Don’t use your mobile on a bike
Motorists, cyclists cop a bunch of five new rules at once
MOTORISTS and cyclists will have to contend with five new road rules coming into force tomorrow.
They include on-the-spot fines of $476 for cyclists using mobile phones — the same fine given to drivers from July 1 — and new give-way regulations for vehicles at intersections with bike crossing lights.
Other rule changes permit cyclists and coaches to use bus lanes, while a law that banned people from driving with an empty bicycle carrier attached to the rear of their vehicle has been axed.
The new rules are in addition to the recently announced change that drivers must slow to 40kmh for emergency services vehicles.
Dave Jones, RACV roads and traffic manager, said he was concerned about the lack of notice given to road users when significant changes were made to road rules.
“These changes come into effect only days after being announced and do not give road users enough time to absorb the changes,” Mr Jones said.
“VicRoads needs to provide more notice to the Victorian community about any changes to the road rules, and publicise the changes well in advance. There should be greater community consultation, a mandatory 30-day notice period and mass-media communications.”
While RACV acknowledged the need to ensure emergency services workers operated in a safe environment, Mr Jones said he was concerned about the lack of understanding of the new rule.
“The slow-down requirement of the rule applies in relation to emergency or enforcement vehicles in service roads, but not when the emergency vehicle is on the other side of a median strip,” he said.
“RACV calls for the rule to be amended so that drivers do not need to slow for emergency vehicles in service roads.”
The state government says the changes are aimed at tidying up existing road rules and formalising current practices. It says the emergency services road rule was developed thorough consultation with a working group of emergency services and enforcement agencies, as well as other parties, over 18 months.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the new road rules were commonsense changes aimed at keeping people safe.
“VicRoads is running an extensive advertising and communications campaign to let people know about these new rules,” he said.