Time to get serious about road rule offenders

An article in the most recent Bicycle NSW Newsletter reports that ACT Police will conduct compliance activity targeting motorists who don’t follow the law when passing cyclists on ACT roads.  [ See :-

It appears this compliance activity will be conducted undercover and it is interesting that its announcement coincided with a report in Sydney papers yesterday that the State Government was considering removing warning signs that are currently installed in advance of fixed and mobile speed camera locations. See :-

https://www.smh.com.au/topic/road-safety-61b

Both announcements in a way represent two solutions to the same problem – improving behaviour on our roads, especially towards cyclists. The idea that signalling to people that they are about to be scrutinised for any wrongdoing will improve their behaviour when they are not being scrutinised is like deploying a police officer outside a jewellery shop. It will likely stop a thief from robbing THAT shop but he or she will simply move on and try their luck elsewhere. If, however, the would-be thief knows there is a possibility he or she could be apprehended somewhere else because of random and/or undercover policing, he or she will be more likely to moderate his or her behaviour more comprehensively. And so it should be with traffic law observance. The use of a more widespread ‘any time, any place’ approach to traffic law enforcement in the future will represent a greater risk of detection/apprehension to would-be offenders and therefore be a far more effective deterrent to poor driver behaviour.

Both the announcements above are welcome news for cyclists.

Justin Holmwood

6th November, 2019