SUPPORT for the Amy Gillett Foundation petition for bike safety legislation continues to gain momentum, with backing from local MP Simon Ramsay.
The Liberal Member for Western Victoria and cycle enthusiast offered his support to the A Metre Matters campaign and said he was committed to advocating safer road use.
Aiming to make Australian roads safer for cyclists, the Amy Gillett Foundation’s campaign is in its fourth year and the petition is set to be tabled in the Australian House of Representatives in April.
The campaign is driven by Simon Gillett, the husband of Amy Gillett who was hit by a motorist in 2005. It is petitioning for laws in Australia to be introduced that make it illegal for cars to drive within one metre of cyclists when overtaking.
“I will do anything I can to advocate to get road users to provide enough room for cyclists,” he said. “The fact is, we have to be aware more people are cycling.
“More work needs to be done to ensure cyclists’ safety, and motorists need to be made more aware.”
Gove Cycles owner Phillip Orr said he knew many cyclists who did not feel safe on the road.
“We need to make motorists more aware that cyclists have the right to use the road too,” he said.
“Maybe we need more bike paths or some safer alternative routes, but we need to be able to share the road.”
As part of 40 regional transport projects funded through the Victorian Coalition Government’s Transport Investing in Regions initiative, cyclists will now have access to 30 new stainless steel bike hoops in the CBD to encourage people to cycle to work.
Following suggestions from residents and traders for better bicycle facilities, the bike hoops have been installed in 21 locations in Sturt and Mair streets.
Mr Ramsay said providing additional bicycle parking in Ballarat’s CBD would encourage people to cycle into town, reduce traffic pollution and increase the number of people getting healthy through cycling.
“Cyclists are now able to come into the city and lock their bicycle securely and go to work and have a shop,” he said.
“We are committed to supporting cycling as an alternative mode of transport and this project is just one way we are working to make Victoria a bike-friendly state.
“In 2013-2014, the Coalition Government is investing more than $30 million in bicycle projects, initiatives and events across Victoria.”