Cycling has been made legal again on footpaths in Western Australia starting Tuesday as the government has previously changed the law, keeping in mind the public’s safety concerns.
Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said that the move taken by the authorities has brought the state in line with the rest of Australia. Before the legislation, only children under 12 were allowed to ride their bicycles on footpaths but now, their parents can also accompany their children to ensure safe rides on footpaths. “From today, it is legal for parents to ride side by side with their child along a footpath,” Harvey said as quoted by The Guardian.
The minister added that with the new cycling laws, everyone in West Australia has been granted the permission to ride their bicycles, but the main focus of the legislation are low-speed rides directed at parents with children and leisure cyclists. Harvey claimed that the changes made to the Road Traffic Code 2000 were purely based on “common sense” on how to enhance safety for children on roads while cycling.
“This is a common-sense change and targeted at parents and leisure cyclists who travel at low speed and do not feel comfortable riding on the road,” WA Today quoted her as saying.
In March, increasing cycling offences like the failure of wearing a helmet and not obeying traffic rules forced the NSW government to impose a penalty for riders. The new legislation has allowed adults in WA to ride with 12-year-old cyclists while in NSW the adult riders can cycle only where signs allow them to do so.
March witnessed the death of two cyclists where they were hit and killed by cars in Perth. This made it mandatory for the government to release a ruling that motorists will remain at a distance of one metre from cyclists on roads. Transport Minister Dean Nalder announced on Tuesday that Shakespeare Street in Perth would be the city’s first bike boulevard that will give priority to cycle riders, thereby indicating an increase in the number of bike paths.