Written by Peter CarterSeptember 14, 2016
In a bid to improve road safety, an Adelaide councillor wants cyclists wearing high-visibility clothing or strips at all times.
The idea will be discussed by the state’s councils in October. However, cyclists are not happy with the news, calling it concerning and embarrassing.
Councillor Arthur Mangos said he wanted a hi-vis rule in place for children. This was later expanded to cover all cyclists and mobility scooter riders as well.
“Reversing out of my own driveway, I nearly bowled over a small child, and if I had seen the hi-vis helmet, and bright orange or bright green, I would have been more aware,” he said.
Councillor Mangos claimed to have another near-miss with a cyclist travelling “at 30 kilometres an hour” down the footpath past his parents’ house.
“The cyclist was on Henley Beach Road, at night, pitch black, and I could not see the cyclist,” he said.
“I think it should be compulsory, and not only for South Australia, but all of Australia, have it as an Australian national safety rule.”
Chief executive Christian Haag challenged West Torrens council to produce evidence that hi-vis items would protect cyclists.
“I remind all motorists that when they navigate over a footpath, it’s their responsibility to look out for pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.
Mr Haag said it was a problematic idea considering the international Tour Down Under cycling race in Adelaide each January, and the influx of bike-riding tourists.
“We just see this as another barrier to getting people on bikes, and as we know, getting more folks on bikes creates a basket of benefits for our community, whether it’s better health outcomes or reduced congestion,” he said.
Councillor Mangos predicted “common sense would prevail” and a majority of councils would support the plan.