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SUBMISSION: Update on my Submission about Reflectors on Pedals

In October 2011 I made a submission to the Minister of Transport, The Honourable Troy Buswell in respect of Regulation 224 (2B) of the Road Traffic Code 2000.

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).

I made a submission seeking the repeal of this regulation 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. Well as expected the Minister has not bother to reply, it seems unless there is a TV spot in it the Minister is missing in action, however, he did pass on my letter to Mr Reece Waldock, the Director General of the Department of Transport. Mr Waldock was formally responsible for the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, another organisation that is really concerned about cyclists’ safety, not.Anyway the full response from Mr Waldock, a very detailed response as you would expect given the effort gone into writing to the Minister in the first place, can be found here. In summary, Mr Waldock response is:

DoT is aware that some inconsistencies between the Regulations and the Code remain and that other provisions may be out of date in relation to advances in modern bicycle design.

DoT is planning a further review of the Code and Regulations with a view to repealing unused or irrelevant regulations. The issues you have raised in relation to Regulation 224 of the Code will be considered as part of this process. DoT also
intends to host public and stakeholder consultation sessions in conducting the review.

So the Department of Transport (DoT) has recently amended a number of regulations in the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 but it seems we have to go through that process again because they couldn’t get it right the first time. If they where aware, then surly they should have sorted it all at once? It can’t be that hard can it?

Once again Mr Buswell has fallen short in his management of his portfolio. Most disappointing indeed.

2 Responses to SUBMISSION: Update on my Submission about Reflectors on Pedals

  1. Greg December 20, 2011 at 10:44 PM #

    Oh dear! You don’t seem to have much of an idea about how government works. When you write to a government Minister, the correct protocol is for the Minister to pass the letter on to the relevant government department to prepare a response.

    I worked in a government department under a Labor Minister and the Labor Minister did exactly the same thing. People wrote to that Minister and that Minister forwarded the letters to our department for people like me to prepare a response.

    Government Ministers receive hundreds or thousands of letters from people like you every year. If they personally responded to each letter, they would spend all of their time writing letters and no time actually doing their job. Of course this would generate another torrent of letters complaining that they are not doing anything.

    I note that you are complaining about the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 which was gazetted when Labor held government in Western Australia. In fact, Labor held government in Western Australia until September 2008 and yet did nothing to address the issues with the regulations gazetted by the Labor party.

    So, essentially your complaint is that Labor got the regulations wrong and then for years did nothing to fix the problems but now you are disappointed that the Libs “couldn’t get it right the first time”?

  2. Greg December 20, 2011 at 11:40 PM #

    February 2001
    September 2008

    Oh I see, no… the error is in the Road Traffic Code 2000 which was gazetted by a Liberal Party government. Now it’s me who should be disappointed!

    For the record though, the Labor party amended the Road Traffic Code 2000:
    2 times in 2001
    4 times in 2002
    4 times in 2003
    3 times in 2004
    1 time in 2005
    2 times in 2006
    3 times in 2007
    2 times in 2008

    Looking at the history of amendments to The Road Traffic Code 2000, it looks like it gets amended pretty regularly. That being said, I wouldn’t be too hard on a bureaucrat or a government who “doesn’t get it right the first time”.

    When Labor was in power, I made an error in drafting amendments to a regulation that wasn’t picked up in the usual checking process. The error was gazetted and then rectified the next time the regulations were amended. I would not say that my Labor minister was “asleep at the wheel” when the error was made.

    It would be useful to find out who is responsible for the review of the Traffic Code so cyclists can make submissions to them and have our views considered in the review. I am sure that BTA and bicycle clubs would encourage their members to make submissions to the relevant person.

    If we can find out who to write to I’ll make a submission myself. It’s a stupid regulation that should be repealed.

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