“The term ‘vulnerable road users’ refers to people who are most at risk in traffic, and who are the weaker party in a collision. Essentially this means road users who are not protected by a hard metal shell. It includes pedestrians, pedal cyclists, as well as motorcyclists.
“These forms of transport are the ones we want to encourage more in Canberra, as we grow into a more sustainable, active and hopefully less-congested city.
“Unfortunately vulnerable road users still face disproportionate rates of injury on our roads. In the ACT in 2012, 4 pedestrians, 1 cyclist and 3 motorcyclists were killed. 3 motor vehicle drivers were killed. While 8% of all motor vehicle crashes involved injury, 57% of crashes involving bicycles were injury crashes.
“There are interesting and successful advancements being made all over the world, as well as a growing expertise in best-practice policies for vulnerable road users. The ACT Inquiry will provide opportunities for us to harness these new ideas and recommend improvements for our city.
“At a minimum I’d like to see this concept of ‘vulnerable road users’ entrenched in Canberra’s road transport system and recognised in the way we plan and design our city. I’ve also suggested that all drivers should complete training on vulnerable road users in order to obtain their provisional drivers licence. The Committee can consider these initiatives.
“I think we’re well on the way to creating an environment where it’s safe and comfortable for these vulnerable road users to travel around Canberra, but there is a lot of good work we can still do.
If change occurs at the rate envisioned in the Transport for Canberra Plan, the ACT will have an annual increase of 444 new walkers, 647 new cyclists, and 1306 public transport users. Now is an ideal time to review and amend the ACT’s road transport system to ensure we facilitate and protecting this significant increase in vulnerable road users,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.