Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - VicRoads
Proposed designs for stickers to remind drivers to check before opening their car doors are generating a substantial amount of discussion on the Road User or Abuser Facebook page, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said today.

Mr Mulder said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to improving bike rider safety and responding to the community’s calls for stickers to remind drivers to check for bike riders before opening car doors. The development of stickers is also in line with the Coroner’s recommendation for VicRoads to look at ways to educate drivers about the need to check for bikes before opening their car door.

?"It is important drivers and bike riders take shared responsibility for staying safe on Victoria’s roads," Mr Mulder said. "As the Road User or Abuser campaign enters its final week, I encourage all drivers and bike riders to take this opportunity to provide feedback on the sticker designs, as well as clear up misconceptions about the road rules and address issues relating to road safety."

Mr Mulder said that once community feedback on the concepts for the stickers has been provided on the Road User or Abuser Facebook page, VicRoads would take it into consideration before finalising a design. It is anticipated the stickers will be made available by April 2012.

?"When the Road User or Abuser Facebook campaign was launched on 6 February 2012, we pledged to address any issues or hot topics as they arose. One of the key issues that has been raised on the Road User or Abuser Facebook page has been the issue of drivers checking for bike riders before opening a car door," Mr Mulder said.

Mr Mulder said statistics showed car doors being opened into the path of a bike rider was a common cause of injury. A recent poll on the Road User or Abuser Facebook page showed bike riders and drivers recognised this was a high risk to the safety of riders.??

"Opening your car door without checking can kill or seriously injure a bike rider. By checking all the mirrors and doing a head check, you can make sure it is safe before opening your car door," Mr Mulder said. "On average, there are 33 serious injuries annually from car door and bike rider collisions, and there has also been one fatality in the last five years. Seven per cent of bike rider serious injuries and fatalities occur when a driver opens their car door into the path of a bike rider. This is much higher in the Melbourne CBD and surrounds, at approximately 20 per cent."

??Mr Mulder reminded drivers that the law says you must not cause a hazard to another vehicle (such as a bike) by opening your car door. The maximum penalty for this offence is $366, while the on-the-spot infringement fine is $122.

The Road User or Abuser campaign was launched on 6 February 2012 and addresses a key topic each week over six weeks of the campaign, including relationships, rules and tips, visibility, points of view, confessions and conciliation. At the end of the campaign, VicRoads will examine the results and use them to develop future communications for bike riders and other road users.

All drivers and bike riders are urged to log on to the Road User or Abuser Facebook page, take the quiz and start talking about the issues they face when on the road. The Facebook page can be found at
www.facebook.com/RoadUserOrAbuser

For more information on safe cycling, visit vicroads.vic.gov.au/Bicycles

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VicRoads

VicRoads key role is to help provide Victorians with safe and easy connections to the people and places that matter most to them. VicRoads supports Victoria’s liveability and economic prosperity by planning, developing and managing the arterial road network and delivering registration and licensing services.

Effective partnerships with all levels of government, industry and the community underpin VicRoads ability to contribute to a transport system where all its elements work together to deliver the best outcomes for the community.Larissa Garvin (Department of Transport)
P: 0427 669 628
W: www.facebook.com/RoadUserOrAbuser

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