The Minister for Road Safety in Western Australia, the Honourable Liza Harvey MLA has announced that the new Road Safety Advisory Council will have a specific member representing the interests of vulnerable road users. This should be good news for bicycle riders and pedestrians in Western Australia.
The existing Road Safety Council does not have a specific member representing vulnerable road users, rather this role is taken up by the “road users” member which I understand is RAC WA; hardly an appropriate organisation to represent bicycle riders or pedestrians and in my view this has been well demonstrated by the RAC WA failure to achieve any reasonable Key performance indicators in this role.
The RAC WA opposition to minimum safe passing legislation, its silence on the death of Kaleb Smith, whilst at around the time it called for move over laws (which I support by the way) following a tow truck operating being hit. The death of Kaleb Smith does not warrant a response from the RAC WA yet the tow-driver being hit does. I just cannot understand this lack of morality, this lack of compassion, this lack of valuing human life at any level, net alone by an organisation which sits on the Road Safety Council representing all road users. As a long-standing member of the RAC WA (33 years) I am offended by their attitude; I am not a happy member.
Whilst I have concerns about the independence of the new of the Road Safety Advisory Council, hopefully this announcement by the Minister will be good news for vulnerable road users if the member of the Council representing us is an appropriate organisation or person; the RAC WA is not such an organisation.
The key to success of this new Council from a bicycle rider’s perspective will in part be our representation. To this end I have written to Minister Harvey encouraging her to first appoint an appropriate organisation to the role of vulnerable road users member and to give proper consideration to appointing WestCycle to this role.
On the matter of the appointment of an appropriate organisation to the role of vulnerable road user member on the Road Safety Advisory Council I urge all readers to email or write to the Minister expressing your views and if you believe WestCycle is the appropriate organisation, to encourage the Minister to appoint WestCycle. The Minister’s contact details can be found here.