Ballarat’s status as a cycling-friendly city will be tested when a VicRoads survey investigates at how much drivers and cyclists know about their responsibilities on the road.
In an effort to understand the relationship between our two main road users, both groups will be tested on rules – such as whether a bike should have a bell – and whether they agree with statements such as “drivers rarely look out for bike riders”.
Roads Minister Terry Mulder stated there was a need for the survey.
“We know cyclists and drivers often don’t see eye to eye and there have been a number of incidents where cars and bikes have come into conflict because people are not sure who is in the right,” Mr Mulder said in a statement.
There have been several hit-and-run incidents in Ballarat in the past year, and Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club president Phil Orr said drivers frequently abuse riders.
“I’m under the impression motorists aren’t aware of our rights on the road. Quite often you’re abused and told to get off the roads. Even just the right to ride two-abreast, motorists scream at you when you’re in a pair.”
He said cyclists also needed to be made aware of the rules.
“I still see cyclists running red lights, and riding three or four abreast.”
VicRoads will use the results of the survey in its review of cycling-related road rules, to be completed by the end of 2014.
In its 2014-15 draft budget, the City of Ballarat allocated $240,000 for bicycle-related projects, and bike sales have grown strongly in the last several years in all categories of bikes.