TSAFE Hearing 27 April 1993 Bris by fjwuxn



  MEMBERS:         Mr L. A. ARDILL (Chairman)
                   Hon. V. P. LESTER (Deputy Chairman)
                   Mr C. B. CAMPBELL
                   Mr R. H. DOLLIN
                   Mrs J. M. GAMIN
                   Mr J. N. GOSS
                   Mr W. G. NUNN



             (Copyright in this transcript is vested in the Crown. Copies
              thereof must not be made or sold without the written authority
               of the Chief Reporter, Parliamentary Reporting Staff.)

                       TUESDAY, 27 APRIL 1993

BARRY GWYDIR COLLIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          1

IAN GEORGE MAVOR                  .....................................................                                            3

DAVID GEOFFREY LAMBERT                       ..............................................                                       15

ALAN BRAE HONOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       25

MICHAEL ANTHONY HANNIGAN                         ............................................                                     25

ROBERT JOHN COLLINS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           38

ALAN MEARES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   43

DOUG WOODBURY                  ......................................................                                             43

PAUL SHELTON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    43

JOHN HENGELMOLEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          43

MARK KING           ............................................................                                                  43
                                 Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

         The Committee commenced at 11 a.m.
         The CHAIRMAN: I call the hearing to order. This hearing is being conducted pursuant to
the resolution of the Legislative Assembly of 12 November 1992 which appointed this Committee
with the following terms of reference—
         (a)      To monitor, investigate and report on the causes of road crashes in Queensland,
                  and issues of road safety;
         (b)      To review and report on countermeasures aimed at reducing deaths, injuries and
                  the social and economic costs to the community arising from road crashes or
                  inappropriate road-user behaviour.
         The hearing to be conducted today will consider pedestrian and cyclist safety. At this
point, I would like to state that the Committee is firmly committed to assisting in the reduction of
the number of road crashes, road deaths and associated trauma. The members of the
Committee present are myself, Len Ardill, member for Archerfield and Chair of the Committee;
Mr Bob Dollin, the member for Maryborough; Mr John Goss, the member for Aspley; the Deputy
Chairman, the Honourable Vince Lester, member for Keppel; Mr Clem Campbell, the member for
Bundaberg; and Mr Bill Nunn, the member for Hervey Bay. Apologies have been received from
Mrs Judy Gamin, member for Burleigh.
         I wish to remind members of the public that in accordance with the Legislative
Assembly’s Standing Rules and Orders, the public may be admitted or excluded at the pleasure
of the Committee. The Committee is holding this hearing in an open forum for the public’s
benefit. I trust that those present will respect the Committee’s intentions. I also wish to remind
those present that the recording of proceedings, except by Hansard, is not permitted. Those
giving evidence today are advised that the proceedings here today are legal proceedings of the
Parliament and they may be used in a Committee report to be presented to Parliament at a later
date. That means that they have the privilege of Parliament and cannot be reported, except to
Parliament. Persons giving evidence will not be required to do so on oath or affirmation.
However, I am confident that they will respect the importance of the hearing. Witnesses may be
interviewed outside the hearing and, of course, commenting is possible; but the actual recording
of the hearing is not permitted.
         I welcome Mr Barry Collis from the Department of Education. For the Hansard record, I
ask him to state his full name and his position in the department.
         BARRY GWYDIR COLLIS, examined:
         Mr Collis: I am the coordinator of road safety for the Education Department.
         Mr LESTER: Good morning. Can you give some details of the exact nature of your work
in relation to the provision of bicycle education to children?
         Mr Collis: My brief when I was first appointed to this job was to promote and coordinate
road safety within the Education Department. Mostly, I am concerned with primary school
children, and that takes in bicycle safety. When I first started this job, we had the Safe Cycling
Program which was introduced into Queensland many years ago and had been adapted from a
model operating in Canada. That had since been replaced in later years by the Bike Ed Program
which was adapted from a Victorian program. This program mainly covers road rules;
maintenance, which is vitally important because we are finding kids who are riding bikes these
days that are not really safe, so it has become very important; and skills, which is also vitally
important because one thing we believe is that kids, if they want to survive on the roads, have to
have the necessary skills. It is similar to a driver of a car; if we had more drivers who had better
skills, possibly we would not have so many accidents. The last factor, of course, is the safety
equipment such as helmets and other safety-related gear.
         I go to schools. Many years ago we decided that, because we have such a vast State,
one way of getting this program into the schools was to have mobility. From that point of view,
we started to invent bicycle trailers. We now have seven of them and the Department of
Transport has 10. I can show you a typical bicycle trailer which is made up of a number of bikes,
helmets, witches hats and the necessary signs. In recent years, we have added a multiple-
wheeled bike because we are finding that more and more kids are being integrated into primary
school and they have particular problems such as balance control and an inability to use their

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                                  Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

limbs properly, and so forth. We have found that the multiple-wheeled bike is a necessity so that
these kids can learn something as well.
         We take the trailer into the school for approximately two weeks and when the school is
advised, they have to make the booking themselves. We do the booking through a newsletter
that is sent to every school in Queensland. Then we go there and we offer to put teachers and/or
parents through the Bike Ed course. We leave the trailer for approximately two weeks and we
mark out a course. We provide them with other materials that will become necessary for them to
teach bike safety in the schools. We see this as a catalyst for getting bike safety into the schools
and into the school community, but we believe that we have to get parents involved in it because
not only is it the teachers’ responsibility to teach road safety and Bike Ed but we believe it is the
parents’ responsibility, too. They have got to know what their kids are supposed to be doing, and
the more parents we can get involved in this program, the more successful it is going to be.
         These trailers now operate right throughout the State. At the moment we have one in
Blackall which is up there with the Blackall police who are using it in both schools. We have a
request for one to go to Mount Isa and we have one at Pialba; one in Mackay; one at
Strathpine; one at Waterford; and one that is not being used at the moment because the school
cancelled it and postponed it until later in the year because it was interfering with a sports
program. That is basically the Bike Ed Program and, to my mind, that is working quite well. We
have trailers booked now right up until November and we have already had a series where
schools that had booked them have already booked them for next year. Some schools have a
permanent booking, such as Biloela, which books it every year for the two weeks before Easter.
Harristown and Toowoomba book it every year for two weeks before Easter and Bargara books it
every year, and so it goes on and on. These schools simply have a set booking each year. I
think that shows the viability of the program and the success of the program.
         Mr LESTER: You have basically answered the follow-up questions, but I will just go
through them and you can elaborate, if necessary. What resources are available to you? You
have certainly partly answered that. Who provides the resources? Who develops the programs
you deliver? Do you deliver the programs to all parts of Queensland? How many people in
Queensland deliver the programs?
         Mr Collis: The program is developed by the Department of Transport in conjunction with
the Department of Education. Any programs that are developed for use in Queensland schools
are developed on a joint basis, which includes the present Roadsafe programs that have been
developed. I was involved with the Bike Ed Program, and that is made available to schools free
of charge. Every school in Queensland has a Bike Ed Program. Once they were developed, they
were then sent into the schools and we offered the in-service programs to anybody who wanted
them. We know that Queensland is a big place. When I leave here today, I will be going to
Blackall because we have a trailer up there at the moment. On the way up I will be calling into
Mungallala, Amby and Drillham because they want some road safety guidance. The last time I
took the trailer out there, I had occasion to call into Augathella and Tambo. Augathella had had
the trailer there before and there is a new principal there who used it at Tannymorel. Sometimes
I follow the principals around. When he was at Tannymorel, he used it every year, and now he is
at Augathella, he said, “Yes, we want it here but I will get it in conjunction with somebody else.”
Many times, locals will move the trailer around for us. For instance, I took a trailer up to Nebo and
the Nebo police used it for two schools there. Then the Eton North police moved it to Eton North
and they used it, and then on Friday the Department of Transport moved it into Mackay North for
me. I had already been to those schools to make sure that they were au fait with the program
and had all their needs catered for, and so forth.
         As far as resources are concerned, I have mentioned the bicycle trailers. A number of
trailers are in existence. The Education Department has seven and the Department of Transport
has 10. There are a few locally developed ones. I think Rotary has provided one in Townsville. In
conjunction with that, there are also a number of bike-training areas. There is one at Currimundi;
there is one at Hervey Bay; there is one at Townsville, Toowoomba and Aspley Special, and
there is one at Gympie, as you know. Does that answer most of those?
         Mr LESTER: I think that is pretty good.
         The CHAIRMAN: I welcome Dr Ian Mavor. I ask him to state for the Hansard record his
full name and his position in the Department of education.

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                                  Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

         IAN GEORGE MAVOR, examined:
         Dr Mavor: My name is Dr Ian George Mavor. I am the principal policy officer, health and
personnel development in the studies directorate of the Department of Education.
         Mr Collis: As such, I am responsible to him. That is why he is here today—to make sure
I say the right things.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: What age groups of children do you deliver the program to? Include in
your reply the age group that you find responds the best and perhaps which age group does not
respond. You might like to give some examples of how you can impress on children the need for
bicycle helmet safety especially, and things like that.
         Mr Collis: I suppose if I asked each one of you what age you think a child should be
able to ride on the road, I would probably get a different answer from everybody because
different people have different perceptions of the age at which children should be in charge of a
bike on the road. From my experience, I am firmly convinced that kids under 10 should not be on
the road unaccompanied by an adult because I believe—and people will argue with me; some
people say 8 and some people say 9—that below that age, they do not have perceptions of
speed, distance and time. They do not have the mental maturity to cope with traffic situations.
Let us face it: we have adults who have been driving for years and still cannot cope with
roundabouts, and some of them still cannot cope with give way signs and some of them still
think that they can go flat out through a sign. That is half our problem. I am a firm believer—and
no-one will convince me otherwise—that unless we start getting our adults to give a better
example when using the roads, we will never win the battle with the kids.
         For some unknown reason, adults underestimate how perceptive kids are. Kids have
adults summed up long before adults have kids summed up. Adults say, “Oh, kids won’t notice.”,
but that is a lot of rubbish. Kids say to us, “You tell us to wear helmets, and look at that; they are
not wearing helmets. Look at that; you tell us to wear seat belts and look at them driving away in
front of the school.” One day I called the student counsellor outside the high school just to show
them what the students were doing wrong, and all the kids were interested in was saying,
“There’s a teacher there and he doesn’t have a helmet on.”; “Sir, there is another teacher and he
did not give a hand sign.” This was a couple of years ago, but they were telling us that the
teachers were not doing the right things on their bicycles. Kids are very perceptive.
         Parents of eight-year-old and nine-year-old children say to me, “They are very good on
the bike tracks and they are very good in the yard.” But I say, “Okay, put them on a road with a
vehicle and in combination with the signs, do they have that full understanding in those
circumstances?” I was talking to a teacher in Bollon who said to me, “Do you mean to tell me that
my Year 1 children should not be allowed to ride to school?” I said, “Yes, definitely.” She said,
“Oh, they have been riding to school for ages.” I said, “What happens when they get to a stop
sign and there are a couple of cars there and they do not understand or some car does not do
what it is supposed to do? How will they avoid an accident?” The reply was, “Oh, that will not
happen.” But it does happen. One principal said to me, “If you feel so concerned about it, why
do you not tell the parents about your concern and that you are concerned that they are letting
their children ride to school? I tell you what, you might get quite a bit of abuse.” Nevertheless, I
shake in horror when I see young kids mixing with traffic.
         Drivers cannot see children all the time. Last year in Rockhampton, a 15-year-old was
hanging onto a truck. Unfortunately, he hit a bump and finished up under the truck. The truckies
in that area were so incensed that they said, “Look, we have got to stop this. This should not
have happened.” They have now got on to one of the trucking companies up there and it will
provide a truck to any school doing the Bike Ed course so that kids can get up in the truck and
see the driver’s perception and see what the drivers can see, to try to convince them. They say,
“We cannot see you all the time, so how about being more careful.”
         As far as helmets are concerned, we have found out quite a few things in relation to
helmet promotion. We went to high schools and did slogan competitions. We have what we call
the Elite Helmet Club. If we are aware that a student has been involved in an accident and the
helmet has saved them from serious head injury, we replace their helmet immediately, free of
charge, courtesy of the Queensland Teachers Credit Union, and we retrieve the old helmet that
looks like the one in the photo, and we use it in awareness talks. If you get up in front of some
high school students and say, “Hey, you should wear your helmet”, they say, “Yeah, yeah”; but if

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                                  Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

you hold those photos up, it is a different story. Last Wednesday I addressed 1 400 kids at
Gympie High School where we were presenting some of these certificates. I had some helmets
with me and the kids looked at those. They cannot argue with that because the helmets have
been there, done that, and they have saved one of the kids’ peers. He finished up through the
windscreen and he still had plaster on his leg, but he sustained no brain damage because of the
helmet. We present them with an Elite Helmet Club certificate. It is framed and we generally get
it presented by a high profile person. This morning, the senior sergeant from Gympie presented
one at Buderim Mountain where a young fellow was hit by a car and he wandered off the road. It
finished up that his front wheel was 50 metres away from the scene of the accident. His mother
was jogging along the footpath. A police inspector is presenting one of the certificates up there.
Before it became mandatory, just to get the schools in, the certificates were signed by a Minister.
They came in gold and silver and bronze certificates, going along with the Games. Once they get
a certain percentage of wearing rate, we present them with the certificates. There is a special
gold certificate for high schools and with that gold certificate, which is for a 100 per cent wearing
rate, we also present a $50 cheque, courtesy of the credit union, that has to be used on road
safety. At some other places, we went with green forms. Dr Glen Merry, who is appearing here
tomorrow afternoon, came out and also spoke to the kids and presented them with their helmets
and signed the forms with the kids. They had to agree to wear the helmet. It was given to them
free of charge, as long as they agreed to wear it.
         That was one way of tackling peer group pressure, which has been our greatest problem.
You might say you have a ready answer, but there is no ready answer to it, because we are not
with the kids when they are subjected to it. We are not with them when they are called a nerd or
a Norm or whatever. I was at a high school which has 800 bike riders and they showed me some
of the storage, which is also a problem. We have also done something with the helmet storage
in schools, especially in high schools. It is okay in primary schools, because they seem to have
plenty of room, and they have a base room, whereas the high school kids have to walk around.
What the nerds were doing down there is, as the helmets were left on the bikes, they were
plucking out the inserts, or putting water in them, and trying to do anything at all to discourage
other kids from wearing them. This year, that school went another step further and built a bike
compound for 800 kids. It was very accessible, and they were losing some bikes. They had it
built in a day and a half, and they reckon now that the prerequisite to put your bike in that
compound is to have a helmet. They have turned their 85 per cent non-wearing into 85 per cent
wearing. At Maroochydore High School, where I was asked to go and talk to kids up there
because not everybody was wearing them—what they are doing up there is that the business
studies class is borrowing $5,000 from the p. and c. With that they are going to build a bike
compound. Then they will charge anybody who wants to use it $10 a year to pay it back, so it
becomes part of their work, the actual money handling. A prerequisite there is also going to be
the wearing of a helmet before they can get in.
         At the end of last year, we produced these helmet wearing certificates that we give out to
schools for the kids. We also did these bike helmet kits, where we put various case studies that
we became aware of, more of those certificates of merit, the Elite Helmet Club certificate, various
other activities, and some statistics. These were made available to schools, if they wanted them,
to try and increase helmet wearing. We still have a system going through the credit union
whereby, if you become aware that in a school there are some economically disadvantaged
children, then we will supply helmets free of charge. It is done very discreetly. In fact, we gave
two to a Brisbane school the other day. They are given to the children, and the school thanks the
credit union for them. But in some cases, from talking to kids and saying, “Why haven’t you got
one?”, they say, “Mum can’t afford it.” But they always go back and ask the school. You should
hear some of the responses. They are very much to the point—“If they did not smoke like a
chimney, and spend half their day at the pub, and borrow about 10 videos a day, possibly they
would have money for kids’ helmets.”
         Helmet wearing still fluctuates between various parts of the State. We also did these
posters. Down the bottom we have—and there is a series of these—“Use your head. Wear a
helmet. It is compulsory.” There is a series of those on bike safety. These case studies go out in
our newsletter. They go to every State, private, Catholic and independent school in this State.
They become fully aware of them. Also, we have been able to get some of the milk companies
to advertise on their cartons. That is the one, “Use your head. Wear a helmet.”—Unity Milk in

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                                 Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

Toowoomba. Pauls here and Malanda and Unity did some others for us. They did that free of
charge as a community service. We envisage that there could be a problem at high schools. At a
display I was at, a high school kid from Year 12 walked up to me and said, “We’ve got a
problem. We’ve got nowhere to store our helmets. What are you going to do about it?” I said,
“Fair enough. I will meet with the student council.” She was from Springwood High. She gave me
a look at a plan. We were able to obtain some money from the credit union, and the manual arts
built that. The helmets went on the peg, the chain came up, and it was locked onto it. That is
being used by some schools. Toolara High closed in the end of a building there and put gates
either side, and put shelves inside. This is a very simple one which costs about $9. It was
designed by a teacher at Avoca. It is just a stand with hooks on. They now have one in each
room, and two if so required, and the kids put their helmets on the hooks. It is very simple.
Storage is not a problem, but in their various ways they are addressing it.
         The CHAIRMAN: I think you have a comprehensive answer there.
         Mr DOLLIN: You may have answered this in part, but I will still put the question so that I
get an answer to it. What are the aims of the program, that is, what behaviours, attitudes or skills
does the program seek to modify or develop?
         Mr Collis: Somebody said once that if you can get kids when they are young and
vulnerable, then it is much easier when they are older and think they are invincible. If we can get
them at a very young age and inculcate good road safety habits then, possibly it will be much
easier later on. That is what we try to do, not only with our Bike Ed Program but with our
pedestrian crossings and seat belts. We do get involved in that, too. For instance, we were
looking at kids and seat belts, so the Broncos came to the party. The Broncos have been great.
         Something I forgot to add was that we made a video for the cycling program called “Safe
Cycling: the Video”. That has gone to schools here, and it is sold under subsidy to any school
that wants it for $20. That subsidy comes from the credit union. It has gone interstate. We even
sent one to Israel on request. We used the Broncos there. We also have a caravan that is
sponsored by Australia Post. Inside it we have signs and crossings. Inside it is mainly restraints,
the types of restraints and the types of helmets, and crossing the road. We can take out street
crossings, including a set of lights like that. They actually work like normal crossing lights. We
have the roll-out road markings for that crossing, for the lollipop crossing and the zebra crossing.
We even get the kids to dress up like lollipop crossing supervisors, and they become that. We
have also made a video here in Queensland called “Watch the road, cane toad!” which looks at
the pedestrian crossings. A company did the art work for nothing. So getting their attitudes in all
spheres of road safety—with retraining the safe ones, we believe that in some cases the kids are
the best teachers. You may hear sometimes, “I can’t start my car up without a seat belt on
because I hear a voice from the back seat ‘hey mum, hey dad’.” Some parents tell me that the
kids start crying if they dare go. Also, with crossings, we have to get people to understand that if
they are going to cross just away from a crossing, or go against the lights, and kids are watching,
they will do the same thing. If we can change the attitude in the kids, we may be able to change
them in some of the adults, as well. So it is all aspects of road safety that we are concerned
about with our kids.
         Mr DOLLIN: In your opinion, does the program work? That is, does it increase the on-
road safety of the children cyclists who go through the program?
         Mr Collis: We know that we will never win everybody. I think that if you do a program and
think you are going to win everybody, you are a fool. We say that if we only won one from each
course, and if some of the kids remember some of the things some of the time, then they must
be that much more better off. Hopefully, we win more each time. Some schools have different
emphasis on it. Some schools have gone to issuing a licence. For instance, at Gatton, Constable
Nelson issued a licence whereby they have been through a maintenance test and a written test,
and they have to go through the school’s activities. When they get that licence, they get
discounts at the blue light disco and various shops. But if they lose their licence, they lose that
discount. I think the Bike Ed Program does work and it is working, but you cannot expect it to be
the complete answer, because once they get to the high school level, like everything else, they
forget everything. Of course, they are more susceptible to peer group pressure. Last year, a 15-
year-old actually witnessed two of her former classmates—one fellow saying, “Go on. I bet you
can’t beat the cars.” He beat the first one, but not the second one. For some time he was in the

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                                  Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

Royal Brisbane Hospital on a life support system. The trauma that his parents and family had to
go through is something that I hope I will never have to go through, and he said that if he did not
listen to his mate and used his common sense, he would not have had to go through that.
Luckily, he survived. That was a blatant case of peer group pressure.
          In the second week of school, I was asked to go to a school because a kid in Year 7,
who should know better, was walking down the footpath pretty fast with the two younger siblings
of the family, and ran in front of his father and across the road to his mum from between two
parked cars. He was hit, and finished up on a life support system. The principal said, “How can
we stop all this? We cannot be with them.” The only answer is continuing road safety education
from the school and from the home, and a better example by all the adults using the road.
          Mr DOLLIN: Has either your education method or the program you use been formally
evaluated? If so, what are the results?
          Mr Collis: There has not been any evaluation by an external body. But other people who
have seen it, other States and so forth, are very happy with it. I do not think that there is a better
program around at this stage. I am very happy to continue to use it. Teachers and parents find it
easier to use and to follow. I feel that we are getting some results. That is a good enough
evaluation in itself.
          Mr DOLLIN: In Maryborough, we have a bike training area that was set up by Lions and
then taken over by the Education Department. One complaint I get in that area is that there is
not a bus transport facility to get the students to that. Have you come across that at all?
          Mr Collis: Yes. If somebody is going to set up a bike track, some people get frantic and
say, “We need a bike track. Who is going to pay for it? Are you going to have bikes on site? Are
you going to have helmets on site? Are you going to have somebody to run it? Are you going to
have somebody to maintain it? How are you going to get the kids there?” BMW have a driver-
training area in Melbourne. But they have put in a bike track as well, because part of the German
philosophy is that you start from the very young to the very old, and you continue their
education. But they wanted to charge something like $30 or $40 per child to go there. I said,
“Give it a miss. That won’t happen.” I said, “How are you going to get the kids there?” They said,
“We will bus them.” I said, “Who is going to pay for it? “The school.” I said, “Give it a miss.” Down
at Ashmore, they have developed a bike-training area adjacent to the Ashmore PYC. They have
received most of their money from a grant from the Gold Coast City Council, and $100,000 from
Jupiters. They have a free bus which picks the kids up from school and brings them in free of
          Mr DOLLIN: Who pays for the free bus?
          Mr Collis: The Gold Coast City Council, to my knowledge. Busing them there is the
biggest problem. We have done an in-service course for teachers there—last year some time it
was—and we were happy to go back there. It is not just getting the schools into road safety, it is
getting them into sport and on excursions. It is a continual problem of the expenses that parents
are confronted with these days in sending their kids to school. Road safety is just another one.
They have to get them down there. Some places are fortunate that their kids will walk there, but
they need everything else on site. They need the bikes on site. They need some supervision
there. They need to know that everything will be ready when they get there so that they do not
waste time. Yes, I hope that one in Maryborough is successful. I think it is a beaut track.
          Mr DOLLIN: It is a very good set-up.
          Mr Collis: It is excellent. I think the Education Department at the moment does look after
it groundswise. They did apply at least to have somebody to coordinate it. So that is something
that may have to be put up again. It would be ideal if there was a teacher there to coordinate
training and all that type of business.
          Mr NUNN: I think you might have fully answered what I was going to ask you. By and
large, how do schools that participate in the program receive the program? Are they all 100 per
cent supportive of it?
          Mr Collis: Because I am the only one in the Education Department in this particular
section, I just go on request. Therefore, if anybody requests me, they want the problem
overcome, so there is no particular problem there. But I find that more and more schools do want
it. It is just a matter of trying to get somebody there at the time when they want to do it. The

