Local cyclists seek a safer path

Christine Cunningham said she enjoyed bike rides with her family but believed safety was often compromised when travelling on roads.

According to Insurance Commission of WA statistics, 131 crashes involved cyclists in the City of Canning during a five-year period to mid-2013.

‘I avoid riding on the roads as much as I can,’ she said.

‘Our bike paths are fantastic and you can get a great ride in the Canning River Regional Park, around the Kent Street Weir.

‘I would really like to see painted cycle lanes on a lot more major and minor roads in the Canning area generally.

‘I think we should dream big. Imagine what it would be like if cyclists in our area could safely ride along Leach Highway.’

South Metropolitan MLC Lynn MacLaren believed one-metre passing distances should be considered after Queensland introduced a two-year trial of the initiative late last year.

‘On roads where the speed limit is 60km/h or lower, drivers of vehicles should leave a one-metre distance when passing a cyclist,’ she said. ‘Where the speed limit is above 60km/h, the passing distance should be 1.5 metres.

‘I will be introducing my Road Traffic Amendment Bill this year to make cycling safer for all.’

Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said lower speeds should be introduced when bike riders, pedestrians and drivers shared the road.

‘Research shows a key reason why people stop riding locally is because they don’t feel safe on roads where traffic speeds are high,’ he said.

Department of Transport policy and systems executive director Brett Hughes said safety of all road users was of ‘utmost importance’.

‘WA will monitor the progress and outcomes of Queensland’s trial,’ he said.

An Office of Road Safety representative said its road safety strategy acknowledged ‘lower travel speeds by motor vehicles benefits cyclists and may help promote a greater feeling of safety among riders’.