The State of Queensland and the Brisbane City Council will form a committee to look at options to improve active transport safety following the death of Carolyn Lister in Brisbane last week. As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Lister’s death has prompted advocates to call for reforms to road safety regulation, including mandating the use of blind-spot monitoring devices for heavy trucks.
Ms Lister died after being hit by the driver of a truck at an intersection near the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. The circumstances of her death were similar to those of Danish tourist Rebekka Meyer, who was killed in 2014 after being clipped by a truck moving in the same direction at an intersection.
The state government has been working to establish such a committee since May. Once formed the Active Transport Advisory Committee will work with lobby groups and stakeholders to provide advice to governments on how to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety throughout the state.
On Monday, the RACQ announced it would take part in committee proceedings with an aim to use research and evidence “to identify solutions which balance the needs of active transport users and other road users.” Other advisors to the committee include Queensland Walks, Bicycle Queensland, and Cycling Queensland, along with other local cycling groups.
The announcement comes after a spate of incidents that have seen the national road toll for cyclists rise significantly above the five-year average.
A truck driver faced court this week charged with causing the death of a cyclist in South Australia last January. The 39-year-old driver, Daniel Luke Barry, is alleged to have hit and killed cyclist Daryl Adams on the Princes Highway south of Salt Creek before leaving the scene without rendering assistance.
As the ABC reported, Mr Adams was participating in the Tour Down Under and was riding with a friend from Melbourne to Adelaide when he was hit. In court, the driver plead not guilty to two counts of driving without due care, and leaving the scene of the accident. He was released on bail and will face court again in October.
On Sunday, a 15-year-old boy was hit by the driver of a ute while riding near the Nowra Bridge on the South Coast. The boy sustained critical injuries and had to be airlifted to hospital in Westmead. The incident occurred just south of the bridge at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Bridge Road. The driver of the ute is assisting police with their inquiries.
In infrastructure news, the ACT government announced this week that it would “fast-track” suburban infrastructure improvements including missing links in the Canberra cycleway network and new bike and ride facilities along Canberra’s light rail line. The new facilities near the Acton and Well’s Station Road stops are intended to encourage cyclists to ride to their nearest light rail stop as part of their commute.
Moreland City Council in Victoria voted on Wednesday to approve a series of pop-up bike lanes to be installed in Brunswick West and Pascoe Vale. The new lanes will run along Dawson Street, Albion Street, Northumberland Road and Kent Road, and will be separated from the road by plastic and rubber kerbing and bollards. All up the project will cost the council $1.83 million, with state and federal grants to provide an additional $570,000.