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police are very good in this, too. I must add that the Adopt-a-Cop Program is one of the greatest
supporters of this. When you are talking about use, they know that I, as a teacher, do not have
the authority out there. But they know that Constable Jones or Constable Mike, the Adopt-a-Cop,
has authority out there, and we always get him in to assist wherever possible, especially with the
maintenance of bikes. I can say, “Fix this, fix that.” But if it is signed by him, they will look at it and
say, “You have got no brakes. You have to get that fixed up.” We have become so concerned
about the condition of bikes that our department is doing a series of sheets on very simple bike
maintenance. It is one thing to tell a kid, “Your steering is loose”, but if he does not know what
you are talking about and he has no-one at home—I remember one day a little girl said to me,
“My grandma cannot fix bikes.” I said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “I live with my
grandma and she does not know how to fix bikes.” With these very simple sheets, we hope that
we can show them what to do, and then send it home. In a country town, they do not have the
resources where they can take the bike to be fixed. They might go in to Bundaberg or Longreach
once a year and take the bike then but, in the meantime, if it is not fixed locally, nobody can fix
it. Does that answer your question?
         Mr NUNN: I think that it does. My next question goes off on a different tack. When new
and existing educational programs are developed or modified, do the program developers, such
as Queensland Transport—or anybody else for that matter—consult you at all?
         Mr Collis: Yes. The road safe program has just been developed. At the moment, they
are going right through from preschool to Year 7. However, the roads program for preschool and
1 to 3, has been conductedin schools. Those programs have been developed by teachers with
the Department of Transport. Teachers have been seconded and, where necessary, if they
require my services, I am brought in as well. Sometime next month, the programs for Years 4, 5,
6 and 7 will be released. The Department of Transport is now negotiating with the Education
Department for release of teachers to be in-service teachers for those programs. Already, they
have done an in-service trial—and it has worked exceptionally well—to in-service those programs
and write the Years 8 to 10 programs.
         Mr NUNN: It looks as though they are pretty supportive.
         Mr Collis: They are. Sometimes, I would have almost daily contact, or weekly contact,
with police and the Department of Transport. Because we get mutual problems, we have quite a
lot of contact. I am also responsible for organising student driver education. Student driver
education is a theoretical program. At the moment, only those teachers who are
accredited—they do a four-day in-service course—are entitled to teach it. Once they are
accredited, they are entitled to all the material—the student material, the teacher material, the
videos and so forth—free of charge. But they must do the accreditation course. That is the policy
of the Education Department. Because the Department of Transport has officers in various
regions, it conducts the in-service course. Sometimes we get problems. People want to race in
and teach 15 year-olds how to drive, because they have the best driving program that the world
has ever seen and it is going to solve the road problem straightaway. They try to play off the
Department of Transport with the Department of Education. So we keep in very close contact
with some of them.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Recently, legal footpath cycling has been introduced in Queensland.
What are your views on the subject—the problems that you foresee and the benefits?
         Mr Collis: I am also a member of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons Road
Trauma Committee. When this law first came in, it was brought up several times by that
committee. I was very much against it, for the simple reason that it was always concerned about
the very old and the very young. At the school at which I worked before my present job, I saw a
Year 1 girl press the button and then step back. A Year 10 kid, who was flat out on the
footpath—which at that stage he should not have been —ran over her. I had never seen
anybody who had been run over by a bike, but she was a mess. Her skin was broken by the
chain and the pedals, and it was a sorrowful sight. A kid was knocked over on the footpath in
front of a high school, and the car was in the school grounds before it could pull up. He had no
brain damage, but the helmet that he had on was actually melted by the heat of the motor. He
had heat burns and friction burns, which required skin grafts over a period of six months. We had
to present a helmet to a Year 8 boy at the Sandgate High School. During the last holidays, a car
was reversing. Somebody spoke to the driver, who put out his head to speak to that person, but

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                                  Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

kept reversing. This kid was delivering papers, and he was knocked off his bike, driven into the
bitumen and his helmet broke in three parts. He survived, but he was in a bit of a mess.
         It seems to be working. About 18 months ago, I received a phone call from a policeman
in Kingaroy. He said to me, “What are we going to do about these kids on footpaths?” I said,
“What are you talking about?” He said, “I have just had a 12 year-old run into an 87 year-old
woman, and he broke her hip.” At that stage, she was in the Toowoomba Base Hospital. On a
later visit to that town, I found out that her quality of life had changed. Before that accident, or
incident, she could look after herself. After that, she had to depend on her family, and her family
were pretty cranky about it. Prior to this, we did a survey, which I would like to table.
         The CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
         Mr Collis: Everybody kept telling me that you have to put cyclists on the footpath. I was
in a catch-22 situation: I did not want kids on the road and being injured, but I did not want them
flooding the footpath and making it difficult for people to negotiate the footpath. My concern is
that pedestrians have a right, too. We cannot take that away from them. I had a call from a
teacher who was visually impaired. He is in charge of a visually impaired unit for visually impaired
kids in Toowoomba. He said, “What are you going to do about us? We cannot see them until
they are right on top of us. They do not know that we are visually impaired, and generally, there
is a collision.” I put his case in the newsletter to see if anybody could respond in such a way that
would help those people, but there was no response. We just asked four questions: would the
incidence of accidents involving cyclists decrease if they were allowed to cycle easily on the
footpath—by the way, Dr Jim Nixon gave me a hand with this—and 62 per cent agreed, and 32
per cent disagreed. The second question was: should all cyclists be allowed legally to ride on the
footpath, and 44 per cent agreed, and 52 per cent disagreed. The third question was: should all
footpaths in the vicinity of schools be designated as share footpaths, and 70 per cent agreed,
and 26 per cent disagreed. And the last question was: should only primary school cyclists be
allowed on footpaths, and 41 per cent agreed, and 56 per cent agreed. I thought then that I
must be wrong. I also received a copy of a report that was compiled in a Victorian town by the
RTA in Victoria, stating that they did a survey of bikes on footpaths, and it was a non-event. So I
said, “Okay, it seems as though I am barking up the wrong tree. I will agree with it.” As of today,
the only incident about which I have heard was that one that happened over the last holidays in
Sandgate. It still frightens me a bit when I see kids coming out of school and spilling over the
footpath. People are doing an Allan Langer in trying to sidestep them to make sure that they do
not finish up in front of the bike. But the law says that they are entitled to ride on the footpath, as
long as they do not endanger the safety of pedestrians. If they do not endanger the safety of
pedestrians, okay. If they do endanger the safety of the pedestrians, especially old people—and
old people still have to have quality of life—and the very young, then it may need to be looked at
again. That is just my opinion.
         Because of the types of infringements, in the Maroochydore area with the Sunshine
Coast police, we trialled this: one morning, we actually went out with the police and booked kids.
Copies of this went to the parents and a copy went to the school. The kids that were booked
were then brought in for a compulsory road safety lecture during their lunchtime. It was a trial, but
we wanted to make the kids aware that if they commit infringements, they have to pay for them.
Since then, there have been quite a host of cyclist infringements that kids can be picked up on.
         The CHAIRMAN: This Committee actually made a recommendation two years ago that
that procedure be carried out.
         Mr Collis: Good.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Previously, you gave some examples of suitable and secure bicycle and
helmet storage facilities. Do you believe that schools should be doing more in this area? Of the
examples that you have given, have they been passed around? How do you get the information
from one school to the next?
         Mr Collis: Through the newsletters. Generally, we get the plans and we say, “This is what
we have got. If you are interested, they are at the Maroochydore State High School, the
Springwood State High School and the Clontarf Beach State High School.” We mention that.
Springwood State High School went to a different system. They put in three different
compounds: the first one was locked all day—in the morning, you put your bike in there and no
matter what happens, you do not get it out until 3 o’clock; the second one was open only at

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lunchtime; and the third one you could put in your bike and take it away as often as you liked.
With big schools, where you have something like multiple hundreds of bikes, it is pretty open and
very easy for someone to nick in and nick one off. For instance, at Broadbeach primary school,
they have had a compound for years. The only time in recent years that they lost one was last
year when they had the wire off it. It was rusted, and they were putting in new wire. They took out
all their bikes, and one went. They had never lost one before. So we publicise through the
newsletters any innovative ideas such as bike racks or bike compounds. They then just write and
ask us. For instance, we had advertised racks again, and asked if people wanted help with them,
and this morning, before I left, we had received a letter from a convent school in Mackay that
wanted to know if we could we send copies of that.
         Mr Mavor: Could I add a comment to that? Part of our role at the central office is to
develop policy. At the moment, there is the development of a safety manual for schools. There
are special manuals developed, such as manual arts, phys. ed., and things like that. There is a
general safety manual being developed for schools. I have asked Mr Collis to draw together
some of these ideas—not just put them into newsletters, but to include them in the Education
Department safety manual in terms of the planning of school facilities. We see that as an
important area that needs a bit more permanence than a newsletter has.
         The CHAIRMAN: You made mention of those bike parks that are in operation in
Townsville, Gympie, Maryborough, Toowoomba and, of course, Ashmore.
         Mr Collis: Yes.
         The CHAIRMAN: Do you think that it would be worthwhile to introduce those throughout
Queensland—in all the provincial areas of Queensland?
         Mr Collis: I would not introduce a bike training area unless it had the facilities to make to
work. For instance, it is essential that it have bikes. If it was a track that really emulated the road,
with working lights and signs, and if it was wide enough and was well maintained, it had bikes
and helmets on site and it had a permanent instructor on site that could coordinate and run the
activities, okay. If they are not going to do that—a classic case is the service club that built one at
the back of Strathpine. It was beaut. It had signs and lights, but no fence, no bikes, no nothing.
Because it did not have the maintenance, it just became overgrown. Once it became overgrown,
people gave it a miss. It did not have bikes, and people were sick of bringing their bikes. Today,
most mums drive small cars and if they have to shove a bike in it and take it somewhere, they
say, “We cannot do it today”.
         The CHAIRMAN: It would have to be a large enough community to support it.
         Mr Collis: To support it, yes. If you take Toowoomba and Hervey Bay, there are ones up
there. Aspley has some use, but it is available to schools if they want to use it. It is not from want
of trying. They have the bikes there, they have the helmets there. It is very well set up. At times,
it has been pushed by Mr John Goss and, through the schools, we have been pushing it. But
then again, it is getting the kids there. The more facilities that we have like that to ensure the
future safety of kids is great, but I feel that it is a waste of time if you do not have sufficient
finances to make it a viable proposition from the start.
         The CHAIRMAN: You were talking about the fact that high schools do not continue on
with the program that you supervise in primary schools. Would you agree that it is necessary that
all of those lessons be reinforced through high schools?
         Mr Collis: Yes.
         The CHAIRMAN: Not only in regard to bikes but also in regard to other road safety
         Mr Collis: Yes. As I mentioned before, the road safety Years 8 to 10 program should
start later this year. I still work with high school teachers. I go and talk to Years 8 and 9. We do
programs to address the particular problems. That was why I was at the Maroochydore High
School. The policeman and I had three Year 12s in and we said, “Okay, what is the problem?
What can we do?” At first, they would not talk to us, but once we got them started, we could not
shut them up. They were great with their ideas. We feel that we should get the kids on side. We
are going to make the kids the owners of any program. We do not want to go in and impose a
program on them and have them say, “We will give that a miss”. If we give the kids, such as the

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student council, the onus of it, then it is going to be more successful. They are some of the
things that we have been trying to do in high schools.
         The CHAIRMAN: That reinforces the recommendation that was made previously that
road safety education should continue through the high school years.
         Mr Collis: Most definitely.
         The CHAIRMAN: And it should include driver training instruction or, at least, driver
education rather than driver training.
         Mr Collis: Driver education, yes.
         The CHAIRMAN: At the other end of the scale, obviously, in your mind, there is a lower
limit at which young children should not be on the road.
         Mr Collis: That is my personal opinion. I still have to be convinced about 5-year olds and
6-year olds. Okay, 9 or 10 year-olds—I would say definitely around 10—have the mental maturity
to cope with traffic situations, especially with people doing the wrong thing on the road, such as
stopping suddenly, turning and not indicating or not giving way at a sign or intersection. We are
going to present one of these certificates to a policeman at Murgon, because the other day he
was knocked off his bike by somebody who did not give way at an intersection. He still cannot
recollect anything about it. But as a role model, we are going to present him with a certificate at
the Murgon High School to try to create that awareness. I am sorry that he was knocked off his
bike and that he has no recollection. He is a triathlete and his bike cost him almost $2,000 and it
is an absolute write-off. But he is still alive to tell the tale, and he is back at work.
         The CHAIRMAN: There is a problem in some provincial areas where young kids ride in
great numbers to primary schools. Perhaps it would be possible to look at keeping younger kids
off busy roads. Do you think that is a practical application?
         Mr Collis: I think it is practical now where they have the use of the footpath. I feel that
most councils now have a plan for bikeways and shared bikeways and so forth. People just have
to be patient because they do not have the finance to build bikeways straight out. It has to be
done progressively over a period of time. In some towns, we have had town programs where the
council assisted us to help the kids understand, pulling the kids up, talking to them, telling them
what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right and so forth. With the assistance of the
councils, I think it is fantastic.
         The CHAIRMAN: But there is a basic problem with younger children, in your opinion,
understanding situations and being able to react to them?
         Mr Collis: Yes, most definitely. Because they do not have that maturity. Of course, some
of the examples they get are not too good, either.
         Mr DOLLIN: I want to ask your opinion rather than a question. Last week, I was
approached by an engineering chap who has volunteered to put up helmet racks in the schools.
He intends to rent them to the children or the children’s parents for $5 a year. I have received a
lot of complaints about——
         Mr Collis: Storage.
         Mr DOLLIN: Not just about storage but about helmets being stolen as well. When he
gives me his submission, I will submit it to the Minister’s office. Do you think there is any value in
that? Is that a possibility?
         Mr Collis: If the rental is cheap.
         Mr DOLLIN: It would be $5 a year.
         Mr Collis: Yes, but I would not put it at any more because people would not want to be
faced with another thing that they would have to pay for.
         Mr DOLLIN: It would be a voluntary thing.
         Mr Collis: I am dead against helmets being stored on bikes. The soft shell should not be
exposed to the direct rays of the light. If it rains or a bird leaves a deposit going over or anything
happens like that, then they will not wear it. If you get kids who pull their pads out of it, then they
will not wear it. Anything that is left in the sun for too long will deteriorate. I had a case where a
bike fell over with the soft cell on the end, and the handlebars went straight through it. I would be

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very interested in that. It is something that I could work with you through this to gain some
interest. Some people would be very happy with it.
         Mr DOLLIN: It is $30 they are protecting for $5 a year.
         Dr Mavor: I am intrigued by the supervision of that. Who would process that?
         Mr DOLLIN: That is the other issue. It is a private enterprise. He expects to make money
out of it of course, and he would be prepared to put them up—they would be a mesh type thing.
He has gone into it quite thoroughly so that they cannot hide drugs or anything else in it.
         Dr Mavor: Would they have their own individual key?
         Mr DOLLIN: There would be an individual key to each one.
         Mr Collis: I would like to see a trial done by a school that is willing to do it. We could
monitor the trial, then report back to the Education Department and the other schools.
         Mr DOLLIN: There would be quite a huge capital outlay, would there not? In
Maryborough, they are carrying the helmets around with them all day.
         Mr Collis: There is no easy answer if there is no space. At Springwood High where they
did that original program, they just cleaned out an old locker room; so they already had a
lockable area. That is the ideal situation. Some just used lengths of stainless steel—like the type
people hang towels on—and just clipped the helmets over it in one central place. In some high
schools, the kids have been allowed to leave them in the administration block for security.
         Mr NUNN: I am looking for an opinion, too. Twice this morning I have had the
opinion—once from you and once from the fellow before you—that children under the age of 10
should not be allowed on the roads unsupervised. Then, talking about children riding on
footpaths—that was the first I knew that they are allowed to ride on footpaths so long as——
         Mr Collis: They do not endanger the safety of pedestrians.
         Mr NUNN: At what age do you think they are capable of making that judgment?
         Mr Collis: Some people say that they start riding in the backyard and that is okay. I
always say that from the backyard they graduate to the frontyard; from the frontyard they
graduate to the footpath; and from the footpath is the panacea—the road. It goes back to the
maturity of the child. Some parents say straight out, “My kid is 12 and he is still not allowed to
ride because he is not mature enough. It is as simple as that.” Each kid has a different stage of
development, and it is really up to the parent to say when, in their opinion, they are mature
enough to be able to ride and to handle that bike.
         I live in an area that has a road with a long slope. Yesterday, I saw two kids go flat out.
They would have been aged about five and six, and they had a five-year-old behind them. He
went flat out, too, but he did not make it. Halfway down, he lost control and over he went. If
anybody stepped out of their gate, they could have been cleaned up, too. Even on the footpath
there should be some type of supervision. This is only a “guesstimate”, but I would not put them
out even on the footpath until they are around the age of seven or eight. Once again, on the
footpath they want to go on the road, and that is the tragedy of it all, and it is very easy. This is
where a lot of the accidents happen. They are on the footpath and then straight out on the road.
They go out from between two parked cars. The biggest thing that we try to get across to kids is
that a driver has to always be able to see them; then he has to have a reaction time and a
stopping distance. Mostly, where the kids just come out, they do not have that stopping
distance. God knows I would hate to be one of the drivers involved in a situation such as that.
Does that answer your question?
         Mr NUNN: Yes, I guess it does. But from that I got that you do not think that they should
be out at all unsupervised.
         Mr Collis: Yes, but that is my own personal opinion. But they are, and they are out in
droves such as they are with rollerblades and skateboards.
         Mr NUNN: I was intrigued to find that they are saying that until they are 10—and this is by
and large an observation by people who are experts—they do not have the maturity to make the
quick decisions when confronted by a certain traffic situation. But, if we allow them on the
footpath, we are saying that they are mature enough to decide for themselves what is a risk

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situation that they have created for a pedestrian. I cannot reconcile the differences in attitude
between the bicycle rider’s age on the road and the bicycle rider’s age on the footpath.
         Mr Collis: We beg to differ on that because they have less to contend with. The
pedestrian only has to step aside, whereas, it could be an opening car door, a car stopping
suddenly, a car appearing and turning in front of them suddenly and, of course, they do not
have the skills then and they finish up on the road. It could be that it is not that particular car that
has caused that particular accident; it could be the car following that causes the problem. If they
come off on the footpath, then they do not have a pedestrian following who will walk all over
them. But on the road they have the problem of a car, or hitting the car. I think the result of the
accident is the big thing out on the road and the resultant damage that can occur.
         As I told you, I was dead against having them on footpaths, but the overwhelming
evidence seemed to be that I was wrong. The evidence that came up from trials that had been
conducted in Victoria said that it was a non-event. To my knowledge so far—I do not know what
you gentlemen have found—it seems to have been a non-event. Are any of you aware of any
serious problems with bikes being on the footpath?
         The CHAIRMAN: It has always been a problem.
         Mr Collis: It has always been a problem and always will be.
         Mr NUNN: It depends on who is on the footpath.
         Mr Collis: Yes, that is right.
         Mr NUNN: We have a problem with bikes on walkways. If you go down to the gardens,
people walk and ride bikes on the same walkways. It is all right if you are facing the bike. If he
has come along behind you——
         Mr Collis: That is the trouble with the hearing impaired, because they could not hear it
as well. In some cases where they had bikeways in some parts of Brisbane, those bikeways have
now been changed to shared footways and the bike rider is saying, “Where will I go?” On some
of those shared footways you have horses, skateboards, rollerblades, prams and God knows
what. So he has lost another avenue of using his bicycle.
         Mr CAMPBELL: You have made several comments concerning cycle training tracks.
They have them developed in different areas. You also have trailers. In your view, is it better
value for money to have trailers instead of those fixed cycle training centres?
         Mr Collis: I think we have two problems here. One is that I think the bike training areas
are better in a large area such as Bundaberg and Maryborough. When you get to the remote
areas, we have to have bike trailers because we cannot get the kids in from out there. We have
kids in pretty remote places. We have trailers up in all the one teachers schools north of
Clermont and at various other places. I think that they both have a part to play. Bicycle training
areas in the cities and the bigger provincial towns; and the bicycle trailers I feel are a must for
distance education because I feel very strongly that our kids in the bush are just as entitled to
any aspect of road safety as the city kids.
         Mr CAMPBELL: The second question I want to ask is concerning compulsory wearing of
helmets and peer pressure. Have you found that by making wearing helmets compulsory that
has taken away a lot of that peer pressure?
         Mr Collis: Yes. To my observations, not after the mandatory wearing—it increased after
mandatory wearing—but it had a sharper increase after the fines were introduced because high
school kids were saying, “Oh well, there is no fine. Why should I?” If it is not strongly enforced in
some areas now, there is still a bit of a drop off. We get people wearing them in various modes.
One is on the back of the head because the girls like to have their fringe out, but we say that
they cannot do that; another one is with the straps just lose around the chin, but we say that that
is hopeless because if the helmet moves it still exposes a part of the head; another one is with
the straps undone altogether and the helmet just falls off when they are knocked; and the other
one is on the handlebars. We tell kids that handlebars do not have brains so they do not need
protection. They look at us a bit strangely then. We still have a way to go in education and that is
why we use the awareness with these case studies to try to convince them that for their
sake—not for our sake—they and their families are the ones who will suffer and that they must

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wear a helmet properly if they want to survive and get them out of the syndrome, which is very
difficult, that “it cannot happen to me”.
          You may have read in the papers that by mandatory wearing we are causing skin cancer.
I have read that quite a few times. I have something here that was developed in Victoria. It is
called a helmet cover. It fits over the helmet, gives a peak at the front to keep the sun out of the
eyes and has the foreign legion flap. The Teachers Credit Union is very supportive of road safety
in this State and have purchased 500 of these. We give them to schools on request so that
they can see what they are like; then it is up to them. If they want to buy them in bulk, they can,
or they can buy them from the local bike shop. We had a request the other day from a school
that wanted to buy about 400, so we gave them one of them and all the particulars, and it is up
to him to negotiate with the company that makes them.
          The CHAIRMAN: We actually saw those in Victoria.
          Mr Collis: Yes, Headliners. That is where they come from.
          Mr CAMPBELL: You mentioned in-line skates to rollerblades. Are you developing any
safety programs for rollerblades?
          Mr Collis: No. All that we do are doing as far as that is concerned is encouraging them.
The myth here is that you see them with pads here, here and on their knees, but nothing on
their heads. The part that is most vulnerable and can get the most damage is unprotected. We
say to them, as with skateboarders, please do not learn to ride them on the road or in shopping
carparks. I do not know whether you know Toombul at all where you go up to the top near the
theatres? I saw two skateboarders coming flat out one day and they both went around the car.
They had to grab onto the car to stop. Okay, they got away with it. But what would happen if
they did not? What would happen if they had finished underneath? This is most important for
blades, too, that if they want to learn to ride them, then they have to do it in some security—I
suppose a footpath or a bike track, but not on the road. This is where the problem occurs. A lot
of them are learning to ride so they do not have that control. That is the optimum word for the
safety of all kids—control and understanding.
          Mr J. N. GOSS: I notice children riding down the road, and since they have put in pram
ramps, for want of a better word, at pedestrian crossings, they do not necessarily stop any more
but they turn and ride straight across the pedestrian crossing with the expectation of divine right
that the motorist will stop. Is that part of the education process—emphasis that you must push
your bike across the crossing?
          Mr Collis: Yes. As the law states, they must dismount and push their bike across. We
did these photographs up because we can talk to high school kids, but we thought we should
show them some of the things that they were doing. There are a whole serious of these; I just
bought a couple in. That is a common one—being knocked off by a car. Even though they can
ride two abreast according to the law, we strongly recommend single file for their own safety. But
we did these just to try to enhance our presentation to high school kids—letting them see other
high school kids doing the right thing.
          The CHAIRMAN: If there is any way of getting the message across, I am sure that you
will find it. I would like to thank Dr Ian Mavor and Mr Barry Collis.
          Mr Collis: We have also produced various pamphlets. One is on bicycle maintenance.
We have a poster to go with that and we are currently doing up a bike maintenance kit. I get sick
and tired of people saying, “I did not know that we had to do that on bikes.” It will give them
some information on bicycle sense and possible offences. We borrowed this one from a New
South Wales bus company. It is called “Be a Cool Bus Rider”. The company gave us permission
to reprint. We have that also in poster format. It sets out the dos and don’ts of riding on a bus.
Some people say, “We do not know what signs to obey”, so we did a pamphlet on signs that
cyclists should know and some bicycle myths. This one is called “Bikes, Bikes, Bikes”. It gives
some knowledge on dos and don’ts and some bike maintenance tips.
          The CHAIRMAN: Could the Committee have copies of those, please, that you have
shown us?
          Mr Collis: What about the newsletter as well?
          THE CHAIRMAN: If you wish.

