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Liberals offer solution to bikes on footpaths

The State Liberals will today introduce amendments to the Road Traffic Act 1961 and the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 into State Parliament.

The amendments, which have the support of the Royal Society of the Blind, offer a commonsense solution to the problems created by the Weatherill Government’s open slather approach to cyclists on footpaths.

The changes to the Road Traffic Act will set a maximum speed for cyclists on footpaths at 10km/hr unless otherwise signposted and remove the requirements for councils to seek Ministerial permission to impose speed limits or ban bicycles from footpaths.

The amendments will also allow pedestrians injured by a bicycle to claim medical expenses through South Australia’s compulsory third party insurance if they are unable to identify the cyclist, by widening the definition for the Nominal Defendant.

This change will treat a bicycle on a road or footpath the same as an unregistered or unidentified motor vehicle by amending the Motor Vehicles Act 1959.

“A 10 km/h limit represents jogging speed and is also the speed that most gophers are limited to, enabling cyclists to continue to share footpaths with pedestrians but minimizing the risk of injury if there is a collision,” said Shadow Transport Minister David Pisoni.

“These modest changes will address the major concerns raised by 25,000 South Australians who responded to the Liberal Party’s survey following the State Government’s changes to allow bikes on footpaths last year.

“Transport Minister Mullighan has brushed off any concerns regarding safety and speed as matters for councils and victims – these Liberal amendments will make these processes clearer and easier.

“Our proposed changes to compensation and insurance are in stark contrast to the Transport Minister who has given no assurances and offered no solutions.”