Navigation

SUBMISSION: Reflectors on Pedals: Time to repeal this regulation in Western Australia

IMG 0977

I recently wrote about changes to the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002. Amongst those changes was the removal of the requirement for pedals to have reflectors if the bicycles was used during the hours of darkness. A pretty difficult requirement to meet given the design of a considerable number of pedals on the market used by cyclists.

However the removal of this regulation from the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 did not solve the problem as a similar regulation remains in the Road Traffic Code 2000. The relevant regulation is 224 (2B). This regulation states:

A person shall not ride a bicycle during the hours of darkness, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the bicycle has affixed, to both sides of each pedal, yellow pedal reflectors complying with the requirements for reflectors in Australian Standard AS 2142-1978 (Specification
for Reflectors for Pedal Bicycles).

As this regulation puts myself and a significant number of Western Australian cyclists in breach of the law when we ride out bicycles at night or low visibility conditions due to our decision to ride with clip less pedals such as Look Keo or the like I have taken up my concerns with the Minister of Transport, The Honourable Troy Buswell. A copy of my submission to the Minister is repeated below. If this regulation is of concern to you and you would like it revoked please consider joining me and writing to the Minister. The more submissions the more likely the regulation will be removed.

When I receive a response from the Minister I will post an update to the blog.

 

October 13, 2011

The Honourable Mr Troy Buswell

Minister of Transport
Western Australian Government
12th Floor, Dumas House
2 Havelock Street
WEST PERTH WA 6005

Dear Minister Buswell

Road Traffic Code 2000 as at August 31, 2011

I am writing to you in relation to the Road Traffic Code 2000 as at August 31, 2011 and in particular Regulation 224 (2B).

First up I would like to thank you for the showing the initiative to amend the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 and hence remove some of the more ridiculous requirements in terms of bicycles, which seem to have been unique to Western Australia (e.g., colour of mudguards), however it is disappointing to see that whilst the matter of pedal reflectors was addressed in the amendments to the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002, this requirement remains in the Road Traffic Code 2000 via Regulation 224 (2B).

Regulation 224 (2B) states:

A person shall not ride a bicycle during the hours of darkness, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the bicycle has affixed, to both sides of each pedal, yellow pedal reflectors complying with the requirements for reflectors in Australian Standard AS 2142-1978 (Specification
for Reflectors for Pedal Bicycles)

I have a number of concerns about this regulation and hence seek your review of my concerns and call upon you to amend the Road Traffic Code 2000, removing Regulation 224 (2B). My concerns/comments in respect to Regulation 224 (2B) are:

1. The Australian Road Rules as published in February 2009 and which the Western Australian Road Traffic Code 2000 are modelled on, have no equivalent to Regulation 224 (2B). Furthermore as I understand it, no other Australian state who have modelled their own regulations on the Australian Road Rules have an equivalent to Regulation 224 (2B). This puts Western Australia in a unique an untenable position in my view.

2. Cyclists are a diverse group of people riding a diverse range of bicycles fitted with a diverse range of pedal designs; from platform pedals of various designs to mountain bike styled clipless pedals to road styled clipless pedals. The nature of the design of a significant number of products from leading international manufacturers such as Shimano, Look, Crank Brothers, Time, Speedplay etc. are such that reflectors are not fitted nor possible to be fitted and hence 100s of cyclists riding daily in Western Australia are likely to be in breach of this regulation.

3. In light of dot point two above do you expect all Western Australian cyclists and cycling visitors who bring their own bicycles to Western Australian to remove their current pedal systems (pedals, cleats and shoes) and replace them with very limited range of pedals, a range of pedals which are completely unsuitable for a significant range of cycling activities; e.g., touring, training, commuting, mountain biking and so on?

4. Do you wish to discourage or close down the State’s cycle sporting program (clipless pedals are used for efficiency reasons) because such cyclists are in breach of the law? That is our elite and upcoming elite cyclists are effectively required to remove modern clipless pedals to comply with this regulation;

5. Would you expect the likes of Cadel Evans to remove his bicycles pedals and pedal system and use flat pedals to avoid breaching the law if he chose to ride in Western Australia after sunset?

