Together with the Amy Gillett Foundation and Bicycle Network, AusCycling commends the Safer Freight Vehicles package announced today by the Assistant Minister for Transport, Senator Carol Brown, that includes measures to improve the safety of cyclists who share roads with trucks and other heavy vehicles.
The new measures will be introduced via four new Australian Design Rules and seven amended vehicle standards and will allow an increase in the current width limit for trucks that are fitted with the technologies above.
According to the CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation, Dan Kneipp, today’s announcement will have a major impact on reducing serious injuries and death for riders who share the roads with trucks.
“These safety measures will save lives. We are so glad to see the government taking action to make the roads safer for bike riders and less stressful for truck drivers,” Kneipp said.
“The Amy Gillett Foundation has worked with many people who have been impacted by the devastating situation of a bike rider going under the wheels of a truck. These crashes are often deadly for bike riders and have a life-long, traumatic impact on the truck driver.
“Today’s announcement builds upon years of work involving the Amy Gillett Foundation and the Federal Government to improve cyclist safety around trucks. For example, we also deliver truck driver training that puts truckies on a bicycle so they can experience and learn about the risks that bike riders face on our roads.
“Bike riding deaths are preventable. We are grateful to stand alongside Assistant Minister Carol Brown for this announcement and congratulate her for her commitment to saving lives.”
Marne Fechner, CEO of AusCycling, said the measures were an important step toward creating a safer and more harmonious environment on roads shared by cyclists and drivers.
“We know so many accidents involving cyclists and vehicles are avoidable, and the measures announced today should have a significant impact on road trauma.
“We also know the immense physical, psychological and environmental benefits that cycling and riding delivers to the community, so anything that makes people feel safer on a bike is to be celebrated.”
Bicycle Network CEO, Alison McCormack said; “We’ve been pushing for these critical changes for more than a decade, and today’s adoption of safety measures of bike riders, including side underrun protection and blind spot improvements in the new vehicle standards are a breakthrough and will be especially welcome by riders across Australia.
“We are greatly appreciative of the fresh approach to vulnerable road-user safety now underway at the federal level which will bring Australia much closer to the safer heavy vehicle standards already proven internationally. It’s also a win for the trucking sector which now has a better choice of more efficient trucks and trailers.”