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      Mr Collis: Thank you very much for your time.
      The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your time. We very much appreciate your help
and we are sure that you will keep getting the message across to kids—at least a percentage of
      Mr Collis: With kids, you just keep trying. You never give up.
      The Committee adjourned at 12.03 p.m.

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          The Committee resumed at 12.13 p.m.
          DAVID GEOFFREY LAMBERT, examined:
          The CHAIRMAN: Welcome, David. Thank you for coming in. Would you give your full
name and some idea of your experience in the area of road safety for the record.
          Mr Lambert: My name is David Geoffrey Lambert. I am currently a sergeant of police
with the Accident Investigation Squad in Brisbane. I have been with the squad since May 1984,
except for a seven-month period between September 1987 and May 1988. The purpose of our
squad is to investigate all fatal or serious traffic incidents involving vehicles, pedestrians, bicycle
riders and motorcyclists, to determine the causes of those incidents and, if possible, to make any
recommendations to improve the safety of either pedestrians or the road features wherever the
incident may have occurred.
          Mr LESTER: In your experience as a member of the Traffic Accident Investigation
Squad, what are the main factors that contribute to the occurrence of pedestrian and cyclist
          Mr Lambert: My experience is that the drivers of motor vehicles are not aware of what a
pedestrian or a bicycle rider can do or is going to do. Bicycle riders and pedestrians know that a
car is coming, or they will look for a car, but they do not try to relate to matters such as: what sort
of speed is the car doing and will I or will I not have enough time to get across the road? Most
people from driving age upwards are either pedestrians or drivers at one stage daily in their lives.
When we are pedestrians, we forget to think as a driver. Can that driver stop? When we are
drivers, we do not always think what a pedestrian or cyclist can or cannot do. It is mainly
individual attitude.
          Mr J. N. GOSS: In your submission, you referred to a number of standard safety
equipment items that are required by law to be fitted to bicycles before they can be used on the
road. The submission also refers to some of those items as being sold as the optional extras, as
if they were luxury items. The feeling is that, perhaps once people buy the bicycle, they will never
probably get those pieces of additional equipment. Should the Schedule in the Traffic Act be
amended to put the onus on the retailer to ensure that those items which would be needed to
meet the Australian design standard and the Traffic Regulations are put on the bicycles when
          Mr Lambert: Yes. As far as I am concerned, bicycles should be fitted with headlights, an
adequate braking system and adequate rear lighting. Most bikes now have reflectors front and
rear and braking at least to either the rear wheel or the front wheel. The larger bikes, such as
mountain bikes and racing bikes, have those. The BMX-style bicycles or the smaller children’s
bicycles generally do not have any braking system at all on them. I have been a bicycle rider for
only slightly over two years.     I bought my first bike in January 1991. On my bicycle, I run a
dynamo headlight and tail-light. I run a battery headlight and a battery tail-light. I live at Ferny
Hills, where it is a bit up and down. Going up a few of the hills, the dynamo will not generate
enough power to show a light, so that is why I use the battery system.
          Also, I am currently the adopted cop at the McDowall State School. I have not been
there this year, but when I have spoken to children about road safety I would say, “What do you
think you should have on your bikes?” Obviously, they talk about tyres and things like that and
then they will say that they should have reflectors, but they do not think about brakes. I say to
them, “If you were to hop into a car outside the school and if mum were to drive off and say, ‘By
the way, the car does not have any brakes’, what would you do?” They say, “Oh, we would
scream.” I say, “What is the difference when you hop onto your bike and you do not have any
brakes? How can you stop—put your feet out?” Kids ruin a $100 pair of Reeboks or Nikes. They
wear the soles out trying to brake. A person would not go into Leach Motors or a Ford dealer,
buy a basic car and then have to purchase extras such as the brakes, the headlights and the
tail-lights. Those items are all stock, standard issue. If they were not included with a car, a person
would not buy it. Why does the same not apply to a bike?
          Mr J. N. GOSS: In your opinion, how effective are some of the items that are sold? For
instance, there are brakes which rely on the chain, and the chain could break. Also, clear
reflectors instead of lights are fitted to the front of bikes. Kids think that is satisfactory, but if a

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motorist is coming out of a side street and his or her headlights are not shining on that reflector,
the cyclist cannot be seen.
          Mr Lambert: That is correct.
          Mr J. N. GOSS: What is your opinion on some of the things that are promoted as being
          Mr Lambert: In order for a front light or clear reflector to be seen, one has to be
approaching it virtually head-on. Bikes that are viewed from side-on will not be seen, even with a
headlight. Motorists at a T-junction will see a headlight but they will not see a reflector, unless a
streetlight is located conveniently at that intersection. One does not really notice a bicycle until
one sees the pair of reflectors on the wheels as they go past. Many of the mountain bikes have
reflectors on the pedals. It depends on how the rider’s feet are positioned on those pedals as to
whether an observer can see them. There is definitely a need for headlights and tail-lights. The
latest idea—the flashing red tail-light—is a very good one. If I am driving along and I see a red
flashing light, I think, “What is that?” One’s attention is drawn to it. On the other hand, if there is
only a single light and the beam stays on the whole time, one becomes a bit oblivious to it.
          This is not really related to your question, but I have here a vest for which I paid $20 two
years ago. That is what any observer sees: at the front, two vertical stripes; at the rear, a yellow
cross. I wear that day and night when riding my bike from Ferny Hills to where I work at Alderley,
plus I wear the helmet. I wear that gear every time I hop on that bike so that I can be seen. That
is my policy—you have to be seen.
          Mr DOLLIN: You recommend against allowing cyclists of any age to use footpaths, yet
the survey figures in your submission suggest strongly that people believe that footpath cycling
would decrease the number of accidents involving cyclists and, consequently, reduce the
number of cyclist fatalities and injuries. Recent changes to the regulations now allow footpath
cycling. Have you changed your view on that?
          Mr Lambert: Our squad does not investigate many pedal cycle and pedestrian incidents.
The only time we get involved in those is if the first police officers attending the scene say that
the ambulance officers advised them that the person sustained serious injuries and there is a
possibility that they may die or that the driver may be guilty of some form of criminal
negligence—going through a red light, speeding or something such as that. We do not become
involved in many pedestrian/pedal cycle accidents. However, my opinion is: keep pedal cyclists
off the footpath. I listened to what Mr Collis had to say. There are elderly people and mothers
with babies and toddlers at shopping centres, and then there are kids on bicycles. It would be all
right if those kids rode at pedestrian speed, but they do not. I have seen them riding through the
Stafford Shopping Centre and other places, and they fly along. As well, kids use rollerblades or
skateboards. They do not care about pedestrians; they expect the pedestrians to get out of the
way. If a person gets struck by one of those kids, he or she goes flying up into the air and down
onto the ground. If that happened to a young child, whose bones are still developing, or to an
elderly person, whose bones are starting to become chalky and brittle, it could end up ruining
that person’s life. He or she could end up confined to a wheelchair. I am an adamant believer
that, especially in shopping centres, pedal cyclists should be kept off the footpath. A bicycle is a
vehicle; it should be used on the road.
          Mr DOLLIN: Personally, I agree with you. On the mornings when Parliament is sitting, I
usually walk in the botanical gardens. I know that people on bicycles frighten the hell out of me
when they go past. You do not have an argument from me. However, many in the community
suggest that pedestrian/cyclist accidents are likely to be less damaging. Even if a pedestrian and
a cyclist crash, it is not the same as a kid being hit by a car on the street.
          Mr Lambert: That is true, too. It just depends on who is hit, where they are struck and
the injuries involved. I have prepared a further submission, which I will give to the Committee
later. It contains figures in relation to pedestrian accidents and pedal cyclist accidents. The
figures are given for 1991 for those who were hospitalised with severe intracranial injuries, that is,
within the skull. The number of pedal cyclists was 14 and the number of pedestrians was 38,
which is nearly three times the number of cyclists. The figures are also given for those people
killed due to head injuries. The number was 12 for pedal cyclists and 20 for pedestrians.
Obviously, a pedestrian will suffer a head injury more frequently than a pedal cyclist will,
especially if the two collide.

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         Mr DOLLIN: Do you investigate accidents on the footpath between pedestrians and
cyclists? Do you have any idea of just how often that occurs?
         Mr Lambert: No, I do not. Initially, the Ambulance Service receives the 000 call to say
that a pedestrian has been struck. The Ambulance Service in turn contacts the police, and then
the local police mobile patrol attends the scene. The incident is reported. If the unit involved feels
it is of such a nature that our squad should become involved, we will then become involved. We
do not hear about the majority of accidents unless a fatality or serious injuries are involved.
         Mr DOLLIN: You mentioned the figure of 38 pedestrians against 14 pedal cyclists
receiving head injuries. It would be difficult to know whether those incidents involved motor
vehicles or——
         Mr Lambert: Those statistics span the whole sphere, whether they have been hit by a
car, a truck, a motorbike or whatever.
         Mr DOLLIN: We do not know.
         Mr Lambert: Yes. I do not know the actual break-up there; I did not go into that.
         Mr NUNN: It has been said that it is a bit of a pest to book a cyclist because of the
paperwork involved and all the rigmarole attached to it. However, in your opinion, will the recent
updating of bicycle offence penalties and the development of a wide range of realistic
commonsense penalties for offences directed solely at cyclists result in more rigid enforcement
         Mr Lambert: It depends on the individual police divisions or districts. Since the rules have
been in force, I have not booked any pedal cyclists. I have pulled up a few, and they have
mostly been adults. I have given them a bit of a lecture. I have said, “I wear a helmet and a vest.
You have got to be seen. If you get struck by a car, you will want to claim third party injuries. If I
come to the scene of the accident and it happened at night-time and you had dark clothes on,
everything is going against you. What can I put in my report? It will not look too good for you
when it comes to a third party compensation claim. You have to be seen.”
         As to the bicycle offence notices system—in many areas, such as the Gold Coast, pedal
cyclists seem to be being booked a fair bit under that system. However, I think it comes back to
individuals and also whether it is in school time or outside of school hours. I know that Mr Collis
conducted a survey from 3 to 5 December 1992. I mentioned that in this submission here. There
were 4 728 people surveyed. The wearing rate for various users was reported as follows: primary
school, 72 per cent; secondary school, 21 per cent; commuter cyclists, 37 per cent; and
recreational cyclists, 22 per cent. From riding my bike and driving my car, outside of school hours
I would put the figure as low as 10 per cent of kids and even adults wearing helmets. Many
schools have a policy, “You bring a bike to school, you have to have the helmet on; otherwise
you do not get it through the front gate.” If such policies are in place, kids will end up wearing
         In February last year on Coronation Drive, an accident involving an adult pedal cyclist
occurred. He had his helmet strapped to his handlebars. He head-butted a Brisbane City Council
bus and died. I tell people that the old brain box—if I can use that expression—is the most
important part of the body. It controls everything. If that gets shot, so does the rest of you. As Mr
Collis said, it is all very well wearing knee pads and arm pads, but the old head is the vital part.
         Mr NUNN: You do not see booking as a deterrent?
         Mr Lambert: Well, the kids will pay the fine or mum and dad will pay the fine for them.
The trouble with criminal responsibility is that, up to the age of 10, a child is not criminally
responsible. From age 10 to 14, you have to prove that they knew what they were doing was
wrong but from 14 to 16, you do not have that so much so. I notice that at 17 and above, they
are classed as an adult under the legal system. What I would like, and what I have suggested in
my submission, is that if they get picked up, the bike goes into the boot of the car and gets
carted off to the police station, and the police officer says to them, “If you want the bike back,
you bring mum and dad down with you, and you will get a lecture.” I think the situation is similar
to monetary fines paid by car drivers. I know that years ago when I used to work in the Traffic
Branch, people did not care what the fine was for speeding, or a lot of them did not care; but
what they were worried about was the points taken off their driver’s licence. That is what they
were concerned about—not the dollars and cents. I honestly believe that police should be given

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powers to confiscate the bike and take it to the police station and say to the rider, “Right, you
want it, come down here and get it, and cop a lecture at the same time.”
          The CHAIRMAN: I think there is a lot to be said for that.
          Mr NUNN: I think there might be, too. The penalty needs to take something from them
that they really care about.
          Mr Lambert: I think I am right in saying that the penalty for a defective bicycle is $2—a
little gold-coloured coin—but if you do not have tail-lights working on your car or a minor defect, I
think the fine is $50 or $75. If a car has major defects, it can be ordered off the road and
whatever, and I think the fine is either $100 or $150 for a defective car or if you pick up
somebody with shonky brakes or brakes that do not work. One of the jobs we have when we go
to fatal accidents is to have a look around and see if there is any brake fluid and pump the brake
pedal. A month ago, I went to a job and we had to pump the brake pedal on this car 12 times
before it became firm. When bicycles do not have brakes on them, that is a defect, but the fine
is a $2 coin. So what? The kids can go down to the video shop and get a $2 video for the night.
The fine is worth the cost of a video, and they are not worried about it.
          Mr NUNN: You can hardly buy an ice-cream for that.
          Mr Lambert: They are not worried about it. I looked at a survey that was done in Victoria
about three years ago. The police down there went into a couple of schools and found that 98
per cent of the bicycles were defective in some fashion.
          Mr NUNN: The other question concerns your submission which refers to anomalies in the
testing for blood alcohol concentrations in pedestrian cyclists as compared to the testing of
motorists. For the purpose of this hearing, can you elaborate on these anomalies, and tell us
how you recommend that they should be addressed—that is, if the anomalies still exist?
          Mr Lambert: The anomalies still exist. I have addressed them in the submission as well,
but I have covered it also in two areas—pedestrians and alcohol, and pedal cyclists and alcohol.
At the moment—as I said in my submission—for bicycle riders who are riding along the road you
have to prove that they are under the influence of liquor or a drug, which means .15 or above, as
the Traffic Act currently stands. The situation is that you say, “Right, bicycle rider, you are under
arrest.” You take them to the watch-house or to a police station and get them to blow into the
breathalyser, or you take a sample of blood from them. If the analysis comes back with a reading
under .15, I am not too sure whether the charge is dismissed or it is just taken as being read at
the .15 reading. But you cannot legally pull up somebody as somebody would be driving a car
down the road and get pulled up by the booze bus and is told, “Sir”—or madam—“please blow
into this roadside breath-testing machine.” We have no power to do that at all.
          Mr NUNN: That is, to a bike rider or a pedestrian?
          Mr Lambert: Yes. My submission is that if a person is a bicycle rider, section 16 (1) of the
Traffic Act applies. It pertains to driving of a motor vehicle, a tram, train or vessel under the
influence of liquor or driving those with a blood alcohol concentration. It should be amended to
cover the riding of bicycles as well. That would allow the police to have power to say, “You are a
bicycle rider. Here you are, sir. Please blow into this.” There are not all that many bicycle riders
and whatever who have high concentrations of alcohol, but at least it still gives you the power to
get a roadside breath test from them. Some people have ridden from the local sporting club or
hotels and they think, “Oh, I am on a bicycle and I am not going to get pulled up.” I have
addressed it in my supplementary submission and I have suggested that those two provisions be
changed in the Traffic Act. I have suggested that it should cover drivers in charge of any horse or
any other animal on the road or drivers in charge of any vehicle other than a motor vehicle on a
road so that the police would have the necessary power. I have also addressed section 16A (10)
which was sitting in the old Traffic Act and had never been assented to. In other States, police
have powers for four, five or eight hours to have blood taken by a doctor from any person over
the age of 14 years who has been involved in a traffic accident, which covers pedestrians, pedal
cyclists, passengers and drivers in a car. At the moment, the anomaly is that it can be drivers
          If you go to the hospital, you have only got two hours within the time of the incident’s
occurrence. If that person is unconscious, the police cannot require a blood sample to be taken
from that person. Years ago when I was at Windsor, I was talking to a person and I said to him,

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“I will see the doctor about taking blood from you.” I went and saw the doctor and came back in
and this fellow feigned unconsciousness. The doctor jabbed him at certain pressure points and
this person did not respond. The doctor said, “I have done this test and that proves that he is
unconscious.” Yet five minutes beforehand, I was talking to him just as I am talking to you
gentlemen now. Other than being injured, he was able to pass it off as having fainted. I could
smell the alcohol on him but I could not legally get blood from him. I went to a pedestrian
accident the other day in the city where a gentleman had been struck. He was known by the first
police officer on the scene for having been arrested at different times for drunkenness, but I had
no way of getting blood from that person to have it tested. It is hard.
          Mr NUNN: It makes it hard, all right.
          The CHAIRMAN: I think a lot of people get away with not living up to their responsibilities
because of that.
          Mr NUNN: You would really need to be able to do that automatically, to put the
responsibility for the incident back where it should lie.
          Mr Lambert: When I received the letter from your Committee asking me to attend today,
I was talking to Mr Downey. I did a job two years ago. I know I am relating a lot of stories here,
but it is the best way from my experience——
          The CHAIRMAN: Of giving examples.
          Mr Lambert: Right. There was a gentleman who had been down to the Kedron Bowls
Club. He had been down there at 10 o’clock in the morning and the accident had happened at
20 past 6 on Stafford Road, on the Stafford side of Richmond Street. Mr Goss would know the
area. He would have been on the centre painted median strip. He started to walk across the road
and he was struck by the left-hand side of the Nissan four-wheel drive that was travelling towards
Kedron, so he had come across the median strip and across in front of this vehicle. He admitted
to me that although he did not know the time of the accident he had been down at the bowls
club since 10 o’clock that morning, drinking. He was crossing the road and the young fellow in
the Nissan four-wheel drive was yahooing with some girls. I got a couple of witnesses who stated
that he was doing about 80 kilometres an hour. The driver said to me that when he first saw the
pedestrian, he was 11 metres away. I said, “Oh yes, righto.” He admitted all the damages on the
left-hand side of his car and there was nothing across the right-hand side. I worked it out that the
drunk pedestrian had to have been walking at 25 kilometres an hour to cross from the median
strip to the left-hand side of the car where he had been struck for that vehicle to have travelled
11 metres at 80 kilometres an hour.
          Mr NUNN: Obviously, he was fuelled up.
          Mr Lambert: That is it; well and truly tanked up or souped up. You have to try to work out
fact from fiction. The pedestrian was obviously struck by the left-hand side of the vehicle, but the
young fellow obviously was not looking where he was going, which was one thing that I put down
to the car driver’s fault and not the pedestrian. The pedestrian, being drunk, probably should
have been looking out as well because he got a broken leg. But you have to try to work out fact
from fiction and a lot of times our hands are tied because, with the medical system, we cannot
get blood from these people. Later on, it comes to court and we do not know what the reading
was unless the person has died within a reasonable time before the alcohol has dissipated from
his or her body.
          The CHAIRMAN: It has been a contentious issue for some years.
          Mr Lambert: Yes, but I would definitely like to see that section brought in, to start
levelling it out a bit.
          Mr LESTER: The Queensland Department of Transport has developed a series of
advertisements aimed at juveniles—for example, the “Heroes Wear Helmets” series, which
targets all younger age groups using different characters in different advertisements. Do you
believe those to be effective?
          Mr Lambert: They are, but like Mr Collis said—and I firmly agree with him—it comes back
down to peer pressure. I think the common term these days is, “You’re a wuss”, and, “You’re a
weakling. Why do you need a helmet?” A lot could be spent on advertising, but it comes back
down to the individual and who their schoolmates are and whether they can succumb to that

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pressure. If they are in a group, and if the head fellow in that group wears a helmet, the rest of
the group will, too. But if the boss cocky of that group will not wear a helmet, all the followers will
not either. They do not think about their own safety.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: Road safety education in schools is an issue that this Committee has
made recommendations on before. Your submission suggests increasing the use of the Adopt-
a-Cop scheme, which you said you were involved with in schools at McDowall, programs
combining lectures, videos and practical exercises, as well as skill training for coping with
dangerous and hazardous situations. Have you given some consideration or thought to who
would fund these activities, particularly department-wise? How would that fit in with the pretty
crowded curriculum? Would you envisage that that would be compulsory? Who would be the
instructors or give the lectures?
         Mr Lambert: I think it would have to be a mixture of funding from the Department of
Education and the Department of Transport and possibly a bit of funding from the Police Service.
There would have to be qualified instructors hired through the Department of Transport. I believe
that it should be part of the school curriculum. Most kids have a bicycle of some sort, whether it is
a mountain bike or a BMX. A few kids do not, but the majority would. I would like to see, on a
regional basis, some little cycle tracks or a little area set up with proper road markings, signs and
everything. Children should be conveyed to these areas to undergo testing. It is all right to do
testing, but what is important is head knowledge. You ask a kid about safety and they say, “Yes,
you look to the right, look to the left, and look to the right again before crossing the road.”
Anyone can parrot things off, but the important part is trying to apply that.
         From experience, I believe that it comes down to how you ride a bike, the correct posture
on the bike, the use of hand signals, braking techniques, such as applying the rear brake and
then the front brake, and surveying the area they are riding in instead of just having tunnel
vision. I have put this in my submission. Surveying the area means looking around at cars
coming towards you and coming out of side streets and noticing pedestrians who may be
walking out between cars or might be going to their cars, and looking ahead to see that a car
has just been parked and thinking that the person may be about to open the door on you if you
get too close. It is little things like that that are important. Then there is the use of helmets and
wearing of vests, and it also gets back down to the correct maintenance of the bicycle, that is,
knowing how to inflate the tyres and going to the local garage or buying a hand pump to make
sure that the bike tyres are at the right tyre pressure. It also covers making sure that the chain is
oiled and that the braking system and everything else on the bike is all right. It is one thing to
know how to ride the bike but it is another thing to know actually how to maintain the bike and
look after it—by making sure that the gooseneck steering column is tight and will not jam up or
suddenly become loose when the rider is going straight ahead whereas he wants to go right or
         Mr DOLLIN: You said you prefer the idea of instead of imposing fines on offenders,
especially children, you would take the bike to the police station or somewhere like that, and the
parents would have to go and pick it up.
         Mr Lambert: That is correct.
         Mr DOLLIN: We discussed this, I think, in Maryborough, and the police there were not
very much in favour of it, because they claimed that their vehicles did not have the facilities to
carry bikes—with the modern cars. Secondly, they were flat out having storage to look after their
own gear.
         Mr Lambert: I know the problems. We have a sedan ourselves, and we carry a certain
amount of gear in it.
         Mr DOLLIN: I thought it was a good idea.
         Mr Lambert: It needs to be done. The police have taken the bikes off them. In the old
days, not so much in my day—and I am not trying to be rude, but gentlemen a lot older than me
can remember, and the stories were related to me—with the old police sergeant, especially in the
country areas, if you got caught he would give you a good, swift kick in the backside. You did not
dare tell mum and dad, because if you did they would give you another one. But now, you
cannot do that sort of thing, so the only thing is: if you do not do it properly, you lose it. It is the

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same with cars. If the defects are big enough, you pull the car off the road. Or if they are not
wearing seat belts, they get fined, or whatever.
         Mr DOLLIN: I am not in disagreement with you. That was the obstacle that was outlined
to us.
         Mr Lambert: I understand. We have a sedan ourselves. I know that it ties the police up,
because they have enough jobs going around. But maybe if the message got around after a
while that “Hey, the police from Mitchelton or Stafford or wherever are confiscating bikes. We do
not want to lose it.”—but then the parents would probably be jumping up and down, because a
lot of kids use their bikes to get to school because with two-parent families mum and dad are off
to work. But it is a matter of balancing the books and the kids’ safety, because otherwise they will
end up being a vegetable.
         Mr DOLLIN: A lot of times the attitude of the kids is a reflection on their parents. I think
that would also teach them something, as well as the child.
         Mr Lambert: Yes.
         The CHAIRMAN: We have certainly covered cyclists to a great extent. One of the things
that we were told this morning was that a number of accidents are caused by the chain slipping
off cycles. Obviously, a lot of cycles do not have any braking system other than the pedal
operating through the chain. Would you suggest that all bikes should have some secondary
braking system as well as that?
         Mr Lambert: I have an 18-speed Apollo mountain bike, and I have had the chain slip
from the first gear and just flop down. It has been generally when I have been going uphill, or on
a slight grade, so I have had front and rear braking and I have been able to brake. But if you are
on a steep grade and the chain happens to slip off—and it is generally when they have been
cranking to try to ride the bike up a slope and have got up a bit too fast for the chain—it is not so
much going uphill because the chain will stay on. They should have proper braking on the bike. If
you get a good slope, there is no way you can stop.
         The CHAIRMAN: Would the police be able to actually police proper equipment being
available on the bike? Or who would have the authority to do that?
         Mr Lambert: If it was legislated that as from a certain date shops like K Mart, cycle
dealers, Target and other places—that any bikes sold from a certain date had to be fitted with
this equipment, you know all bikes will have that equipment. But with the bikes on the road, you
will end up having a leeway period like you had with bicycle helmets and allow a certain grace
period of maybe 12 months to allow you to say, “New bikes as of 1 January 1995 will be fitted
with a braking and adequate lighting system as set down in the traffic regulations. As of 1
January 1996, all bicycles manufactured before 1 January 1995 must be fitted with a dual
braking system and a dual lighting system as in head lights and tail lights.”
         The CHAIRMAN: You see the principal point of quality control being at the point of sale?
         Mr Lambert: Yes, and if you bought a bike before that date, you would have a 12-month
grace period to get that bike up to standard on the road.
         The CHAIRMAN: And a secondary control would be the threat of arresting the bike?
         Mr Lambert: Yes, confiscation of the bike. I have spoken to young fellows involved in
serious accidents, and it is like water off a duck’s back. Some kids you will frighten the daylights
out of. I have a couple of books at work that I call my family photograph album, and they are
actually what I call gore books. They show victims and cars and whatever that have been
involved in accidents. I have said to them, “Right, have a look at that.” There are little tags on
each of the photographs, and they relate a little story about what has happened. This gives
them a bit of food for thought as if to say, “That could be me.”
         The CHAIRMAN: On the other subject that we are investigating, that is, the problem of
pedestrian accidents—getting away from the bikes—do you believe that there should be more
emphasis on booking pedestrians who walk against red lights and endanger themselves and set
a bad example for others by breaking the traffic laws?
         Mr Lambert: It is a good idea to book them. I do not know whether I would be stealing
any of Mr Honor’s thunder before he comes down here later this afternoon. I was talking to him
before. They have done booking of pedestrians in Adelaide and Edward Streets. The majority of

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the pedestrians wanted to abuse the police. They thought it was an infringement of their rights.
Like I said to Mr Honor, “I suppose that it came across as the cops out revenue raising again.”
Pedestrians are the hardest ones to get across to, because they forget their capabilities and they
think that the car will stop, and it cannot.
         The CHAIRMAN: Would you agree that in many cases pedestrian facilities do need
upgrading? For instance, in one-way streets there is a passive side of the crossing where the
pedestrians should get a much greater share of the lights than they do in many instances.
         Mr Lambert: I believe the crossings should be well lit. I also think that it is not too bad
outside of schools, but with some of the other intersections, when you get the “Walk” sign, you
are only halfway across the road and you have the “Don’t Walk” facing you. If you have elderly
people in the area, the poor things are trying to hurry up, and meanwhile the cars are getting the
green light and want to move on. I think the green light should remain on from when it goes
green, allowing an average person to get across that road and before it goes “Don’t Walk”, and
maybe even give them a second grace, as well.
         The CHAIRMAN: I notice that, walking from Parliament House to Roma Street station in
the afternoon, I spend half my time standing waiting for the lights to change. In many instances
there could be a greater length of time available to the pedestrian. So that may be one of the
reasons why this activity has crept in over recent years. I think pedestrians 20 or 30 years ago
obeyed the lights more than they do today.
         Mr Lambert: I would say so. The traffic lights are put there mainly to control cars. Most of
the lights in areas are sequenced, working in with one another, so that it does not cause a bank-
up somewhere else. I think the pedestrians are really a second thought in a way. Maybe I am
wrong, but the impression I get is that pedestrians are a second thought; that the lights are there
mainly to alleviate motor vehicle accidents, and “We had better look after the pedestrians as well,
but at the same time we will hurry them across the road and give them only half the length of a
‘Walk’ signal as they really need to cross that road.”
         The CHAIRMAN: You have no doubt been called to a number of serious accidents
involving pedestrians. Have you been able to form any opinion on the reason why the pedestrian
was at that location?
         Mr Lambert: A certain amount has been alcohol related, but a lot of people are not
using the road safety pedestrian facilities that are there for them. They are not using the
         The CHAIRMAN: Why not?
         Mr Lambert: I think it comes down to sheer laziness, or “I have got an appointment” or “I
have to get from A to B. There is nothing coming. I am not going to walk 20 metres down to the
crossing”, and walk straight across.
         The CHAIRMAN: Sometimes when it is a two-minute cycle, that is an awfully long time to
         Mr Lambert: It is. But like the old saying: it is better to arrive on time than dead on arrival.
         The CHAIRMAN: What about better lighting? Would that be a help in reducing
pedestrian accidents?
         Mr Lambert: Yes. I would like to see—especially where there is a lot of pedestrian
movement—pedestrian signals coming in or dual hazard flashing lights facing the vehicles, so
that there would be a sign beforehand saying “Pedestrian Crossing Ahead”—the larger ones like
the 900 millimetre diameter pedestrian crossing signs—and then at the crossing itself, obviously
the pedestrian crossing sign, but also the dual flashing hazard amber lights facing towards the
driver, plus overhead streetlighting to direct the beam of light onto the crossing and radiating
from it.
         The CHAIRMAN: How about pavement markings giving a warning of the pedestrian
crossing ahead, such as they have in New South Wales? They used to have a written message
but now it is a wavy line.
         Mr Lambert: That was something I suggested in that submission. Shafston Avenue is
about the only place in Brisbane where I have seen it. As you come from the Wynnum end or
Wellington Street end and swing around to the Story Bridge, I think there are two or three

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pedestrian crossings in that length and all have the jagged zigzag lines. I believe they should be
there as well. Another thing is restriction of parking, because occasionally you get parking on or
encroaching on the pedestrian crossing. My idea is that for about 10 metres either side of the
approach they put up weldmesh fences, and then that area is “No Standing Any Time”, so it
alleviates people trying to park in that area, because they cannot get out of the passenger door,
and it gives the driver who is coming along a wider range of view for observing who is
approaching or who is on that crossing, and knowing whether or not they can or cannot make it.
With some crossings, the way they set the approach side—I forget what the rules are now, but
there is a set standard of either 18 or 20 metres on the approach side. On the departure side,
there is only about five or six metres. But the trouble is that if a driver is coming in the opposite
direction and a person is coming from his or her right, that driver can only see for five or six
metres that way. But if the driver is coming in the same direction as the pedestrian, he or she
has a greater range of view. So the leeway should be on both sides of the crossing—the
approach side and the departure side.
         The CHAIRMAN: Of course, central refuges might make a difference there, too.
         Mr Lambert: Yes. I notice that the council has started to implement around a few of the
streets what it calls safety zones—little concrete islands or whatever—and they are a must.
         The CHAIRMAN: What about speed limits in residential streets?
         Mr Lambert: I believe that once you go off the main road, or your main subarterial roads
such as Stafford and Gympie Roads, and your main thoroughfares, it should be a 60 kilometres
per hour zone. I know that I am harping on areas that I know. On certain suburban streets, such
as those where the bus routes are, it depends. I am harking back to the days of the old trams
now, but certain suburban streets such as Thistle Street and Richmond Street at Gordon Park,
where the tram used to run through to Stafford Road, should have a 60 kilometres per hour
zone. But the general suburban street, where most of the people are only going to and from
their homes, to the shops or whatever, it should be 40 kilometres per hour. I think that is
adequate. I am a firm believer that in the general residential street, the speed limit should be 40
kilometres per hour. Some people think that the streets are wide enough, or that they do not
have many young kids in the areas now because they are all going out to the newer suburbs.
The thing is that people are buying up the older homes, and they are starting to come back in.
The cycle is going over again. There will be kids coming up. Cars are getting faster, but that is
another issue. As far as I am concerned, the speed limit on suburban streets should be 40
kilometres per hour; on the main arterial roads or certain subarterial roads, 60 kilometres per
hour. Where the houses are, the main thing is that the speed limit should be 40 kilometres per
         The CHAIRMAN: Are there any further questions? It only remains for me to thank you
very much for coming in and voluntarily giving up your time like this. It is very much appreciated.
You have had considerable experience in this particular field. Is there anything in particular that
you would like to say?
         Mr Lambert: Nothing. I would like to thank the Committee for allowing me to come. I was
glad that the notice was advertised in the paper last year. I would like to suggest that, if possible,
whenever you are holding or planning to hold any hearings on anything, that I could be notified
or the Accident Investigation Squad could be notified. I know that last year, you had Senior
Constable John Ruller come here. A couple of us are interested in this type of thing. If we could
be notified and told that you were having a hearing in relation to drivers licences or something
like that—which is another one of my bandwagons—I would like to be notified.
         The CHAIRMAN: Unfortunately, we are constrained by procedures through the
Government departments, and we notify the particular designated officer of the Transport
Department, the Police Service and various others.
         Mr Lambert: Sometimes, it does not drift down the line.
         The CHAIRMAN: We found that with other departments, too. However, on every
occasion, we do call for public submissions and unless we make some attempt to notify the
squad, that is really the only way that it can be picked up.
         Mr Lambert: It would be appreciated if you can. Thank you very much.
         The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming.

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        The Committee adjourned at 1.04 p.m.
        The Committee resumed at 2 p.m.
        The CHAIRMAN: I welcome to the hearing Mr and Mrs Wilson from the Gympie road
safety establishment. As well, I welcome Chief Superintendent Alan Honor and Inspector Michael
Hannigan. Members of the Committee have a number of questions to ask of you, and then you
may like to sum up.

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                                 Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

         ALAN BRAE HONOR, examined:
         MICHAEL ANTHONY HANNIGAN, examined:
         The CHAIRMAN: For the record, would you both give your full names?
         Chief Supt Honor: I am Chief Superintendent Alan Brae Honor. I am in charge of the
State Traffic Support Group, Queensland Police Service.
         Insp. Hannigan: I am Inspector Michael Anthony Hannigan, also of the State Traffic
Support Group.
         Mr DOLLIN: The submission by Superintendent Peter Pearson referred to the Police
Service’s recommendation for a system of bicycle offences to be recognised in the Traffic Act.
Recent changes have seen that implemented. What impact has this offence system had on
police ability and willingness to enforce the laws?
         Chief Superintendent Honor: In terms of willingness to enforce the laws, we are keeping
a record of the number of bicycle offence notices and the number of traffic offence notices that
have been issued by the police in relation to bicycle offences. I have figures for January and
February. For the month of January 1993 in the State of Queensland, 1 182 bicycle offence
notices were issued; 981 helmet offences in the bicycle offence notice category were issued; and
100 BONs were waived, which would be as a result of children producing bicycle helmets and
receipts following the issue of the BON. During January, 1 916 traffic offence notices were issued
to bicycles; 1 784 helmet offence notices were issued; and 525 BONs were waived, which would
represent the production of helmets and receipts. For the month of February 1993, 1 151 bicycle
offence notices were issued; 973 helmet offences in that category were issued; and there were
166 waivers. In February 1993, 1 624 traffic offence notices were issued; 1 352 helmet offences
were issued; and there were 445 waivers. That indicates to me that the police are in fact taking
the issue with some seriousness and in fact enforcing the legislation in that area.
         Mr DOLLIN: By and large, that was what the police asked for. It was hoped that that
would be the result. Do you feel that that ability and willingness is spread across the State and
not confined to the south-east corner?
         Chief Supt Honor: I notice that enforcement varies from region to region. However, I
would not be in a position to say why, whether it relates to the level of offences or the degree of
enthusiasm in the approach by the police in these particular areas.
         Mr NUNN: I was going to ask you why the issuing of offence notices was so low in
Brisbane, but the figures you have now given me indicate that is no longer the case. Last year,
out of 3 000 notices Queensland-wide, 111 were issued against adults and 88 against juveniles
in Brisbane, which produced the lowest rate. I guess you have picked up the rate.
         Chief Supt Honor: I think that the introduction of the bicycle offence notice system
provided police with some means of approaching what was a problem. As to how well that
system will address the issue, we will only know better about that at the end of June after the six-
month evaluation period. I would like there to be another evaluation after the end of 12 months
to give some comparison with the level of police activity relating to fatalities and injuries in the
corresponding period.
         The CHAIRMAN: The system of a warning or allowing bicycle riders to purchase a helmet,
is that working?
         Chief Supt Honor: I can only go by the statistics and what I have been told, but certainly
children are taking the opportunity to purchase helmets and produce receipts and it is being
processed in the administrative system. As I have already stated, the level of waivers shows that
it is working to some extent.
         Mr CAMPBELL: I am concerned with the number of accidents that occur to pedestrians
and cyclists in residential areas. Do you feel that we should introduce lower residential speeds? If
so, could the police enforce those speeds—in other words, a 40 or 50 kilometre an hour speed
         Chief Supt Honor: In relation to speed zoning and enforcement, I am of the view that
there is a need for what I refer to as appropriate speed limits and speed zones in areas. Speed

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zoning should be realistic and should have credibility. If that is the prerequisite to enforcement,
after speed zoning is reviewed and we have realistic and credible speed zones, the police can
approach the matter of enforcement knowing that it is likely to be a lot more effective because
the homework has been done in the first place in relation to the appropriateness of the speed
limits. In relation to 40 kilometre an hour zones, rather than approach it on the basis of there
being a blanket 40 zoning for residential areas, I am more in favour of the review of speed limits
across-the-board to ensure that categories and various sections and localities have appropriate
speed zoning. I think that that ties in fairly well, too, with the technology-based enforcement area
in relation to speeding and those sorts of things.
          Mr CAMPBELL: What are your views on using speed cameras to enforce speed limits?
          Chief Supt Honor: I totally support the concept of speed cameras. Firstly, it is much
about achieving goals in terms of modifying driver behaviour and driver attitude to speeding and
it is much about establishing a general deterrent across the State of Queensland in relation to
speed. In years gone by, we have seen the issue of alcohol and drink-driving; we have seen the
implementation of .05 and RBT; and we have seen some decline in the road toll and some lift in
vehicle populations and people populations. I believe we have come a long way in terms of
changing driver attitude in relation to drink-driving. I believe that we also need to do the same in
relation to speeding with the goal of making speeding socially unacceptable in Queensland. With
speeding and alcohol being the two important issues in road safety and some of the major
causal factors, that would be a significant approach to dealing with our road toll and road trauma.
          Mr LESTER: A report received by the Committee shows clearly that children in the 10 to
14 age group are at most risk of being injured, particularly on public roads, and of being admitted
to hospital as a result of injuries received in bicycle accidents. Programs such as bike education,
advertisements, promotions, traffic infringement notices, etc., are in place which address this
and, of course, other age groups. Other than those existing programs, what else can be done to
improve the cycling safety of the at-risk age groups?
          Chief Supt Honor: Broadly in terms of policy, in the area of growth management and
planning, the issue needs clearly addressing in terms of high level policy concerning the whole
transport infrastructure system. Issues such as the segregation of bicycles from traffic and roads
should be addressed in that policy and there should be more bikeways included in new
developments. I believe also that, particularly in south-east Queensland, with the anticipated
growth rate, these areas have to be looked at closely and dealt with as a matter of priority. As
well, I believe that, in terms of the transport system itself, there is a mix of means of transport
available and it has to be accepted that bicycle riders and pedestrians, the same as cars, utilise
railway car parks and various other transport interchange type areas. To alleviate congestion, it
should be approached in a way that the community can use those interchange facilities knowing
that, if they take their bicycle to a railway station or to another interchange facility, they can do so
knowing that their property will be safe during the time that it is left there. That does not apply
only to bicycles; it applies also to motor cars. In my experience as officer in charge of stations, I
had many dealings with bicycles being stolen from bicycle racks at railway stations and various
other places. That dissuades people from using that means of transport. Today, people want to
use that means of transport, particularly in relation to health and some of the modern day issues
that have arisen, and those issues should be addressed as a policy approach to planning for
          The CHAIRMAN: Inspector Hannigan, if you have any supplementary information, feel
free to tell us about it.
          Insp. Hannigan: As to how we should address the at-risk people, in particular young bike
riders, that matter was taken up with the Department of Transport, Superintendent Pearson and
me. That was why section 159C of the Traffic Act was amended to allow bicyclists to ride on
footpaths so long as they fell into certain categories such as not creating danger or nuisance.
We have issued instructions that that would not be acceptable in the main street of Brisbane, but
may be acceptable in certain areas in suburbia where there is no great risk to pedestrians. We
have elderly pedestrians and young pedestrians who do not mix quite so well with bicycles. We
extended that privilege to allow a certain amount of leeway. We gave officers an amount of
discretion on how they dealt with younger people on the road who do not have a great deal of

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road sense. Perhaps more education is needed from the start to impress upon young people the
dangers that exist. They do not have the road sense to be able to react appropriately.
         Mr LESTER: As a follow-up to that question—when you go to the Department of
Transport, do you receive good cooperation?
         Insp. Hannigan: We are working as a team. We have very good relations with the
Department of Transport, the Road Data Crash Branch, and the Road Safety Branch. Over the
period of the last 12 months, we have received applications from various organisations to use
motorcycles on the footpath. Several organisations have taken on the free enterprise and looked
to challenge Australia Post in the delivery of articles. We have problems with the footpath—with
pedestrians—and now we have children riding on the footpath. The postman is bad enough, but
his intrusion on the footpath is from the footpath up and back again. These people want to ride,
delivering a various range of paraphernalia to letter boxes, and I think that added danger on a
footpath on a motorcycle really stretches the safety factor there.
         The CHAIRMAN: Do you have any problems with vehicles backing down driveways
across the footpaths since this has occurred? Have there been any instances of vehicles running
into unexpected cyclists on the footpath?
         Chief Supt. Honor: I am not aware of any specific incident, but I am aware of accidents
with motorists backing over the top of children in driveways.
         Insp. Hannigan: With the warning system now with the new ADRs, a lot of that has been
taken away. In suburban streets, most of the people are fairly careful. It is around built-up areas,
with trucks backing out of blind allies and they cannot see. I think that that has had a fair sort of
an impact. Possibly the other area in bicycle offences is the range of penalties down in the
equipment area. It is still running at $2 per penalty, which is a matter that we are reconsidering in
this economic climate as to whether that should be taken up to the same range as the penalties
that were introduced on 1 January. That matter is still under consideration with the Road Safety
         The CHAIRMAN: The concept of bicycle licences has been raised on a number of
occasions, and apparently the Gatton police are active supporters of the concept. I believe they
are trialing it with the support of the Blue Light Discos. What are your views on that matter?
         Chief Supt. Honor: Recently, I had the opportunity of travelling to Goondiwindi. I walked
into Kentucky Fried—I think it was—and I saw a notice on the wall about the Goondiwindi bicycle
licensing program. My inquires with the local police sergeant revealed that one of the constables
who is an “adopt-a-cop” has a system running where he tests the local school children with theory
and practical issues about bicycle licences and issues laminated licences. Businesses in the town
support it, and the kids take their bicycle licences into any of those businesses and they get
discounts. It is a local agreement. The police have the authority to take that licence off the child
for any bad behaviour in relation to bicycle riding. I think it was a local initiative. I believe that in
closed-type localities some of those local initiatives are very good and have raised the level of
awareness about safety with children. I think that those who are involved in it should be
         The CHAIRMAN: It would not work in a Brisbane suburb, I would imagine.
         Chief Supt. Honor: No. Whilst I was in New South Wales, the local police were taking
heavy vehicles to schools and showing the children such things as the stopping distances
involved with heavy vehicles and things like that. When I spoke to the police in Goondiwindi they
said that they would take that on board with their local bike licensing because there are a lot of
heavy vehicles that move through that area. A lot of initiatives can be incorporated in the local
         Mr DOLLIN: According to media reports, Queensland police are seeking laws to ban
rollerbladers in shopping centres and business areas; and fines for rollerblading after dark.
Obviously, rollerbladers who also ride on public roads are a hazard to themselves and other road
users. What has prompted the police to seek these laws? Could you elaborate on exactly what
types of laws and controls you are seeking, and why? What are your views on the back-pack
motors for cyclists, skaters and skateboarders?
         Chief Supt. Honor: In relation to the back-pack, with the jet pack which is attached to the
back of rollerbladers, I believe that speeds in excess of 40 kilometres an hour can be reached. I

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am totally opposed to it in terms of those sorts of devices being used on rollerblades to propel
people on roads. I also believe that off road there are other safety factors which become a
problem even though they are not on a road. Certainly, I do not think that they should be
allowed to integrate with traffic, bicycles and pedestrian traffic.
         Mr DOLLIN: Are you aware of the situation in New South Wales and Victoria? How do
they handle it?
         Chief Supt. Honor: No, I am not. In relation to rollerblades, Inspector Hannigan spoke
before about the issue of the various categories of road users who wish to use our footpaths.
The rollerblade is only another one of those categories. I see in-line skates, as they are called, as
being a thing where there is little control if somebody with rollerblades on moves sharply around
the corner and comes face to face with a pedestrian. There is no breaking system; it is just up to
the ability of the individual to be able to manoeuvre it. He would obviously run into a very high-
risk situation with elderly pedestrians and people who cannot move out of the way quickly. It is
just another problem we face.
         Mr DOLLIN: Is it possible to determine which areas are safe and which areas are unsafe,
or do you believe that they are unsafe anywhere?
         Chief Supt. Honor: I take on board the previous comments about bicycles being allowed
to use our footpaths so long as they do not cause danger to other persons. I believe that in
behind that, the thinking was that we do not want young people out on some of our busy
highways mixing with large volumes of busy traffic. It is preferable probably to see them over on
the side of the road on the footpath. We do not have the numbers of bikeways at present, but,
alternatively, my suggestion would be that they should be on bikeways and not on the footpaths
where people walk. I believe that we are in a catch-22 situation where we have to look at
integrating them on the footpath. As was said before, we have the postman who travels across
the footpath; we have the bicycles; and we have pedestrians. If we want to put rollerskates and
some more things on there—our footpaths are only very narrow and they are obscured at
corners—we are only inviting trouble, as far as accidents are concerned.
         Mr DOLLIN: Do you believe that rollerskating and skateboarding, etc., is a passing fad, or
something that we will have to get serious with and legislate for? At present, of course, they are
wearing a bit of protective gear here and there, but it has been pointed out today that they do
not wear it on their head, and they probably need a helmet just as much as a cyclist.
         Insp. Hannigan: There is Federal cooperation in relation to this with the National Road
Transport Commission. There is a specimen in the Australian Road Regulations, and toy vehicles
and vehicles of such nature are contained in there. New South Wales has penalty regulations in
place for rollerblading, rollerskates and toy vehicles on roads.
         Mr DOLLIN: Can you tell us what they are? Do you know exactly how they handle that?
         Insp. Hannigan: They have a regulation down there; it is regulation 76 of their road traffic
law. It says that no person shall use a toy vehicle upon a road between the hours of sunset and
sunrise where there is a divided line, or where the road is divided by concrete barriers or a white
line. They are trying to restrict them to certain areas. The legislation carries a penalty of $37.50.
They have a strange penalty system down there that works on the consumer index. It is being
enforced there. They have quite a large variety of paraphernalia encroaching on the road—those
wind-powered sailboards with wheels on. That type is also starting to appear. They have
addressed that. The national bodies have recognised that problem. They are bringing into place
regulations that put a punitive penalty there, but the penalty has to be applied using
commonsense. If they are in an area where there is no great danger or using it around the
central business districts. We have seen an instance where an elderly lady was knocked down in
front of the post office and had compound fractures of the leg. If a fellow of my size was riding
those in-line skates—believe it or not, I have seen them—and if he collided with an elderly
person or a young person, serious injury could be constituted. There is quite a debate raging in
the press and letters come backwards and forwards. I made the mistake of making a statement
in the press, and I get letters backwards and forwards—some for it, some against it. As I have
said in the paper, there is room for everybody, but commonsense has to be applied and there is
a place for them. Amongst pedestrians in the mall and amongst pedestrians in heavily populated
areas where pedestrians are walking is not for them.

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         Mr DOLLIN: We do not have adequate laws yet to cover that, do you believe?
         Insp. Hannigan: We are developing those laws with the Road Safety Branch now as we
speak. We have had three or four meetings and we have looked at interstate legislation. We are
not totally happy with the definitions of a toy vehicle which refers only to children using it under
the age of 14. We have people of the age of 30 and 40 running around on those rollerskates, so
I think the scope of the actual application of the definition has to be expanded to suit our
particular needs.
         Mr NUNN: How big a factor is alcohol in pedestrian accidents?
         Chief Supt. Honor: To answer that truthfully, in terms of fatalities with pedestrians, they
are spelt out in the document that the Road Safety Division put out for the Department of
Transport. However, in terms of injuries with pedestrians, there are no blood specimens taken
because there are no powers at present to take those blood specimens; therefore, we do not
have complete access to that sort of statistical information. Certainly, with fatalities and post-
mortems, blood specimens and alcohol readings are taken and, therefore, we have the statistics
with fatalities. As to alcohol figures in actual pedestrian accidents, we would not have a true
statistical figure.
         Insp. Hannigan: The fatalities were 11 in 1991. In the year before, 1990, 22; the year
before that 1989, 18 or 19, and bicyclists are only 2 per cent. A lot of the accidents involving
pedestrians and peddle cyclists are taken to the casualty sections of the hospital and, on a lot of
occasions, the specimens are not taken because the police, when they are taken to a private
doctor, are not notified.
         Mr NUNN: But in fact you do not have the powers to ask for it?
         Chief Supt. Honor: From an injured person.
         Insp. Hannigan: From an injured person. If he is a rider or a cyclist, certainly, but if he is
an injured pedestrian, no, we have not.
         Mr NUNN: Would you think it would be desirable to have those powers?
         Chief Supt. Honor: For research purposes in terms of development of strategies in road
safety planning, it would be good to have that sort of information, yes.
         Insp. Hannigan: It is quite a simple matter. If the hospitals are matching blood—taking
blood from injured persons to match them for treatment—it would be quite easy to take a
specimen at the same time.
         Chief Supt. Honor: I think there is an unknown category in that injured pedestrian area
where alcohol is probably involved if you knew that you would have some better information as to
how you should approach the problem and how large the problem is.
         Mr NUNN: When pedestrians are under the influence, are they very often the cause of
the accident or are they a danger only to themselves?
         Chief Supt. Honor: I do not have statistical information in front of me. From my personal
experience, they are a danger not only to themselves but also to other motorists, bicycle riders
and any other persons who are using the road. I do not think that there is anything worse than a
driver who encounters a drunk pedestrian and the driver is at no fault. He never, ever forgets the
sort of experience that he goes through. At times, he almost feels helpless as to the occurrence.
It is a problem with how one deals with alcohol-affected pedestrians. It is a matter of education
and more awareness in terms of the responsibilities of all road users—not only motorists and
bicycle riders but also pedestrians. We need to raise the level of awareness of pedestrians as to
their responsibilities on the road.
         I am aware, for instance, that recently our metropolitan north region undertook a
campaign in relation to pedestrians and jaywalkers and issued some 100 cautions and 80-odd
traffic offence notices. My feedback from the regional traffic coordinator was that the police
encountered a real problem in terms of the reaction that they got from enforcement. Pedestrians
were blaming the police for enforcement and there was obviously no consideration in terms of
the purpose of policing, which was really about changing pedestrians’ attitudes and making our
roads safer. It is almost a cultural thing that some pedestrians do not take on the same
responsibility as motorists. We have to raise that level of responsibility and awareness about road

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safety. When police perform enforcement activities, that level of awareness can be raised only by
way of the media and whatever other sources to support it.
           The CHAIRMAN: It could be the problem, of course, that the pedestrian is upset about
the lack of facilities for safe crossing or the length of time that it takes to use facilities such as
traffic lights. Do you think that, if more consideration were given to providing better access, the
present attitude of disrespect for those facilities would be reduced?
           Chief Supt. Honor: Making the facilities available is one approach, but some attitudes
that presently exist about whether or not pedestrians will use pedestrian crossings will remain
unless the education aspect of it is addressed, as well. It is a joint thing. Overall, it is a very long-
term sort of thing, as I originally said, not only in terms of policy on planning for roads and
pedestrian crossings and providing more of those facilities but also in terms of education running
parallel with it and enforcement all the way along.
           Mr CAMPBELL: The Committee commissioned a study into pedestrian and cyclist
injuries in the Brisbane south health region. The data is gathered from hospitals in the region
and collated centrally. In the period 1988-92, data on more than 1 200 pedestrian injury cases
and more than 5 400 cyclist injury cases was gathered. Those cases were mainly unreported to
the police. Why are there so many unreported accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists and
what can be done to increase the level of reporting and thus improve the quality and accuracy of
official data?
           Chief Supt. Honor: When a lot of those people in the pedestrian/bicycle area are
involved in an accident on the road, they do not understand that there is an obligation to report
it. It is a matter of education and raising the level of awareness. As to how that is best done—it is
probably via the newspapers and the electronic media. Also, we should take advantage of those
transactions that are performed with driver’s licences, registrations and areas such as that where
motorists make contact and there is provision of some sorts of brochures and things like that.
           Mr CAMPBELL: There is a $2,500 limit on property damage. Is that too high with regard
to the reporting of accidents?
           Chief Supt. Honor: When it was under that, the police became heavily involved in a lot of
paperwork and a lot of administrative stuff. As the costs of repairs went up, they found
themselves involved with a lot of minor accidents. Raising the limit has freed police a lot to be
able to do other duties.
           The CHAIRMAN: Quite obviously, a lot of people either do not know or do not report
accidents that involve injury without any real property damage above $2,500. Obviously, it is a
matter of educating people as to their rights and also their responsibilities. Who can do that
           Chief Supt. Honor: Probably, the best age group is that age group in Year 11 and Year
12 before students become part of the big wide world. It is also very much in amongst all that
school education process. It is important that, by the time children leave school, they have a very
good comprehension of their obligations with respect to road safety.
           The CHAIRMAN: Quite obviously, there is a heavy concentration at the lower end of the
education system but then it disappears from the high school situation. Would you say that we
are not doing enough in continuing that process on from primary school to high school and not
addressing the situation that kids tend to forget some of that when they move on through the
grades and no longer get it? Do you think that there should be an ongoing process right through
the education system?
           Chief Supt. Honor: I believe so. Once students leave the school system and move into
society, it becomes much harder to get your message through to a group or a wider category of
people. It is much more cost effective, I believe, in terms of getting the message through and
instilling it at an early age to do it within the total school/education system from start to finish.
           The CHAIRMAN: Would you agree that there is a real incentive when they are going for
their driver’s licence to know all about it but, after that, that incentive disappears when they no
longer have to know those particular facts?
           Chief Supt. Honor: There are some different categories of people in our younger class of
people. Some are very responsible people after obtaining their licences. Others fall foul to peer

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pressure and want to do all the things that young people are probably good at. Would you take
me back to your original question?
         THE CHAIRMAN: I was asking whether the time of getting a licence is the opportunity to
ensure that they know what their responsibilities are, and that it would be much easier to educate
them up to the stage of getting a licence to know those facts rather than try to get a message
across afterwards when there is no longer any pressure on them to know?
         Chief Supt. Honor: Yes, I believe so. I also believe that they go through practical testing
in relation to their driver’s licences. They learn a lot about the road rules and they pass tests. In
terms of defensive driving and understanding how you get out of a problem, particularly on some
of the country roads with the gravel and different sorts of surfaces, a lot of those skills are
obtained only through experience. There is a need to incorporate that defensive driving aspect of
driver training within our current licensing system.
         The CHAIRMAN: What about a philosophy of road safety? Do you think that it is
necessary to establish a philosophy of road safety and driver education in students before they
get their licences?
         Insp. Hannigan: That is very true because, once they have reached the age of 17, they
have a fairly well-formed understanding of what their values and norms are. It is very important
that we get at them at an extremely early stage. A lot of our driver training and a lot of our driver
instruction is given on how to pass a test. In the metropolitan area, I do not know, but I would be
very surprised if many of them were exposed to driving a motor vehicle on the open road at 100
km/h. If people are driving between Emerald and Rockhampton, a lot of people do not know how
to drive defensively. They do not know how to take evasive action, how to drive into the setting
sun or how to stop. We spend a lot of time teaching them how to drive but not how to drive for
the circumstances that are prevailing at the time. A good example is when it rains. People tend
to pick up speed. It is as though somebody dropped the chequered flag at the racecourse and
they are off. They think that the police would not be standing out in the rain with radars, because
they would get wet. Technology is around the corner that will remedy that.
         We need to get at the children at a very early age. It is manifested by their total disregard
on a lot of occasions for the normal rules that apply to pedestrians and to the riding of bikes.
That behaviour is transferred because when they first obtain a driver’s licence, they are very
young and they think that they are bulletproof. They want to get out and go for their lives. We
need to have a whole change. It is very difficult with the youth of today; they are very
headstrong, but they need to drive in a defensive manner. On many occasions, people in the
metropolitan area are taught to drive in Brisbane. If they set out on holiday for Rockhampton or
Yeppoon or wherever the case may be, they have no perception of the different conditions
prevailing, and they do not drive in an appropriate manner to be able to take aversive action
when they get into difficulties.
         The CHAIRMAN: By the same token, people who have learned to drive in rural areas
have difficulty when they come to the city, do they not?
         Insp. Hannigan: Yes. The old saying is, if he has a hat on, you take a fair skirt around
him. It works both ways.
         Mr LESTER: I have driven all my life in the bush and, touch wood, so far I have not had
a prang. When I come to the city, I am much more aware of what the difficulties can be. The
other day, my daughter was driving me around. She likes animals, and a possum of all things
ran out in front of us. She swerved the car and nearly lost us both. She saved it, but that is the
sort of idiotic thing that can happen. While trying to avoid a possum, we could have swerved into
another car, we could have turned over or anything could have happened. Fortunately, she was
below the speed limit, and that is probably all that saved us. Had she been on the speed limit
and swerved, we would have been still rolling over.
         Chief Supt Honor: At the start of every holiday period—it does not matter whether it is
Easter, Christmas, a long weekend or whatever—that is the thing of which we are in fear. We
know that many motorists will be travelling in areas in which they have never been before. We
have this urgent desire to try to contain and control that. We do it by way of talking to people via
the media. However, that is not always an effective way of doing things, because we do not
always reach people. It is only after the holidays are finished when I read the road statistics and

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the causes of the road accidents that I think to myself, “All those people have been injured or
killed and obviously we never reached them or something never got across.” It gets back to what
Insp. Hannigan was talking about, in country areas on long stretches of roads. That is a very
valid point. It happens a lot at holiday time.
          The CHAIRMAN: Would you say that the average driver, having attained his licence,
really does not have any understanding of the fact that pedestrians and cyclists constitute a
danger or a possible accident, and that drivers really should be given more instruction in the
system before they go out on the road? For instance, elderly pedestrians cannot judge the
speed of an approaching vehicle, nor can children. Also, children run out between parked cars
and that sort of thing. Is there some way in which students could be educated as to those
dangers before they are allowed out on the road?
          Chief Supt Honor: I think it is part of that defensive driving package about which I spoke
earlier. It has to be addressed in there. For instance, you mentioned the elderly. Some people
cannot hear really well. Drivers need to understand the road environment a lot better; they need
to be aware of some of the things that can happen inadvertently if they are not driving
defensively all the time.
          The CHAIRMAN: It would appear that a much greater need exists for a higher standard
of education for people before they attain a drivers’ licence; would that be the case?
          Insp Hannigan: Yes, most definitely. They are taught how to drive but not in what
manner to drive. They are just shown how to steer the vehicle, but when it comes to braking or
when the road becomes wet or when some emergency develops, on many occasions there is
just no second chance and people are driving in an inappropriate manner. They just do not have
the perception of something coming up. They do not look ahead; they just look at the car in
front. They need to look at the whole picture of what is coming up to be able to plan ahead. Mr
Lester mentioned his incident with a possum. Recently, I was trying to teach my daughter to
drive. A cat ran across the road and she did the same as his daughter. I said, “You run over it.”
          Chief Supt Honor: One cannot really approach it by saying that drivers should learn by
way of experience. The costs are too high.
          The CHAIRMAN: One of the costs could be the life of a pedestrian or a cyclist.
          Chief Supt Honor: Exactly.
          Mr LESTER: My daughter has done all of the driver training courses. She is a qualified
coronary care nursing sister, so she is pretty sensible. She is 27 years of age. I said, “What on
earth made you do that?” She said, “Well, I was not taught not to.” We had been so careful with
her to make sure that everything was right. She has never been in trouble. The only time she
ever got into strife was when a policeman had a few words to her because she made a U-turn
when she should not have. Apart from that, there has been no trouble. She has never been
booked for speeding or anything. She is basically a person who has been careful, yet a thing
such as that was missed in the system somewhere.
          Mr J. N. GOSS: I am very sorry for being late back. When I was in Germany, the
Department of Transport made it compulsory to do 16 hours’ training under a professional
instructor. Mum and dad could not teach their children to drive and then send them off to an
instructor for a couple of lessons. Further, when they took a driving test, drivers were evaluated
on their ability behind the wheel. That included not just doing the right thing, such as being able
to do a reverse park, but their confidence behind the wheel. Drivers have to know how to drive at
120 kilometres an hour down the road, which is permissible in Germany. All of those things add
up to the total test of whether one receives a licence. It is very expensive to get a licence over
there, and people appreciate their licences more. I often wonder whether it should not be more
difficult to get a licence here and then, after the first year, to be evaluated or to have to
undertake a defensive driving course after one year behind the wheel.
          Chief Supt Honor: I think that the defensive driving course fits in there. If not before,
certainly, an evaluation after 12 months. I think that is valid. I believe that fits in even before
people go on the road.
          Mr J. N. GOSS: I guess we all go through this: I will be driving down the road and there
will be a cyclist and a car coming the other way, and I have to weigh up, “Do I brake?”, because
everybody is sitting on my tail, or, “Do I accelerate and go round him.” There are all those

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judgments to make and, even after years of driving, some of those judgments are still hard to
make. To have a new driver out on the road, asking him or her to make those judgments——
         Chief Supt Honor: I spoke about experience before, and many of those sorts of skills
had only been attained in real-life situations. I spoke of the costs that are involved. Perhaps
there should be more mock-type situations in an off-road environment, but the facilities have to
be available, and there is a cost there, as well.
         Mr DOLLIN: I learned to drive—and I hope I became a reasonably good driver—from all
of my near escapes. I probably would not have been here, but I had an A-model Ford that would
not do more than 40 miles an hour. The steering was pretty crook and the brakes were nearly
non-existent, but it made a fairly good driver out of me because I had to learn to allow for all of
those things—providing I escaped in enough time to do so. I visited the Gympie Driver Training
Centre with this Committee. I had a drive around that facility as a passenger, and it frightened
the hell out of me. The sort of thing that we do not realise is how long it takes to stop and what
happens if one hits a bit of loose gravel or some water. All of that is part of that driving course. I
have one daughter who is still to learn to drive. I intend to make sure that she undertakes that
course. When travelling in a car, one does not have a sensation that one is moving all that fast.
It is pretty surprising how far a car travels after the brakes are applied. Gympie does not have
narrow streets as we do here, but we were lucky that there were not many cars around to pick us
up when we made our mistakes. I think that everyone should do one of those courses, even if it
is for only two hours. People need to be placed in certain situations. They need to be given a
mark on which to pull up quickly. They need to get in a car with a highly proficient driver who will
show them how to get out of a skid by using opposite steering techniques, etc. I learned all of
those things in a situation that could have killed me.
         Chief Supt Honor: I believe you have hit on some very valid things. In terms of the
practical aspect, it is a bit like a policeman—the only good one is the one who has done it in
practice and who knows the theory as well. It is a mix of both. I have two daughters who have
just attained their drivers’ licences. Every time it rains, I make a point of phoning home to say,
“Will you tell my two daughters to watch it; it is raining; it takes extra time to stop; be careful.” As
Insp. Hannigan said, we see it all the time—when it rains, the accidents increase.
         Mr DOLLIN: Pile-ups occur because people do not realise.
         Chief Supt Honor: That is right. If drivers hit the brakes suddenly, they often start
aquaplaning. I am trying to get across to my daughters the point that you are making—if you
have not experienced it before, you do not know about it. Once you have experienced it once,
you will never forget it.
         Mr DOLLIN: There is nothing better than a good fright, of course.
         Chief Supt Honor: Exactly, but it is best that it happens off-road rather than on-road.
         Mr DOLLIN: And that you survive.
         Insp. Hannigan: I would have to support Chief Supt Honor in what he is saying. There
are a number of organisations around that are offering this type of service.
         Mr DOLLIN: There is one at Gympie.
         Insp. Hannigan: Yes, there are quite a few of them around. It is very expensive.
However, if they held courses for two hours or three hours, the cost would come down, if that
type of training was necessary. Bearing in mind the carnage and the cost to society, I think that
people should be exposed to that. It is like flying an aeroplane. It is no good sitting in the
classroom learning about it and talking about it, and then going out and suddenly discovering, “I
have to land. How do I manage that?” We just train people, in the best possible circumstances,
to drive, to park and to do the menial tasks, but we fail to give to them the very basic survival
skills, such as how to brake if they have a blow-out on a tyre. I have seen it countless times in
the country. The first thing people do is apply the brakes, and then head-over-turkey they go. If
they get into a skid, they have no perception of how to turn into them, and the same applies to
braking. Some people who are booked for doing 100 miles an hour maintain that their speed
was safe. They do not realise that it only takes a possum to jump onto the road or a policeman
to jump onto the road to stop them speeding, and then what can be done?

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          Chief Supt Honor: There is value in addressing those issues. Those sorts of incidents
happen to people who are genuinely interested in road safety and who are trying to do the right
thing. There is another category of people who just are not doing the right thing and are really
victims of their own actions. However, many of the things we are talking about happen to people
who are driving along trying to do the right thing, so to speak, but something outside of their
control occurs and they find themselves in a dangerous situation.
          The CHAIRMAN: A pedestrian or a cyclist is always an unexpected occurrence, and
many drivers have no experience of it. They do not understand that a wet road will make things
more difficult; they think that the speed limit applies whether the road is wet or whether there is a
fog or whether there is grease on the road or whatever. They do not seem to understand that
other factors come into it. Sometimes, the speed limit is too high. Inappropriate speed causes
many of the problems.
          Chief Supt Honor: Yes. I think I spoke about that earlier on, the words “inappropriate
speed”. It really goes back to that and following in behind it with enforcement. It is also the total
road environment, taking everything into account. It is being able to read a whole range of
things. It gets back to that business of whether people learn by experience or whether we
approach it by way of providing some facilities and some training programs where they can do
those things.
          Insp. Hannigan: Perhaps we could place some responsibility upon the major motor
vehicle manufacturers. When they supply a vehicle, as part of the sale of that vehicle, that must
include a certain amount of driver training for the person who buys it. That would be a way to
approach it, because everybody who is involved in the motoring public has to take some
          The CHAIRMAN: The cost is about $1,400m a year in Queensland alone for road
          Chief Supt. Honor: The stakeholders would be the insurance companies——
          Mr DOLLIN: And families.
          Insp. Hannigan: They should all contribute.
          Chief Supt. Honor: There is a whole broad range of them and obviously there is a need
for some contribution by all those who are adversely affected by it. It gets back to the principle of
our State road safety strategy that has just been launched. It is all about all stakeholders working
          The CHAIRMAN: I will take up an aspect of that point later.
          Mr CAMPBELL: I wish to follow through with your point about regulations concerning
rollerblading, or the possibility of them. In the inner-city areas of large cities, I can see a place for
rollerblading as a new means of transportation—basically, for courier services. They started off
with cyclists. Will the new regulations take account of that? I have seen it in other big cities, such
as New York, where rollerbladers were providing that service.
          Insp. Hannigan: There have been four applications before me and the Department of
Transport to license rollerblades as licensed delivery vehicles. I do not know how I can license a
pair of in-line skates, and we are scratching our heads at the moment. The disadvantage is
illustrated by the woman who was knocked down in front of the GPO and had the compound
fracture. That injury was caused by a delivery rider, and this is where we have the conflict
between pedestrians and people in the streets. These riders are on tight schedules and they are
travelling quite fast. As you might have seen, they do some fairly startling things such as travel
down steps and across footpaths. We have had complaints from people about rollerbladers on
the road and those who have been knocking down pedestrians, including elderly and young
people. Of course, we have our professional complainers and professional supporters on each
side, and that is a problem. If we licensed them, 90 per cent of the people will act in an
appropriate manner, but a very small minority of people do not conduct themselves in an
appropriate manner in the same prevailing circumstances. If they travel reasonably safely, there
are no problems. The same situation arose in the mall. There were suggestions that there were
snatches and grabs of bags. Some of the proprietors of the shops there were complaining
bitterly. When I went around to try to establish that, it turned out that it just did not exist and we
did not have any leads to counter it. I know that there are several people who are delivering

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articles around the buildings and we have not had any great problems as yet. Once the
regulations come in, if they are transgressing and riding in a dangerous manner, it is quite a
simple matter to amend the regulation to include in-line skates. If they are going about their
business in a proper manner in certain circumstances, so be it; but if they start to transgress and
act in a manner that compromises other road users, they will have to be dealt with in the
appropriate manner.
         Mr DOLLIN: Will we be seeing police on roller-skates catching these fellows?
         Insp. Hannigan: Alan and I are going to try on a purple pair this afternoon. New South
Wales is doing it.
         Chief Supt. Honor: The bicycles certainly worked.
         Mr DOLLIN: They certainly did, but you are not going to catch them on a bike, are you?
You might be able to run them down.
         Chief Supt. Honor: Bicycles getting police into all these types of areas has been a good
thing for many places. The other factor I might mention is that in terms of bikeways and their
construction, if they run through bush areas and places like that, other problems can
develop—particularly attacks on women and children, etc. There is a need to look closely at
where those bikeways run.
         Mr CAMPBELL: There are no bikeways that actually service the inner city.
         Insp. Hannigan: The only one that gives any service to the inner city is the one that runs
from the Regatta Hotel. The roads were never constructed to include bikeways. In 1992, I was in
Melbourne when the bike fraternity was complaining bitterly about theirs being a legitimate road
use, but the roads did not have any facilities to permit their riding. The road users, such as
buses, trucks and cars, used the old syndrome that might is right, and the bike riders have
consistently been pushed off their bikes. The other day, I saw one in the Valley myself. The
roads were never designed to accommodate special bikeways being built on the actual
         Mr CAMPBELL: In Shanghai, there are special parts of the road that are made for
         Insp. Hannigan: And Holland has the same.
         Chief Supt. Honor: Just on the safety aspect, I should point out that the Police Service
has been involved in a safety audit program in the Metropolitan South Region where the
community has been identifying unsafe areas such as where there is a need for better lighting
and where there are trees and things that create safety problems for people. In terms of future
development, there is a need for safety audits with set criteria to be part and parcel of the
preliminaries that lead up to the actual development going ahead where developers, the
community, police and whoever else is involved, can get together and work out some of the
issues that need to be taken into account in the development when planning for bikeways and
lighting, and whether there should or should not be trees. You can see places where bike racks
are shrouded by trees and people go behind them to steal the bikes. The same applies to cars,
and those things affect people a lot and they change their attitude towards using public
         The CHAIRMAN: It is very difficult to overcome some of those problems. Has it occurred
to you at any time that frustration could be a cause of some accidents—for instance, pedestrians
who have difficulty crossing a major road, particularly with long cycle times for traffic lights? Those
people may take a chance and dodge across when it is not safe to do so. Motorists who are held
up get tense and tend to take a risk after being held up in a long line of traffic for a long time. I
have noticed older pedestrians are often unsure of themselves and fail to go across when there
is plenty of time to do so and then have to wait so long for a chance to occur again that they
tend to take risks. Has there been any study done on that aspect of road safety from the point of
view of frustration causing accidents?
         Chief Supt. Honor: I am not aware of any specific research, but, based on personal
experience, I believe that the decision-making process in terms of crossing a road very much
involves, to start off with, getting from point A to point B. There is a certain amount of risk-taking
in that decision-making process, and that is where we see people moving across roads where it

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is not safe. In terms of the other one you mentioned, the elderly, I think that there is a need for
better education. There should be more lectures and material available to them to make them
aware of where it is best to cross in particular communities, and some of the real risk factors that
are involved in terms of the locations of some of the accidents and the history of the particular
          The CHAIRMAN: We looked at this in Victoria and noticed that some accidents were
occurring at some locations. Rather than prohibiting people from crossing in some unsafe
locations, would it be better to prevent people from crossing? In Moorvale, for instance, they
have put a large barrier up there.
          Insp. Hannigan: And they have put one in at Brackenridge on the bypass road. It could
be either an underpass or an overpass that would take people away from the road. We could put
up physical barriers to make them use it.
          Chief Supt. Honor: It is a little bit the same as motor vehicle accidents, really. There are a
lot of high-risk highways, if you look back in history at where accidents have happened. The
same applies to pedestrians because there are some roads where there have been some
serious pedestrian accidents in the past. If people are more aware of that, they are more inclined
to take it into account when making their own decisions about where they will move.
          The CHAIRMAN: So more publicity might be the answer if the media are willing to carry it.
One of the suggestions we received today is that it is virtually unsafe to have kids under 10 riding
bikes on the road at all, and that is certainly the case on busy major roads. Would there be any
way of preventing them from doing so, if that were decided?
          Chief Supt. Honor: In terms of passing legislation to police those sorts of issues, it is a
little bit like erecting a speed sign to overcome a speeding problem. It cannot be effectively
addressed by the erection of a speed sign; it involves the education and enforcement categories
also because, unless it is actually in force and people are actually complying, you are not
achieving what you set out to do. In terms of children aged 1 to 10, I accept that, as parents and
as police authorities, we would rather not have our young children there if there is a safety
risk—as there is a lot of the time—particularly when they are interacting with cars and heavy
traffic. But in terms of the size of our State, prohibiting children up to the age of 10 years from
riding on the road would create, on the one side, hardship for a lot of families, particularly those
who live in areas where public transport is not available and where children have to get to
schools and various other places. On the other side, it comes back to an element of parental
control and responsibility in terms of educating children about the risks involved in being on the
road. There is also an element of responsibility on the authorities—the police and education
system—to ensure that advantage is taken of delivering the type of lectures to those children
that will raise their awareness. If it is attempted to be addressed by way of placing the ball in the
court of the authorities alone, making legislation and having authorities police it, we will probably
still have children out there riding bicycles. It becomes a matter of priority in enforcement and an
issue of resources’ availability which will enable us to police it.
          I go back to the size of our State and the types of hardships that people would be placed
in. I do not think it is an easy problem to address. I think that it should be approached in the
three areas—parental, educational and policing—and the police share a joint education and
enforcement role. It is not easy.
          The CHAIRMAN: I have received a letter from a woman who complains of a clear breach
of the law which endangered her and her children on the road, but there were no police to
witness it and no action could be taken against the driver although she had the number of the
car. What do you see are the problems in that situation? If somebody wanted to report a driver
who endangered them, is there any way that they themselves can take action, or are the police
able to take action? I do not think it is something over which we should spend a lot of time, quite
frankly, but I think I should put the question to you.
          Chief Supt. Honor: Basically, the procedure is that a private person who witnesses a
traffic incident and who has the number can report it to the police. The police can establish the
owner’s name and address and then set about establishing who the driver was. They can
interview the driver and put the allegations of the particular person to the driver and then it really
becomes a matter of establishing whether there is sufficient evidence to prove the elements of
any particular offence. Of course, that will depend on the admissions, the availability of witnesses

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and weighing up the evidence to see if a prosecution can be launched. But it certainly could be
         The CHAIRMAN: The prosecution could be launched?
         Chief Supt Honor: Yes.
         The CHAIRMAN: What sort of corroborative evidence would you need to do that?
         Chief Supt Honor: For instance, if the complainant has made the complaint, and the
person responsible is interviewed and admits it, and the elements of the offence can be proved,
there is no problem. And, for instance, if the complainant has made the complaint and the
offender denies it, and there are sufficient witnesses to establish beyond a reasonable doubt
that he has committed it, and the elements of the offence can be substantiated, once again
there is a case.
         The CHAIRMAN: So they would need independent witnesses?
         Chief Supt Honor: Yes, to establish that that person was the driver at a particular time
and location and drove a particular car and committed the elements of the offence. It can be
proved by any of those means.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: It would be a very expensive process, would it not?
         Chief Supt Honor: As far as adopting it as a general method of enforcement, it would be
very resource intensive. But people are entitled to make complaints about traffic matters, and
police are obliged to follow those through.
         The CHAIRMAN: Is there anything that you believe you could add to what we have
discussed this afternoon? It has been a wide-ranging discussion.
         Insp. Hannigan: There is only one thing I have to say in relation to the encouragement
for the training. Perhaps insurance companies could offer a discount if a person had undertaken
that type of defensive driving training, as part of a package to encourage people to participate in
         The CHAIRMAN: What method of encouragement would you envisage?
         Insp Hannigan: If they had undertaken a defensive driving course and/or one of the
specific driving courses, perhaps the insurance company could give them a discount of, say, 10
per cent or 15 per cent.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Or reduce the excess?
         Insp. Hannigan: Yes.
         Chief Supt Honor: Whilst we have spoken about pedestrians and bicycles and some
other things, I think that it is important to recognise that element of inappropriate speed which I
spoke about, because it is very relevant to the pedestrian and the cyclist and that stopping
distance that we spoke about. The changing of driver attitudes in relation to speed is very
important. I spoke about drink-driving and how we have come a long way there, but I think we
really have to address speed in this State before we make significant further achievements in
terms of road trauma.
         The CHAIRMAN: Thank you both for coming in.

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         ROBERT JOHN COLLINS, examined:
         The CHAIRMAN: Would you state your full name and position in the Local Government
Association for the Hansard record?
         Mr Collins: My name is Robert John Collins and my title is Senior Research Officer for
the Local Government Association of Queensland.
         Mr LESTER: Can you describe the consultation process through which you get
information on the matters that local authorities wish you to pursue on their behalf?
         Mr Collins: Yes. There are various means that councils can use to submit matters to the
association for action. The primary method is via our annual conference. Every
August/September we have a forum of local authorities. They put up resolutions, and they are
decided on by delegates at the conference to try to get a consensus view of what might be
called association policy on matters which they wish us then to pursue with other levels of
government. There are also district association meetings where they put up views from a group
of councils, or individual councils may submit requests to the association to take action on their
behalf. As far as possible, we try to get a combined local authority viewpoint, because we are
there to represent the overall view of local government from the Statewide perspective. You may
find that some district associations may have problems with their particular area which may not
occur in other areas, so we try to get a Statewide view which we put up to government. We also
encourage district associations to work through the association rather than to put up parochial
views, to make sure we do have a Statewide viewpoint.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: Your association’s submission, one could say, predominantly deals with
how your organisation has sought appropriate powers for local authorities to exercise control over
skateboarders, etc.
         Mr Collins: To some extent it has been overridden a bit, because there was an
amendment to the regulations in January to allow bicycle riding on footpaths where it was safe to
do so and where it was not an obstruction to other traffic on the footpath. So it has to some
extent been diminished, although our request was for local authorities to determine when those
matters should be allowed, but it has been given a blanket exemption subject to those
         Mr J. N. GOSS: How does your association feel about the blanket cover?
         Mr Collins: I do not know whether it has been back since January to reconsider that
matter. I have not got an association view on that. Certainly, it does cover some of our request in
that it does allow the children to ride legally on the footpath now without any prosecution or any
warnings for it being an offence. We did want to go a little further to say that it was up to the
council to decide when those conditions allowed that to happen.
         Mr DOLLIN: Why is the association seeking these powers to control only persons under
17 years of age?
         Mr Collins: I think originally it was because they knew that anyone above 18 could be
given a traffic offence notice. This was back in 1987, when we were looking at that particular
matter. They were worried about juvenile offenders and the fact that they could not be
prosecuted. So they were trying to get some way of controlling young children on roads. They
might have been misbehaving on the footpaths.
         Mr NUNN: How much support is there amongst local authorities for them to have control
over this type of activity? How do you feel about having responsibility for enforcing the by-law?
         Mr Collins: In most cases of local authority autonomy, they like to have the option for
those councils. They usually say, “We will have the power. If we wish to exercise it, we will.” But
for those councils which feel that it is covered at the moment, they will not enforce it. So it is to
provide them with an option. It is really to provide them with the enabling power, which they can
take up if they wish. If they do not wish to, they do not have to use it.
         Mr NUNN: I can understand that it would be a difficult by-law to enforce, especially in the
         Mr Collins: Yes, but the whole idea of local authority by-laws is that if there is a particular
problem, they can be enacted in a particular local authority area. If there is no problem, then
they do not use it.

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          Mr NUNN: Generally speaking, they act after receiving a complaint. It seems to me that
there is a great proliferation of people now using footpaths. Apart from postmen, people are
delivering things and more people are walking on footpaths; but at the time of subdivision, the
streets are getting narrower. Of course, there are two reasons for that, not the least of which is
that local authorities have their eye on the maintenance cost after the period of maintenance by
the developer escapes. Do you think that it would not be a bad idea if local authorities were to
perhaps look at widening the footpaths, or some other thing to accommodate——
          Mr Collins: To accommodate that? Yes, that is a possibility.
          Mr NUNN: I mean, I know that in the end it is going to cost a little bit more for the end
user, the people who actually purchase the allotments. However, we are about safety, and I think
that most local authorities would honour their responsibilities in that matter. I would be very
          Mr Collins: So are you suggesting that maybe in the subdivision standards——
          Mr NUNN: Yes. At the time of subdivision, they should be able to say that the footpaths
will be of such a width, the same as they can for road widths. They can require a seven-metre
road or, in some cases, they can require a four-metre road. I was wondering if you think that the
local authorities would be prepared to take on that responsibility.
          Mr Collins: It would be something that could be recommended to them, yes.
          Mr NUNN: Thank you.
          Mr CAMPBELL: Just to follow up Mr Nunn’s questions—apart from by-laws, which really
look at the issue through enforcement, what other measures do you think you could take to
improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists?
          Mr Collins: I suppose that education and awareness could be the other way to try to
make people aware that other users are on the footpath.
          Mr CAMPBELL: Do you think that the local authorities consider the infrastructure in
providing refuges, wider footpaths and bikeways? Do you really think that they put in enough
time in that matter?
          Mr Collins: It varies. Some councils, such as in Townsville, can hold up good examples.
They have good policies on bicycle practice, and so on. It is only through getting this information
to other councils that they can see that they have a greater role to play.
          The CHAIRMAN: Certainly, some cities, such as Townsville, have provided a network of
bikeways along their roads. However, in general, is local government doing enough to make
cycling safer?
          Mr Collins: I suppose it all comes back to money. With available funding—whether that
be by bikeways grants—I think that that is something which will be given more prominence in the
future. There is a prospect that there will be.
          The CHAIRMAN: It seems that are many lobby groups in the community that are working
for other road users, but really, pedestrians have nobody in particular to lobby for their rights. As
a pedestrian in the City of Brisbane, I am often rather frustrated by the time that it takes me to
walk along a route such as from Parliament House to the railway station at Roma Street because
of the time that I spend standing waiting for traffic lights to change. Should there be better
facilities for pedestrians to stop them from taking risks in crossing the road?
          Mr Collins: Yes. A good example of a divided walkway is that which goes from the
station through to Post Office Square. That is a good access way. If there were more of those in
cities, that would certainly be of benefit to pedestrians.
          The CHAIRMAN: What about pedestrian refuges in the middle of wide roads and multi-
lane roads? Do you think that more could be done to make it safer for pedestrians?
          Mr Collins: Yes. Again, that is another engineering suggestion.
          The CHAIRMAN: Of course, the phasing of traffic lights is quite a problem because they
are phased to facilitate the flow of traffic, and the pedestrian gets tacked on. Do you think that
more consideration could be given to improving the actual time that is available for pedestrians
at road crossings?

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          Mr Collins: It is not something about which I have gone into great depth, so I really
could not comment on that.
          The CHAIRMAN: I see. Do local authorities have a role in educating people on road
safety issues, such as the conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and road vehicles?
          Mr Collins: Yes. The association would certainly see local government in the community
as having a responsibility in educating the community.
          The CHAIRMAN: What about employing methods of preventing pedestrians from
crossing at unsafe locations, such as erecting fences, planter boxes and things like that? Is that
within the province of local government?
          Mr Collins: Certainly not on declared roads.
          The CHAIRMAN: No, on their own.
          Mr Collins: On their own roads, which they have control over, that is part of their traffic
management, yes.
          The CHAIRMAN: And is enough being done in that area?
          Mr Collins: Again, I really could not give an overall comment, but I am sure that there is
always room for improvement.
          The CHAIRMAN: Of course, many aspects relate to enforcement, and that is a matter for
the police. However, when areas are being developed, is there general cooperation between
local government and police?
          Mr Collins: I think you might recall that in our submission we made the comment that
Belyando had some problems with the local police in enforcing some of their laws with children
on bicycles. They were not getting a great deal of cooperation there. I do not know whether that
is an indication of a general lack of cooperation, but we have not had a great deal of complaints
in that regard, no.
          The CHAIRMAN: One of the issues that has been put to this Committee by local
authorities is that local authorities could operate speed cameras to reduce speed limits rather
than going to the expense of putting in LATM facilities to reduce speeds. What is the
          Mr Collins: The association does not have an overall Statewide viewpoint on that, but
we are aware of the particular local authority that made those comments. We also commented
on it, I think, before the State road strategy that was released last week. We tried to see whether
they were going to include that position as well.
          The CHAIRMAN: You have no firm view on speed cameras per se?
          Mr Collins: It has not been to an association meeting as such. We have not confirmed a
policy on it, no.
          The CHAIRMAN: A suggestion has been made that young children under 10 years of
age should not be allowed to cycle on roads at all. Has that been considered at all?
          Mr Collins: It was in the stage when we were trying to get them off the road. Certainly,
where facilities such as a bikeway, a shared footpath or something like that exists, we would say
that they should use the particular facility. However, where it is just an ordinary footpath, you
would then have to consider whether or not they are actually causing problems with other
          The CHAIRMAN: Harking back to the problem of pedestrians crossing the road, where
the development presents volumes of traffic to warrant a facility to cross the road, such as an
underpass or an overpass, would it be possible for local authorities to require developers to
contribute towards the cost that facility?
          Mr Collins: It is a condition that they could impose at the time of a subdivision or a
rezoning, but it would then have to be tested as to whether it is a reasonable and relevant
condition under the Planning and Environment Act. I suppose, it would be appealable.
          The CHAIRMAN: Appealable in the court? Are there any further questions?

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         Mr DOLLIN: A while ago, you mentioned that you would like to see the local authorities
have the option to decide whether they would take on certain controls of various things, such as
         Mr Collins: If they were able to.
         Mr DOLLIN: If they wanted to, or were able to. Do you not think that that would probably
not be the best way to go about it, because you would not have uniformity from one shire to
another? You would have a different set of regulations and rules.
         Mr Collins: I suppose that goes to the heart of local government. The community likes to
see what suits its particular area. What may be suitable for one area may not suit another. So it
would depend on the particular problems—whether there was a need to regulate it, or whether it
can just leave it to the general regulation.
         Mr DOLLIN: I thought that if every shire had a different set of regulations, we would end
up with a hotchpotch sort of system throughout the State. You would have to re-educate people
as they shifted around, or re-educate drivers who shift from area to area.
         Mr Collins: Mainly, if it was going to be prohibited—for instance, in a particular area they
wanted to put up a sign to say that bicycle riding was prohibited in that particular area, or
something like that—I suppose they might do it by proper signage. Generally, now that that
regulation has come in, it has satisfied a lot of our earlier concerns. At least it gives an exemption
from the requirement for prohibition, subject to those safety provisions.
         Mr DOLLIN: Thank you very much.
         Mr CAMPBELL: On the aspect on safety—evidence has been given to us that most of
the injuries, or deaths, caused to the elderly, or to children, occur on suburban roads. In other
words, they are the responsibility of local authorities. It more or less asks the question that
perhaps more could be done. In effect, if this is a real problem, should not local authorities be
doing more? They should be looking at road safety rather than just putting a bit of tar on the
road and saying, “We are providing access. We have finished.”
         Mr Collins: As I said earlier, it goes back to money. Councils, working on a balanced
budget system, can expend only according to the revenue that they get in. More money is now
going towards black spots on local authority roads than there was in the past. So subject to
available funding, they are able, and are performing, to the best of their ability.
         Mr CAMPBELL: In other words, as long as the other levels of government provide
funding for road safety, local government will spend it, but you are not prepared to raise the
funds themselves to really look at road safety?
         Mr Collins: No, I did not suggest that. I suggest that it all depends on all sources of
revenue, whether that be from their own rates revenue, or from State or Federal funding.
         The CHAIRMAN: What about some fairly inexpensive factor, or procedure, such as
pavement markings on the road warning of the approach to zebra crossings and things like that?
Does local government have a responsibility to provide that sort of facility—to advise of the
approach to zebra crossings and changes of speed limit on council-controlled roads?
         Mr Collins: They would work within the manual of uniform traffic control devices.
         The CHAIRMAN: It is permissible but not enforceable?
         Mr Collins: Yes.
         The CHAIRMAN: Would it be possible for local government to look at more economic
procedures? If they are not carried out, it may be necessary to look at more expensive ones.
         Mr Collins: Yes, I see what you mean. Certainly if it were to be a recommendation of
the Committee that these things be looked at, I am sure that they would take it up.
         The CHAIRMAN: Perhaps better lighting on residential streets? Is there a need for better
lighting in some of the older areas of towns and cities?
         Mr Collins: Again, those are engineering questions which are beyond my capacity, but I
take the point. It is a problem.
         The CHAIRMAN: Does local government have any firm policy on speed limits in
residential streets?