6. In light of the points above can you please advise what steps you are taking to ensure that major manufacturers (Look, Shimano, Speedplay, Time etc.) to ensure that there is a range of clipless pedals specifically for the Western Australian market or do you expect that such pedals are not used or that cyclists deliberately flout the Regulations?

7. How do you see this regulation working to encourage cycling and hence how does this support WA achieving its obligations under the National Cycling Strategy?

8. Regulation 224(2B) refers to the Australian Standard AS 1927-1998 (Pedal Bicycle-Safety Requirements) and the Australian Standard AS 2142-1978 (Specification for Reflectors for Pedal Bicycles). Neither of these standards are published for public access nor are available at a reasonable cost, hence how do you expect cyclists in Western Australia to be aware of the requirements in the standard and hence can take steps to comply with the regulations. I have not been able to find any details of the standard on the Department of Transport’s website either.

I hope from the eight dot points above that you see that Regulation 224 (2B) is a rather silly regulation which causes significantly more issues than it possibly could resolve. I therefore call upon you to put in place an appropriate amendment to the Road Traffic Code 2000 to remove the regulation or please address my dot points and hence demonstrate how you see the Regulation being met and applied in Western Australia and hence of benefit to Western Australian cycling, so beneficial it seems that it is not applied anyway else in Australia.

I look forward to your response in due course.

Yours faithfully

7 Responses to SUBMISSION: Reflectors on Pedals: Time to repeal this regulation in Western Australia

  1. Cary October 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM #

    Unless you’ve quoted incorrectly, it looks like that part of the code refers to wheel reflectors, not pedal reflectors. As in, the big orange reflectors we’re supposed put in wheel spokes?

    I know that wheel reflectors are typically not seen as useful, since you already need to be in a car’s line of travel before they’re illuminated for the driver, but they’re hardly as onerous as pedal reflectors, and most bikes would still have them fitted if bike owners hadn’t removed them.

  2. Aushiker October 25, 2011 at 1:07 PM #

    Thanks Cary for catching that! I should have made use of you as a proof reader 🙂 I have corrected the post to refer to 224 (2B) which is the relevant regulation; the one related to pedals.

  3. Treadly October 25, 2011 at 5:44 PM #

    Shouldn’t pedal retailers clearly point out to customers that some of the pedals they sell are for daytime use only? I’ve never seen anyone mention that some pedals are illegal in the dark or in hazardous conditions. Can I get my money back on non-compliant pedals if I haven’t been warned? Where does the retailer stand on duty of care?

  4. Realiest November 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM #

    Seriously.

    You guys are making a complaint that cyclist should NOT make themselves MORE visible at night just because of some fancy clipless pedals?

    I think you need to take your and realise that these laws are there to protect YOU. Whoopy dee that you’ve got fancy pedals. If a reflector makes you MORE visible, it’s got to be a good thing.

    Or am I missing the point of the rest of your rants about safety and how motorists should pretty much give up their right to driving because you want to ride on the road?

    • Aushiker November 1, 2011 at 10:00 PM #

      I hope you feel better now that you have got that off your chest … As to rights to drive, you seem to have a serious misunderstanding about what are or are not your rights or that cyclists are very likely to be drivers as well and in fact when they are riding they are actually reducing the congestion and stress you are clearly suffering from. I hope you have a better day tomorrow.

  5. Sean November 2, 2011 at 11:43 AM #

    Realiest, there is no such thing as a “right to drive”. As for wanting to ride on the road, there are Laws stating this is already a legal activity – it is not a ‘want’ per se.
    These are the same Laws that require you to be Licenced to drive a motor vehicle.

    As for the laws protecting cyclists… These are the same set of laws that are routinely broken by a large number of motor vehicle drivers and result in numerous ‘accidents’ that result in injury and death.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. SUBMISSION: Update on my Submission about Reflectors on Pedals - Aushiker: Bicycling & Hiking in Western Australia – Aushiker: Bicycling & Hiking in Western Australia - December 20, 2011

    […] my Submission about Reflectors on Pedals Dec 20th, 2011 by Aushiker. In October 2011 I made a submission to the Minister of Transport, The Honourable Troy Buswell in respect of Regulation 224 (2B) of the […]

Please share your thoughts ...

%d bloggers like this: