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Need for bike light legislation

The increasing concern about cyclist safety on local and tourist roads has resulted in a request for mandatory fitting of lights on bikes.

Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, has asked the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, to introduce such legislation to the Victorian Parliament.

“There is current confusion about whether it is already mandatory for lights to be fitted on bicycles.  If the legislation doesn’t exist, it should,” said Mr Ramsay.

Mr Ramsay has met with the Deans Marsh-Lorne Road Safety Group which is anxious about the increasing number of cyclists on the roads in the Bellarine-Surf Coast region.

The group wrote to the Minister earlier this year who indicated the bike light legislation was in place.  However, VicRoads has since indicated the legislation does not exist.

“At times, it is particularly dangerous having a shared pavement between cyclists and motorists.

“It is important that cyclists are highly visible, have fitted lights – and use them,” Mr Ramsay said.

“We acknowledge that motorists and cyclists can co-exist – but we need to make that relationship as safe as possible.

“The ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign has highlighted the minimal space needed for a safe co-existence on our roads.  But cyclists also need to contribute to their own safety.

“Having a light fitted – and using it – is just another way to maximise safety and save lives.”

Mr Ramsay said the issue has greater pertinence over the summer period on Victoria’s busy regional roads and Surf Coast.

“This is a destination for thousands of people over the summer – that means thousands more driving on our roads and potentially thousands more cycling.

“It results in the potential for more accidents and if having a light on your bike reduces the chance for accidents – then we should be making that happen.