement of observing minimum passing distances when they take effect next year.

“For new minimum passing distances of up to 1.5 metres to work and be most effective, it is critical that cyclists also follow regulations limiting them to riding no more than two abreast so that motor vehicles can safely pass them without encroaching adjacent lanes unnecessarily,” he said.

“This is especially important for heavy vehicles which, because of their size and weight, take up more room and take longer to stop, underscoring the need for cyclists to keep left as much as possible to allow for safe passing by motor vehicles.”