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          Mr Collins: They did on speed limits around schools. The Schoolsafe proposal is in
keeping with earlier resolutions of annual conferences which were looking at that. They would
certainly support speed zones around schools, but it is another question on the open highway.
          The CHAIRMAN: Is there any firm policy on reducing speed limits in residential streets?
          Mr Collins: Not at an association level. I think certain councils may have particular
policies on it, yes.
          The CHAIRMAN: The view has been expressed that to impose a lower speed limit would
necessitate the use of speed cameras. I took that to mean that there may be some support
within local government for the reduction in speed limits. It has not actually been discussed?
          Mr Collins: Not at a Statewide level, but individual councils could have that view, yes.
          The CHAIRMAN: What about methods that we have seen in other States such as
Victoria where at the entrance to residential areas there is different coloured pavement indicating
that the road is changing from a major road to a residential precinct? Has there been any
consideration of that by local government in Queensland?
          Mr Collins: I could not say. Again, it would probably be something which the engineers’
association may have looked at from an overall viewpoint, but our State association has not
been involved in that.
          Mr NUNN: They are now paving the entrances to new subdivisions and, in some cases, it
is being done internally in the subdivision. But people are not taking that as a sign that they are
leaving a collector road to enter an internal road in a subdivision; they think that it is just a bit of
prettying up and that it looks nice. I know that is a fact because I have asked people about it.
Although we are trying to get away from using signs, perhaps that is one instance in which a sign
would not do any harm. I refer to a sign which states that the person has left a collector road or
some other major road and is now in a residential precinct. That would make most drivers aware
that they should slacken their speed, which would probably obviate the need to put speed signs
in those areas. That is just a thought that I have had on that issue.
          The CHAIRMAN: Would you like to add anything on any matters that you do not think we
have covered?
          Mr Collins: One matter which the association did not raise in its submission but which
came up subsequently at last year’s annual conference related to what warranted the installation
of pedestrian crossings. Some of our member councils think that traffic volumes should not be
the sole determinant of installing pedestrian crossings. They mentioned that there were other
factors such as particular locations or the age of pedestrians and so on which indicate that areas
be given priority. We received a reply from the Minister for Transport saying that they look at the
installation of pedestrian crossings on a case-by-case basis after considering the particular site,
the traffic make-up, and so on. Some work was also being done by Austroads, the Australian
road safety authority, on guidelines for pedestrian crossings. That may be one area in which we
would be keen to see the developments when councils’ concerns are taken into account in the
allocation of pedestrian crossings.
          The CHAIRMAN: As there are no further questions, I thank you for attending.
          The Committee adjourned at 3.50 p.m.

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         The Committee resumed at 3.58 p.m.
         The CHAIRMAN: I welcome the gentlemen from the Department of Transport.
         ALAN MEARES, examined:
         DOUG WOODBURY, examined:
         PAUL SHELTON, examined:
         JOHN HENGELMOLEN, examined:
         MARK KING, examined:
         The CHAIRMAN: For the record, could you give your names and your positions in the
         Mr Meares: My name is Alan Meares. I am the Director (Road Safety) with the
Department of Transport.
         Mr Woodbury: My name is Doug Woodbury. I am the Principal Manager, Road Vehicle
and User Safety Branch, Department of Transport.
         Mr Shelton: My name is Paul Shelton. I am the Senior Engineer (Engineering
Standards), Design and Survey Branch.
         Mr Hengelmolen: My name is John Hengelmolen. I am Senior Policy Adviser, Policy and
Planning Unit.
         Mr King: My name is Mark King. I am the Manager, Road User Behaviour Section.
         Mr LESTER: What are the main issues of safety concerning, firstly, pedestrians, and,
secondly, cyclists?
         Mr Meares: I will start by answering the question and my colleagues might like to add to
the knowledge that I have on it and expand on some of those issues. First of all, we can identify
some of the main safety issues facing both bicycle riders and pedestrians. There are probably a
large number of these, but certainly the main one is age. The reason we identify that is because
both the young and the elderly are overrepresented in crashes in Queensland and,
consequently, we believe that safer, more user friendly facilities need to be addressed. As well,
particularly from a pedestrian point of view, consumption of alcohol is a major safety issue. In
1991, something like 19 per cent of all alcohol-affected road user fatalities were pedestrians.
That is a fairly large number. However, the same figures do not relate to cyclists.
         Conspicuity is another issue. Most bicycle accidents are at intersections. They involve
one party making a turn or changing speed and generally they are in clear, dry driving conditions.
That tends to make us believe that cyclists’ conspicuity is a major safety issue. Not so much the
same type of issues relate to pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents tend to happen in mid block
where a pedestrian darts out and the vehicle is generally travelling straight ahead on a straight,
level road. We believe that drivers need to be aware of unprotected road users in those areas.
         Speed is another main safety issue for both pedestrians and cyclists. High vehicle
speeds increase the injury to pedestrians and cyclists and offer the driver less reaction time. As a
result of that, any measures which lower speed will lead to less injury and lower the chance of an
accident because the driver has more time to react. At present, the department is undertaking a
speed limit review, which is due for completion around the end of June. Residential speed is a
key to safety of both pedestrians and cyclists. It will be interesting to see if that review suggests
any reduction in speed limits.
         The last issue that I would like to raise—and maybe my colleagues would like to expand
on some of these things—is the engineering practices. The safety of both pedestrians and
cyclists must be improved, or might be improved, through better engineering and facilities: things
such as better crossings, refuges, lighting, establishment of shared facilities, and the one that
affects the bicycle riders most particularly, that of gully grates. They might all lead to lower
casualty rates for road users. A further area that might be identified is the integration of bicycle
and pedestrian facilities into the general traffic movement or traffic environment, particularly such
things as the intersections of bikeways with the roads. Pedestrian facilities at roundabouts also
present some problems.

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         The last issue which I think is a major safety issue for both pedestrians and cyclists is the
friendliness of the vehicle that they are likely to be involved with in an accident. There certainly
has been a lot of improvement in vehicle design over recent years with breakaway external rear
vision mirrors, greater slope on windscreens and things like that. It is certainly another area that
maybe further consideration could be given that will help to reduce injuries and fatalities with
pedestrians and cyclists.
         Mr LESTER: How is pedestrian and cycle safety considered and incorporated when
Queensland Transport plans, designs, constructs and maintains roads?
         Mr Shelton: The department has a system of forms which lead into the planning and
design of road projects. These forms are currently under draft, and now include many of the
aspects relating to bicycles and pedestrians. There are sections which are now highlighted to
designers at the planning stage which then passes on to the designers so that those aspects are
incorporated into the design. There are also a lot of other aspects which I will not go through
here. Recently, we produced a transport infrastructure planning technical manual which covers all
the modes of transport in one document from a planning phase so that there is actually an
integration. This document includes pedestrians and cyclists.
         Mr NUNN: That is only for your own roads?
         Mr Shelton: Yes. This is a departmental document. It has not gone out to any of the
local authorities, and it is basically only an internal document.
         Mr CAMPBELL: How about rollerbladers, in-line skates?
         Mr Shelton: It is very early days with that form of transportation so there has not really
been a need to look at that specifically just because the demand is not really there to justify that.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: I want to extend on a little from Mr Lester’s question. Has there been a
change in the policy when, for example, you are building a bridge on a declared road? The
Transport Department or Main Roads would go ahead and build the bridge and then tell the local
authority, “If you want any pedestrian facilities or bikeway across there, you better cough up with
the money quickly.” Has there been a change in that policy? I can think of a number. With the
Gympie Road/Cabbage Tree Creek bridge, the council was told, at short notice, that new bridges
were going in and that if it wanted to provide safety facilities for pedestrians, it was up to the
council to pay up. Has that changed?
         Mr Shelton: Yes, that position has changed. The local authority should not be
approached so late in the piece. These forms now cover those aspects specifically so that that
can be addressed at an early stage. If there is a need for contribution by the local authority, then
the local authority should be asked at the concept planning stage and not when the design is
         Mr J. N. GOSS: With regard to the rail link between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, when
that is completed, will a bikeway be built parallel to that? Perhaps it is even ideal, at certain
locations, if bikeways could go under the track as well. On a number of occasions, I have seen
people carrying their bikes across a railway line when there is a long distance between crossings.
Do you know if there are any?
         Mr Hengelmolen: We have had a number of requests to look at the issue of a bikeway
within the Gold Coast rail corridor. The short answer is that it sounds like a really good idea. We
have been negotiating with Queensland Rail about it. We have the unfortunate situation that
they have a very narrow rail corridor—it is only about 40 metres wide. With the engineering of
that corridor, they do not actually have a whole lot of room within it to provide space for a
bikeway. You need about three metres, and we are in the process at the moment of negotiating
with QR to try to find three metres within their rail corridor because, from the DOT’s point of view,
we would very much like to have a designated bikeway corridor down the Gold Coast rail corridor.
         The CHAIRMAN: What about their maintenance access track? I think that was the one
we were aiming at, was it not?
         Mr Hengelmolen: That is probably the one that we have been eyeing off. That is pretty
much the only bit of horizontal surface within the corridor that is not designated for rail purposes.
The only problem we have with that is that we have a bit of a conflict: because of their
maintenance they want to be able to get at the track, and from a safety point of view we actually

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want to separate the track. They have a bit of a problem with how to engineer a solution whereby
you can get cyclists using it and not have that problem of getting them wandering over the rail
         Mr J. N. GOSS: Too close to the track.
         Mr Hengelmolen: Yet, for maintenance, they want to be able to have very easy access
to the railway.
         Mr DOLLIN: How have the safety needs of pedestrians and cyclists been incorporated
into the recently released Queensland Transport Road Safety Strategy? What are the key
strategies and what implementation tools will be used to achieve the objectives of these
         Mr Meares: I was going to refer to these issues at the end of the hearing this afternoon,
but the strategy does address a number of actions that are related both to pedestrian safety and
to bicycle safety. I will refer to them now. There are six objectives identified in the strategy with a
number of strategies under those and a number of actions under each strategy. Objective two in
the strategy is to foster the development of safer attitudes, skills and behaviour amongst users of
our roads, and this is found on page 8. The first strategy under that objective is to encourage
strategies to improve road user attitudes and behaviour in relation to alcohol and drugs,
speeding, driver fatigue and restraint usage. You will remember that I mentioned that alcohol
and speed are two of the main safety issues that we have identified as being important to both
bicycle users and pedestrians.
         Under that same objective is another strategy which relates to the improvement of the
safety of vulnerable and high-risk road users, including children, older people, pedestrians,
bicyclists, motorcyclists and young drivers. Again, under that strategy, there are a number of
actions that have been identified basically under those headings. For instance, under the
children heading we have identified two actions: one is to educate and inform parents and
teachers of safe strategies for children travelling to and from school; and the second one is to
encourage greater parental and guardian responsibility for children and teenagers wearing seat
belts in cars, and helmets when riding bicycles.
         There are two further strategies under that same objective: one is to foster the increased
road safety effectiveness of enforcement strategies, including the introduction of innovative
incentive schemes and penalty systems, and one of the actions under that is to effectively
implement a bicycle offence penalty notice system to encourage the wearing of helmets and
improve bicycle riding behaviour, which hopefully will go to increase cyclists’ awareness and the
capacity to obey the law. The last one is to nurture a younger generation of more aware and
safer road users. That, generally, is directed at the type of school-based systems that the Road
Safety Division has in place at present: programs for preschools and primary schools,
development of curriculum-based road safety programs in secondary schools, and examining
measures for improving the student driver education course.
         Objective three of the strategy relates to improving the safety of roads, the road
environment and the management of traffic as a whole and, again, two strategies under that
objective are important. The first one is to improve the management of safety in neighbourhoods
and residential areas, including safety in the vicinity of community facilities such as schools.
Again, there are some four objectives under that that relate to the types of people we are talking
about at this inquiry. Another strategy is to ensure that vulnerable road users such as children,
older people, pedestrians, bicycle riders and people with disabilities are safely accounted for in
the development and management of roads and traffic systems. Here, again, we have identified
a number of actions that relate to school children, certainly to older people and the physically
         I think that one further objective that has a bearing on the issue of safety for pedestrians
and cyclists is objective six, which is to ensure that road safety has a high priority in land use and
transport planning and action. One of the strategies there is to foster land use and transport
planning processes which take account of road safety issues and costs. One of the actions
underneath that is to encourage land use and transport plans to be audited to ensure that the
safety needs of all road users are met, especially pedestrians, cyclists, children, older people and
the economically disadvantaged. I think it is fair to say that the road safety strategy that was
launched last week by the Premier certainly takes into account and identifies the safety of

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                                   Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

pedestrians and cyclists, and we will be taking some action in the near future to make sure that
those actions are embarked upon.
         Mr DOLLIN: Thank you for your very detailed answer.
         Mr NUNN: I wish I had this document before. My question is—and I suppose it is partly
answered in this document—how is Queensland Transport addressing the overemphasis on
motor vehicle throughput at the expense of unprotected road users such as pedestrians and
         The CHAIRMAN: Do not think that you are alone in that question. We have been asking
that of other people as well, including local government.
         Mr Woodbury: We have been attempting to grapple with this problem a little bit recently.
One of the first problems that we have with it is to try to determine how much is spent on bicycles
and pedestrians compared with car travel. That is one issue. The other issue is that generally at
least the facilities that provide for cars to some extent provide for bicycles anyway, so it is difficult
to make that separation and come up with some sort of budget that you can say on one side is
a certain amount allocated to bicycles and pedestrians and on the other side is an amount
provided for cars. What we do know is that generally pedal cycle and pedestrian fatalities
account for about 22 per cent of the fatalities that occur every year. Bicycle riders are about 4 per
cent of that, and about 18 per cent are pedestrians. It is probably fair to say also that
somewhere in the region of 11 per cent of the budget of the Road Safety Division goes on
bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs for bicycles and pedestrians, but a great bulk of
other expenditure is a component of the roads budget and other special funds that are provided
for bikeways that we have not yet itemised one way or the other in terms of where it fits. A great
amount of expenditure by local authorities also goes towards providing facilities, for example, for
pedestrians. Every time a local authority puts in a traffic signal with a pedestrian-activated button
on it, that is a facility for pedestrians. The short answer, at least from me, is that we are still
grappling with the quantum of that, but we feel that the program that we have identified in the
strategic plan will go a long way to addressing the imbalance that exists, if there is any.
         Mr NUNN: In objective six, I note that you are determined to encourage all sorts of
people, including local authorities, to do certain things. That is commendable. Is not the fact of
the matter at present that you can only encourage them to do it; you cannot——
         Mr Woodbury: That is true except that what is unique about this particular process that
we have just been through is that this is not a Department of Transport strategy on its own; it is a
whole of Government strategy. If you refer to that important part at the back that starts on page
18 where we talk about working together, it is a strategy that involves all of the key players in the
road safety game and it has been structured deliberately so that key groups such as local
government have made a commitment to the contents of it. It will be our job to pursue that
commitment with them as time goes by.
         Mr NUNN: They have actually made the commitment?
         Mr Woodbury: Yes.
         Mr NUNN: As the body for the whole of the local authorities?
         Mr Woodbury: Yes.
         Mr NUNN: My experience of local authorities is that they do not take a standard attitude
to new developments. You cannot depend on one local authority taking the same responsible
attitude to its developers and therefore its street hierarchies as that taken by another local
authority. Do you think that it would be advisable—because we do have some
requirements—that perhaps the Local Government Act or the transport legislation could take a
more demanding role of local government when it gives rezoning approvals and consequently, in
lots of cases, subdivisional approvals so that, at the time of subdivision, they should present an
overall traffic plan for the area or something like that? Is there any chance that you could enforce
anything like that, or would you want to?
         Mr Shelton: The department’s attitude is more that the local authorities are the ones that
can best develop, not so much strategy, but strategic bicycle plans for their regions. I am talking
only about bicycles at the moment. The local authorities are probably more aware of people
movements, kids at school and things such as that than a department such as ours is. It is

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probably more important that they develop the strategic bike plans. However, we need to
approve them. If they want to put certain bike lanes or separations within our road reserve, we
need to have a look at that and say, yes, that is okay, and that then becomes a part of the
approved strategic plan for that local authority, on which all future planning can be based.
         Mr NUNN: With respect, the subdivision that they do today, the one beyond that and the
one beyond that can all force traffic in the end, because there is nowhere else for it to go
because of a lack of forward planning, onto some point in your road where you would not want it,
where you wish to Christ that you could do without it. Again, with respect, it is all right saying that
you talk to local authorities about this——
         Mr Shelton: I was talking only about bicycle facilities. I was not talking about overall
general traffic movements.
         Mr NUNN: They are part of the whole and therefore have to be considered. My
experience with a lot of local authorities and the Local Government Association is that
sometimes they are very loath to cooperate. It is very hard sometimes to get them to answer
         Mr Meares: One important thing in the development of the strategy is that it was the
Local Government Association with which we negotiated and consulted, not individual local
authorities. I guess that there is some room in that area for them to arrange for some
coordination within their own organisation or across local authorities throughout Queensland, as
well. It was certainly the association with which we were involved in this exercise. The issue came
up at the last hearing, Mr Chairman, you would remember, when we were talking about LATMs
and the need or the requirement for local authorities to advise the Department of Transport on
major developments that are taking place, including subdivisions, in relation to public transport. I
do not know of any such requirement in relation to traffic needs. Maybe these gentlemen can
correct me if there is. Certainly, as far as public transport goes, there is a need under the Urban
Public Passenger Transport Act for local authorities to advise the department of any major plans
that they have before them. That certainly might be extended, if it does not already exist, to
cover the types of things to which Mr Nunn made reference.
         The CHAIRMAN: It should be made clear that it is not only a matter of funding in the
emphasis on motor vehicles at the expense of the pedestrian; in other ways it is in kind as well
as in cash that the motor vehicle takes precedence. One instance of that is at intersections
where we have built roundabouts. When a roundabout is built, there is usually no consideration
of pedestrians. At traffic lights, pedestrians may have to wait two minutes for the cycle to come
around. While people are standing there, two minutes is virtually a lifetime. They are only two
examples of the way that pedestrians see that they are discriminated against and they tend to
get frustrated, which causes them to take unnecessary risks. I think that is what Mr Nunn is
aiming at rather than equality of funding. No doubt, funding is going into those areas. We may
address that later.
         Mr CAMPBELL: I have been thrown a bit by the Queensland road safety strategy that
was presented to us. What concerns me is that, with all this planning, one of the major things
that I can see that could be done to reduce road accidents is to have fewer cars on the road and
less use of roads. There seems to be an absence of an objective to get more of the public and
more of the freight onto rail instead of road. Why was that not addressed in this strategy?
         Mr Woodbury: I cannot comment from memory about whether any of the actions are in
there. I know from my experience in the early days of preparing this document and the
discussions that went on that a fair bit of effort went into that very issue that you are talking
about. I can say also that increasingly these days in the road safety literature a lot of interest and
effort is going into the whole field of transport demand management as a way of improving
safety, which is saying that the fewer people who are on the road and the less exposed they are,
the fewer crashes we will have. By using public transport and safer modes of traffic for certain
trips, there are ways of doing that. I cannot point to the actions that refer to that approach in
objective one, I think it is, under the heading of greater effectiveness in road safety planning.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Perhaps that point can be taken on board for future reference. There
are important aspects of parking areas not only for cars but also for bikes.

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          Mr Shelton: A lot of our designs now, especially around railway stations that are to be
upgraded, include the provision for bicycle storage and bicycle racks. A bike can only go so far,
but at least once you get it to a railway station the travel distance is limitless, so to speak.
          The CHAIRMAN: It has often been said that, in times of recession, the number of road
accidents drops. What Mr Campbell is saying no doubt has some validity. If more people can be
persuaded to go onto public transport, there would be fewer accidents as a result.
          Mr Woodbury: Yes. Under objective six, which is on page 17, the second strategy talks
about minimising crash risks by reducing demand for private transport and encouraging greater
use of public transport. That probably oversummarises the focus that we have been developing,
but it is a good point that we will keep in the front of our minds.
          Mr NUNN: There is a point to add to that, and I meant to do it before. Public transport
would also cover buses, I take it?
          Mr Woodbury: Yes.
          Mr NUNN: If I can go back to the first subdivision, and the one beyond it, and the one
beyond that—if you do not have a strategy for that to allow a bus to run through there in an
economical way, a private company will not take it up and will not run a bus through there. It will
not be worth its while. To get people to use public transport, first there must be public transport.
You will not get it unless some proper traffic strategies are done by the developers.
          Mr CAMPBELL: I refer to the official police data that usually underestimates the severity
and number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. It is not an accurate picture of the pedestrian
and bicycle accident problem. A study was commissioned by the Committee that supports that
claim. At the time of writing, your submission referred to the Queensland Transport unprotected
road user study, which used data collected by the police traffic incident reports. What other data
did that study use? Did it use data collected by the Queensland Injuries Surveillance Prevention
Project? If not, why not?
          Mr King: That study has been delayed to some extent due to a loss of staff in my area.
We have certainly gathered data from the police accident reporting system. We have also talked
to people from the Queensland injuries surveillance program and obtained some data from
them. We will obtain more from them in the next few months as we get together more
information on bicycle accidents in particular and pedestrian accidents.
          Mr LESTER: What engineering methods or types of infrastructure are used by the
Queensland Transport Department to enhance the safety of pedestrians and cyclists? I cite
some examples: median refuges, particularly in multi-lane roads, which pedestrians and cyclists
can use if they wish; guard fencing; longer pedestrian single phases; pelican crossings; uniform
kerb heights; overpasses and underpasses, to which we referred before; wide kerbside lanes;
lanes dedicated to cyclists, as are present in Townsville; and many more exist. The Committee
would like the witnesses to expand significantly upon that list that I have mentioned.
          Mr Shelton: I would be happy to. I have here another of our design manuals, but this
one relates to bicycles. I will hand a copy of that around to the members of the Committee. It is
actually the design guide for our designers. It is a Queensland Department of Transport
document. Turn to the contents page, which is on page 1. I will not spend too much time on this.
Chapter 3 looks at facility selection criteria. Chapter 4 goes into the facility design, which includes
on-road, off-road intersection design. If you flick through Chapter 4, you will be able to see the
types of things that have been included as to infrastructure. In Chapter 7, we discuss planning
for a bicycle network, which looks at developing bicycle planning and consultation with users.
Chapter 8 looks at the role of Queensland Transport and the local authorities in providing
infrastructure for cyclists.
          The CHAIRMAN: This is as a guide for DOT?
          Mr Shelton: For our designers, and we are also happy for local authorities to use it. Many
of the local authorities have actually purchased this document from Design and Survey Branch,
which produced it. This had to be produced because the Government had allocated $15m——
          The CHAIRMAN: It is an effort at uniformity?
          Mr Shelton: Exactly.

