December 12, 2007
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Victoria Police has joined with CycleSport Victoria, Triathlon Victoria, the Cycling Promotion Fund and CycloSportif Victoria to launch a new Code of Conduct for cyclists.
The Code of Conduct is designed to provide a set of guidelines for cyclists in an effort to ensure responsible riding and increase the safety of all road users.
It also highlights important skills in bunch riding to ensure that cyclists ride not only in an enjoyable and challenging manner but a responsible one.
Sgt Arty Lavos of the State Bicycle Coordination Unit said the Code of Conduct had been developed by Victoria Police and governing bodies of the sport for a number of reasons.
"In the past few years the popularity of competitive cycling amongst more competent riders on roadways such as Beach Road has increased significantly," Sgt Lavos said.
"Police believe this is a trend that will continue due to issues of health and wellbeing, increased cost of driving and other social and cultural benefits.
"The Coroners’ report earlier this year on the pedestrian death following a collision with a cyclist on Beach Road also highlighted the importance of developing a single code of conduct for all competitive riders to adhere to.
"After this report was released, police joined together with the main stakeholders in cycling to initiate a revamped of the code of conduct aimed at group road riding.
"A previous code of conduct existed, however this is the first time all the main stakeholders have come together to develop a single code of conduct approved by all agencies.
"The use of this and other competitive training routes peaks over the summer months so it is an apt time to be launching the Code of Conduct for riders."
CycleSport Victoria general manager Steve Peterson said it was important for regular riders to set a positive example.
"It is hoped that by instilling a sense of responsibility amongst the higher end riders, they will set the standard for the greater majority of the cycling community."
Victoria Police has consistently monitored and enforced breaches of the road rules by cyclists along the Beach Road route for a number of years using a variety of methods including aerial patrol using the police Air Wing, covert and marked vehicles.
Sgt Lavos said the new Code of Conduct is important because it shows how cyclists can take an active role in both their own safety and that of other road users.
"This Code of Conduct is a way for Victoria Police to work with cyclists and their governing bodies in an effort to continue to reduce to road toll and improve road safety in Victoria," he said.
"It is also important to remember that the code is applicable to all riders who use road routes throughout Victoria, not just Beach Road.
"All road users regardless of location need to respect the road and be responsible for their own actions.
"Many risks can easily be avoided with common sense and care and this Code of Conduct is a behavioural blueprint for cyclists to show how they can ride safely.
"By disobeying road rules you risk the lives of everyone using that road at that time – people who put their trust in other road users to do the right thing.
"Police will continue to regularly conduct enforcement operations along popular routes such as Beach Road, so those who break the rules should expect to be caught.
"However it is extremely pleasing that the main cycling bodies in Victoria have chosen to join with us to take an active step towards improving road safety for the whole community."
A copy of the Code of Conduct is available at both the CycleSport Victoria and Triathlon Victoria websites:
Have your say on the new Code of Conduct for cyclists on the bikeExchange 'biker's blog'