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         Mr Hengelmolen: We tried to get that manual issued in conjunction with the Safe
Bikeways Program, which was a $15m program. We tried to get that level of uniformity and those
design guidelines issued in conjunction with that so that the local authorities had a good
         Mr Shelton: So that everyone is using the same standard and the money is being used
efficiently and effectively.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Has that been distributed to local authorities?
         Mr Shelton: Many of those local authorities which have the money purchased it. I cannot
say that all local authorities have it, because all may not have the need. Only those which have
the need have probably purchased it.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: A recent Monash University Accident Research Centre report indicated
that roads with sealed shoulders have about 43 per cent fewer accidents than roads without
sealed shoulders. The report did say that two lane, two-way rural highways are roads where that
sort of reduction in accidents can be achieved, but the report also stated that the break-even
point for this type of treatment was only about 350 vehicles per day. That is the point at which it
becomes cost effective. What implication does that have for increasing safety for cyclists,
particularly in areas of heavy cycle usage?
         Mr Shelton: Shoulders most definitely not only advantage cyclists but also advantage
anyone who travels on the road. That has been well documented from research. This document
actually contains a recommendation on what sort of shoulder widths should be allowed for
different speeds of trucks. On page 17, it actually gives the width of the sealed shoulder which
should be included in the design to try to allow for that. So the design guidelines are there.
         I see things in two ways. We have things out in the field at the moment which may not
meet our current standards, but we also have standards for our new designs. Although we have
standards for our new designs, there are still many places in which those sorts of aspects are
lacking. I think it comes down to a benefit/cost ratio and allocating the funds where they can be
put to most use and most benefit.
         Mr J. N. GOSS: That would only be in areas where——
         Mr Shelton: Where the road traffic volumes are fairly high, and the cycle volumes are
correspondingly fairly high.
         The CHAIRMAN: It is fortuitous that this report has come out before the hearing. It
contains quite a bit of information that we are receiving for the first time.
         Mr Shelton: When this submission was produced, this document had not been
completed. Because of the delay in having the Committee meet, it has now been addressed.
         Mr DOLLIN: This Committee visited Victoria in February to learn about and to inspect the
pedestrian and cyclist safety programs being implemented by VICROADS. As you would be
aware, those programs are: Walk With Care, for elderly pedestrians; Safe Routes to School, for
young pedestrians and cyclists; footpath cyclist trials; and responsible serving of alcohol. The
program has been designed for implementation by local authorities and the community, but
VICROADS is initially resourcing and driving the program, aiming over time to reduce its direct
involvement. On the evidence we saw during our inspection, the program, which incorporated
engineering and education solutions, appeared to be working very well. The way it seemed to
work was that the president of the p. and c. and the principal first identified the problems; they
approached the local councillor; and two officers from VICROADS tried to resolve the problems
between them. I saw some of the best results that I have seen in safety for schools. Is
Queensland Transport doing anything similar? If it is, could you give us some details and, if it is
not, could you give us some reasons why not?
         Mr King: I will talk about some of the things that we are doing, and then I will go on to
the point about the involvement of p. and c.’s. We have an Early Childhood Road Safety
Program in place which targets parents and teachers of 3-year-olds to 5-year-olds. That program
aims to have road safety introduced to preschool, kindergarten and child care centres in
everyday programs. In fact, most of our programs are aimed at young road users—school-age
children—who are considered to be the most at-risk group. We have developed a road safety
resource package for children in the Year 1 to Year 3 age group which integrates road safety into

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the school curriculum. That has been launched and is being implemented. Similarly, programs
for Year 4 to Year 5 and Year 6 to Year 7 have been, for all intents and purposes, completed
but have not yet been released. We might proceed also with a program aimed at older kids in
the Year 8 to Year 10 age group. Those programs deal with pedestrians in general terms,
particularly riding or cycling to and from school.
         We have the Bike Ed Program, which you may also have come across in Victoria. That
has been adapted for use in Queensland. It has been adapted so that it can be taught or
delivered by community groups, including p. and c.’s and the local police. We have the School
Safe Program, which has 11 different components, including those road safety resource
packages which I mentioned before, and the back-to-school campaign, which is run at the
beginning of each year and which alerts drivers, parents and children of the concerns that we
hold for the road safety of children as the new school year begins. That program is aimed largely
at children in Years 1, 2 and 3. It incorporates a school crossing supervisor scheme in which
uniformed supervisors are present at school crossings in the hours before and after school. Since
that scheme was introduced in 1984, no pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured on a
supervised crossing. That certainly appears to have been very successful. We have safe
passenger set-down areas near schools for buses and cars to deliver and collect children. There
are also the school zones, of which you would be aware, which usually have a speed limit which
is 20 kilometres per hour less than the normal posted speed limits. Part of the School Safe
Program involves taking a close look at the roads around a school to consider where it is safest
for children to travel and possible areas of risk. Of course, we also run bicycle helmet wearing
promotions in schools.
         As to the involvement of community groups—the way things are organised in Victoria is
different to here. In Victoria, I believe that large sums of money are available which can be given
to community groups to enable them to establish very strong community-based organisations.
As this stage, we are approaching things somewhat differently. We like to encourage p. and c.’s
to get involved, but of course p. and c.’s vary quite dramatically in how strong they are and how
willing they are to take on such roles. When p. and c.’s or school crossing supervisors perceive
particular problems around the school, they draw that to the attention of the police and/or the
local authority, and attempts are made to remedy that. A particular problem is parents who
ignore the no-standing zones near school crossings. They will park in them to deliver and pick up
children. That has been an ongoing problem. It is consistently reported to people within our
department. We have the support of the local police and the local authorities, but we are
considering making approaches through p. and c.’s to put pressure on the parents who abuse
those areas.
         Mr Woodbury: Could I just add to that? Under the department’s School Safe Program,
an active effort is made to include p. and c.’s and p. and f.’s in that process. In fact, those
community groups are very actively involved in making decisions with the principal about the
school environment and recommending changes to the school environment on the basis of
where they see the potential accident problems.
         The CHAIRMAN: Unfortunately, that only covers the school itself and not the rest of the
journey home. Mr Dollin’s point is that a number of accidents occur during the total journey
home, particularly to cyclists. Do you have anything further on that?
         Mr DOLLIN: While I was in Victoria, I noticed a couple of things that I believe are worth
emphasising. The representatives from the department will probably be quite well aware of them.
In schools at which traffic was dense, safety islands were provided for children so that they had
to look only one way instead of both ways to save confusion. When they reached the centre,
lettering on the ground in front of them told them to look the other way to make the rest of the
journey. Another measure was that lights are regulated so that children are nearly halfway across
the street before traffic gets a green light. That meant that the kids were there and the motorists
could see them, whereas in most other places the green light for motorists changes at the same
time as kids step out from the edge. I thought that delay was a brilliant idea, not just for kids but
for everybody. Motorists are able to see pedestrians step out; they know they are there. In areas
in which there was very heavy traffic, speed bumps were installed prior to intersections to slow
down motorists. Also, the lights were placed virtually outside the gutter, because many people
were not noticing them on the footpath. From what we saw, it all seemed to work very well.

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          Mr Hengelmolen: If I could just follow up the issue about recognising that there is danger
on the journey home, aside from issues immediately in the school vicinity. I think we have all
recognised that. Apart from the main commuter projects, a very large percentage of the money
from that $15m Safe Bikeways program was actually dedicated to the Safe Schools project.
What we tried to do is identify major roads and where they have a problem about conflict, which
is that issue about speed and the differential. We found that a lot of the problems are on arterial
roads where there is a large speed differential and where we tried to get the cyclists and school
kids off the road and onto a separate path. That was certainly an issue that we tried to address
in that $15m Safe Bikeways Program. We recognised that that was one key way of reducing
accidents, namely, to actually get the kids off the road or at least onto the shoulder, or
completely off the road with those roads that have the higher speeds.
          Mr DOLLIN: Another point of interest is that there was one private school that did not
allow push bikes at the school. The parents either brought the children by car or walked with
them, and the vast majority walked. It was certainly a densely populated area, of course.
          Mr NUNN: Firstly, I compliment you on the book. I have finally had a chance to take a
quick look to see what the contents are and I suspect that there might be more coming in
conjunction with the blue book. The questions I will ask are answered in there, but I will ask them
anyhow. What is your policy on the integration of cyclists with cars, on-road, and the integration
of cyclists with pedestrians, off-road?
          Mr Shelton: If you were to look at page 5 of the guide, this gives a very good illustration
of the thinking that has to go behind trying to select the correct criteria. There is a level one which
is full integration, and that is where the bikes actually travel with the cars and that might be just in
a local street. The car volumes are fairly low and the bike volumes are fairly low as well, although
they can be high; but there just is not that potential. Then you go up to a level two, which is a
part integration. As the traffic volume goes up, you can see that you need to have a little bit of
extra width and that is where we talk about widening the kerb-side lane, which I do not think has
been practised extensively throughout the State. This manual introduces it. Level three is a part
separation where you actually have an exclusive lane where there is a high volume of bikes and
a high volume of traffic. The off-road is where you are getting over 200 bicycles or where you
may have inexperienced riders plus fairly large traffic volumes. That is a case for starting to think
about separating the two. I emphasise that this table is not meant to be a recipe where you input
the figures and say, “That is the answer.” As soon as you go over 50 bikes to 51, that means
that you have to go up to the next step. This has to be looked at in the context of environmental
aspects and the cost aspects of maybe widening the road. I think I outline in there somewhere
where there are all sorts of aspects such as road users, financial considerations, engineering
constraints and future needs. All those things have to be used before you plug into that table.
          The CHAIRMAN: It is rather difficult to implement that in an old area such as Gympie or
Maryborough, for instance.
          Mr Shelton: Yes, exactly.
          Mr NUNN: In some cases, that is not so where there are unsealed areas. They could
easily be turned into a bicycle path because they are not used now.
          The CHAIRMAN: In some areas, the road width just is not there.
          Mr Hengelmolen: That is the problem we are finding in Brisbane City, particularly. We
have a problem with width and also we quite often find that there is a parallel street to the major
one. The thing about bikes is that they want to go to the same places where people want to go
in their cars so, essentially, urban arterial routes should be mirrored with the bicycle network. The
trouble is that quite often in somewhere like Lutwyche Road, you have not got the room but you
can quite often find a parallel street that is one street removed, which could probably do the job.
          Mr NUNN: What is your point of view on footpath cycling or shared footways? That is also
answered in here, but are you conducting any trials?
          Mr King: Perhaps I can answer that. Footpath cycling became legal in Queensland as at
1 January this year. I will have to go back a little bit to explain the reason because it is bound up
with the compulsory helmet wearing legislation where it was initially made compulsory for all
cyclists to wear helmets, but no penalty applied. It was decided that a penalty needed to be
applied because our wearing rates were still well below those achieved in other States even

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though we had had some success. It was decided that a penalty system should be introduced
for a number of other bicycle offences as well. As soon as we realised that this meant that
cyclists who were currently cycling on the footpath could have been in some fear of being fined
and thereby being forced on to the road, we reassessed things. It turns out from studies that
have been done that enormous numbers of children, especially young children, cycle on
footpaths when it is illegal. If we introduced a penalty system which forced them onto the road
because they were in fear of being fined, we could end up with quite a large accident problem.
         Given the results of the footpath cycling trials in Victoria—which showed that once
legalisation of footpath cycling came into place, no real change in footpath cycling occurred at
all—it was simply a legitimisation of an existing behaviour and there was no real change at all in
injuries to pedestrians or injuries to cyclists on footpaths. We decided that it was worth while
going ahead with footpath cycling. It has also been the legal practice in the ACT and the
Northern Territory for a great many years. Again, there are no indications of major concerns
there. However, we are looking at it in an ongoing way. The Police Service has said that they will
take account of complaints which are coming and relay any particular concerns that arise. We
have had concerns expressed from some quarters of the population, but we have been looking
at the accident data. So far there seems to be no change whatsoever in accidents which occur
to pedestrians and cyclists on footpaths, and the numbers are in fact very low.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Evidence has been given to us that younger children should be banned
from riding bikes on public roads, perhaps. If so, what would be an appropriate age from which to
allow children to ride on roads? Would an age-based ban be enforceable? If not, why not?
         Mr Meares: Maybe I will start the answering of that particular question. There have been
a number of research reports that have concluded that children under the age of 10 are not
mature or experienced enough to make safe decisions on the road, whether they are
pedestrians or bike riders. They find it difficult, particularly when on a bike, to look backwards, to
identify objects while cycling, to identify speed and to ride one-handed. Their reaction is slow and
their braking times are slow. As a department and through the Road Safety Division, we
recommend to parents in a lot of our literature that they should not allow their children under 10
to cycle on a road unsupervised. Of course, it does happen. We also believe it is not practical to
legislate or enforce a minimum age for cyclists, and that belief has been supported very strongly
by the Queensland Police Service. One of the reasons is that children under 10 are not criminally
responsible for their actions. Therefore, if you are to enforce it in any way, you really have to
enforce it against the parent or the guardian.
         Many families in Queensland rely upon a bicycle for their child to get to the local school,
particularly in country areas, and that certainly relates to a lot of children under 10 years of age.
We would be depriving them of that resource. As I said before, the Queensland police support
us in this view and they, as well as ourselves, believe that any resources that we might put into
enforcing a minimum age for bicycle riders on roads is probably better put into implementing
bicycle education strategies that will teach children how to ride more properly and in a safer way
on the road. So, no, we do not believe that there should be a compulsory enforcement of a
certain age for bike riders, but we certainly believe and encourage parents to accept that children
under 10 should not be allowed to ride on a road.
         Mr CAMPBELL: Would anyone else like to comment on that, or are you all happy with
         Mr Shelton: Yes, I think so.
         Mr CAMPBELL: There is a new fad that has come up with this backpack, which is the
motor for skaters and skateboard riders. What action has the department taken on that?
         Mr Woodbury: We actually went to see one last week.
         Mr King: A few people from the Transport Department went down and saw one being
demonstrated. We were not at all happy with the device. Apart from safety considerations, it was
extremely noisy. The potential for changes being made to the existing devices to make them
faster is certainly there. They looked to us to be quite dangerous and unsatisfactory. There were
some discussions about what should be done about them. I do not know if a recommendation
has gone to the Minister’s office as yet, but we are recommending that those and similar sorts of
devices should not be allowed to be used on the roadway.

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                                 Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

          Mr LESTER: The 1992 road toll figures showed over 70 pedestrians killed and about 17
cyclists killed as well. We are aware of the considerable resources—promotion/publicity, program
development, etc.—which are devoted to cyclists’ safety. Given the difference in the number of
fatalities and that injuries and injury accidents are similar for both groups—cyclists and
pedestrians—is there not a case for a greater share of resources to be allocated to pedestrian
safety programs?
          Mr Woodbury: This probably builds on the answer I gave earlier. We are not exactly sure
of the quantum for each of the different categories because there is a large amount of
infrastructure planning, designing and building that goes into the provision of facilities for
pedestrians as part of the normal road-building program. There is a view that there is definitely
more planning and design for pedestrians than probably is commonly acknowledged. Do you
want to add something to that, John?
          Mr Hengelmolen: I think there is also a recognition in the planning process for
pedestrians in terms of looking at interchanges. For example, a lot of people who are being killed
or hurt on our roads are the elderly or the young people and they are often reliant on public
transport. We have also looked at the issues of planning around sources such as old people’s
homes and schools, etc., and also there is emphasis on the destinations such as regional
shopping centres where people go to do their weekly shopping, and so on. I think a lot of the
emphasis has been placed more on the design and planning side. I do not know that we have
got much in the way of education programs. I think we have dealt with it more at an engineering,
planning and design level rather than at an education level.
          Mr Woodbury: That is true. It is very difficult to design and put in place cost-effective
education programs for pedestrians that really make much difference, when it actually comes
down to the bottom line, which is accidents.
          Mr Meares: I guess the figures in fact prove that, to a point. One of the biggest
problems we have got with pedestrian safety and where accidents are occurring are at mid block.
There are facilities at both ends of the block for people to cross, but they are crossing mid block
where generally the roads are straight and level, and the conditions are dry and it is daytime, yet
they are being knocked over simply because they are not using the facilities that have been put
there for them. That is very obvious from the accident statistics for 1992 and it has not improved
much for 1993 in relation to pedestrians. That is where the accidents are happening.
          Mr LESTER: Are there any publications aimed directly at alerting pedestrians to the laws,
regulations and traffic situations in which their safety is threatened?
          Mr Meares: No, I do not think the Road Safety Division produces anything specifically
aimed at pedestrians themselves. We do have some booklets titled “How to”. It is a “How to”
series which is aimed at young children at school—how to travel safely in a motor car, how to
travel safely to and from school, and how to ride safely to and from school. I guess you could say
that one of that series is directed at young children as pedestrians, but certainly not at the
general pedestrian population.
          Mr LESTER: Resource programs for cyclists may be one of the reasons that we are
doing better with the number of fatalities. I wonder if any lessening of resources for cycle safety
would mean that that toll would climb, too.
          Mr Meares: There is a lot of money being spent at the present time on bikeways and
things like that. When I say “a lot of money”, it seems a lot. I think $15m is involved in one
program that is in operation. That funding comes from the tobacco tax that was introduced.
Whilst that is going a long way to giving us a much better bikeway program, it certainly needs to
be built on, because it is not going to give us a bikeway program that will suit everybody’s needs
or cover every area. So whilst there is a reasonable amount of money being spent in those
areas, we can certainly do with much more resources to improve the system.
          Mr LESTER: Ironically, with some of these things, the poor old pedestrian can be
disadvantaged again, and I am talking about where there are dual walk/cycle ways. These things
are very good while everybody is very careful, but if you go walking along the Brisbane River in
the morning, you feel as though your last days are up when a cyclist goes whooshing past you
from behind. There have been accidents, and one involved a former member of Parliament,

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                                   Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

Earle Bailey. A cyclist got him by the pedal as he went past, and very severely injured his leg.
That is an example of which I am very aware.
           Mr Shelton: In my area, if you come up behind a pedestrian—they just ring the bell
before they go around.
           Mr DOLLIN: They do not in the gardens.
           Mr LESTER: They are very well mannered cyclists in your area. I have heard of other
instances where people have been injured, but never one as a result of a cyclist being careful. It
is always someone going too fast, or hoons tearing up and down the street. One was in
Clermont, where an elderly lady was very severely injured, and the other involved a young child
who had to have a leg shortened. This galoot of a fellow came tearing down the footpath, and
the kiddie jumped out and straight into it. But had that cyclist been careful, I am sure the
accident would have been avoided. That is one thing we have to watch. I wonder if we are going
a bit bonkers over cyclists. I just see a lessening of pedestrians’ rights. I may be wrong, but it is
worth thinking about.
           The CHAIRMAN: On that same subject that you mentioned before, the fact that
pedestrians cross mid-block despite the fact that there are signals at each end—what about the
frustration factor of walking all the way up to those signals and then having to stand there for two
minutes before they can get across, and then having to walk back down to where they want to
go, whereas they can walk straight across the road? For some elderly people, it might be quite
an imposition for them to have to walk that extra distance. Are we really providing the facilities
that the pedestrian needs and wants?
           Mr Meares: There are certain design criteria that are laid down for things like that. I do
not know whether Paul can reply to that. I also think that it is part of human nature. If you park
your vehicle mid-block, you are not going to walk down to the corner to cross over, you are going
to do the dart trick and jump between cars, and so forth. Frankly, as a division in the Department
of Transport, I do not think we are going to change that. We can certainly try to educate people
that it is not a safe practice, but I do not think we will change it.
           The CHAIRMAN: A lot of our traffic signals are not pedestrian friendly. For instance, in
one-way streets we have a situation where there is a passive side to the road where no right
turns or left turns are available, yet the signal goes off much sooner than it needs to. That
problem really needs to be addressed, particularly by local government. We did make that point
to them. But I think that in the design standards you should be looking at things like that and
giving the pedestrian a fair go.
           Mr Shelton: It is looked at. There are calculations that allow for walking time for people to
           The CHAIRMAN: They do not use it. The light goes off on the passive side at the same
time as it goes off on the active side. There is no justification for that at all. On the active side, it
goes off to allow left turns or right turns to take place, but on the other side there is no reason for
it to go off at that same time. Yet pedestrians are denied any consideration. In Melbourne, we
saw—and Mr Dollin mentioned this—where signals come up for pedestrians before the traffic is
able to move, to give them a start on crossing intersections before turns can be made by
vehicles. I think there is a lot still to be done there. Have you any thoughts on that subject?
           Mr Shelton: I do not have too much experience in that area. I would like to learn a little
more and pass that on to some of our people who design traffic signals and see whether they
have been aware of that. I am just a bit worried about what that will do to cycle times. It may just
increase them a bit.
           The CHAIRMAN: In the instance I quoted it would not affect cycle times at all, because
the cycle time is governed by the cycle for the traffic, and the pedestrians are only getting a
minute quantity of that—almost instant on and off again.
           Mr Shelton: That is the case in most situations, but it is not always the case. Every case
is a little bit different and has to be analysed.
           The CHAIRMAN: There are many instances of that.

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                                   Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

          Mr Meares: We have examples of that. One is at the Fortitude Valley corner, where
pedestrians crossing Wickham Street get a go before the traffic coming down Brunswick Street
and turning left into Wickham Street because of the mall. That is one example, at any rate.
          The CHAIRMAN: Mr Goss has asked me to ask a question. He says that there has been
some tightening of the criteria for obtaining bikeway subsidies, and that some councils might not
qualify because of that tightening of rules. Is that the case, that councils might not be eligible for
bikeway funding?
          Mr Hengelmolen: Probably the short answer is that I do not know what that means. I
think it is along the lines of what we are looking at. With a lot of bikeway projects, I guess that it is
true to say we were trying to be rigorous in terms of assessing bikeway projects in terms of the
ability to reduce accidents; in other words, that they had a good safety benefit, and also that
they catered for high patronage numbers. In the Safe Bikeways Program we tried to target
projects that had a lot of——
          The CHAIRMAN: So you are prioritising?
          Mr Hengelmolen: Yes. So it might be fair to say that some local authorities might have
missed out on the funding because they did not have a perceived priority in terms of the number
of people, or they did not necessarily have an accident problem.
          Mr DOLLIN: What progress has Queensland Transport made in the development and
implementation of bicycle facilities under the $15m Safe Bikeways Program announced by the
Premier in August 1992? Are there any other programs which also provide bikeways or other
bicycle infrastructure facilities?
          Mr Hengelmolen: The department has a number of ongoing programs. There is one
called LARS, which is the Local Authority Road Subsidies Program. There is also one called
TETF, which is the Transport something——
          Mr Meares: Traffic Engineering Trust Fund.
          Mr Hengelmolen: Within those two programs, there is on average about $2m per annum
spent, which goes into the local authorities. Also, the Commonwealth provides some money to
local authorities. The Safe Bikeways Program is about $15m. That is really the biggest amount of
money that has been spent on bikes in this State ever. From the department’s point of view, I
would like to say that that is a very wise decision in terms of reducing accidents, because that is
going a long way to addressing a lot of those safety problems that we are talking about. The
average amount of money that is spent is usually about $2m per annum by this department, but
the local authorities also spend quite a bit of money, and they get money from the Federal
Government as well. Recently, the Federal Government splashed a lot of money around local
authorities for bikeway projects, and as job-generation criteria.
          Mr DOLLIN: Do you think that it is all coordinated enough? We seem to have a few
different organisations, if you like, having a shot at it. Would it be better if it came under one area
of control, or if it was driven in one direction?
          Mr Hengelmolen: We have a draft Queensland bicycle strategy. Instead of having an ad
hoc thing where we throw some money to a local authority and they think, “Where are we going
to find a path to put money on?”, we are trying to look at an issue of getting a strategic plan or a
bikeway plan for each local authority area. So it is really like a road network for bikes. We are
trying to fund that in a lot of local authorities so that what you end up with is a bikeway plan
where they have arterial routes and local routes. Whenever they get funding, instead of having
an ad hoc approach—whether it is from us, the Federal Government or their own funding—they
can start putting the funding into the proper routes. It is correct to say that in the past there was
a rather ad hoc approach in a number of local authorities to funding bicycle paths. I think we are
trying to change that. A number of local authorities are being very strategic in their approach to it,
with things like linking up the local tertiary institution, the local high school, the major shopping
centre and the hospital, or whatever—linking up with things that people are going to.
          Mr DOLLIN: That is good. We need that plan.
          Mr Hengelmolen: That is what we are using that money to do.

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                                Travelsafe—Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

       The CHAIRMAN: That ties in with the previous answer. If you have any written
submissions you would like us to have incorporated, we can receive those, in view of the
lateness of the hour. Other than that, are there any further statements that you wish to make?
       Mr Meares: I have none. I was going to refer to the strategic plan, but that came out in
questioning. We have covered that area.
       Mr Woodbury: I am happy.
       Mr King: I am happy.
       The CHAIRMAN: There is nothing that you want incorporated in the record?
       Mr Meares: No.
       The CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your attendance. The hearing stands adjourned until
tomorrow morning in this room.
       The Committee adjourned at 5.15 p.m.

Brisbane                                         - 56 -                              27 April 1993

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