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N/A | National Australian Road Rules - Have your say

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by TonyE, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. #1 TonyE, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2013
    From the National Transport Commission:

    The Australian road rules could be improved to ensure their benefit to the community, according to a National Transport Commission (NTC) discussion paper released today.

    The NTC’s discussion paper, Review of the Australian Road Rules and Australian Vehicle Standards Rules, makes recommendations for improvements to ensure their relevance in today’s society. It was informed by extensive research including a nationwide survey of over 2,000 adult Australians.

    NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos said the review was essential to ensure the rules are responsive to Australia’s ever-changing transport environment.

    “With the emergence of new vehicle and fuel technologies and a growing but ageing population, it’s important the rules support national goals for safer and more sustainable transport.”

    The paper found that on average, changes to the road rules are implemented within 18 months but could be implemented sooner and on a common date across states and territories. This would help reduce deaths and injuries, where new or updated rules deliver large road safety benefits.

    The survey found that 67 per cent of Australians believe the current road rules are appropriate.

    It also found that 35 per cent of participants were made aware of road rules changes by television and radio advertising, with 54 per cent admitting to using common sense when unsure of rules.

    “We need to ensure that changes to road rules are effectively communicated to the community so that motorists, riders and pedestrians are fully informed,” said Mr Dimopoulos.

    Other areas for consideration include developing a mix of performance-based rules and advice rather than the current prescriptive approach to reduce the number of rules and keep pace with technology.

    The paper also explores the effectiveness of the Australian Vehicle Standards Rules. The discussion paper is open for comment on the NTC website until 16 December 2011.

    “I encourage all Australians to review the discussion paper and provide us with feedback as these rules impact upon everybody,” said Mr Dimopoulos.

    Submissions can be made via the NTC website (www.ntc.gov.au) or by mail to Review of the Australian Road Rules and Australian Vehicle Standards Rules, National Transport Commission, Level 15/628 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000.

    Click here to download the Review of the Australian Road Rules and Australian Vehicle Standards Rules discussion paper and to make a submission.

    Feedback received during the consultation period will inform the development of a draft evaluation report for public consultation in April 2012.

    We want as many motorcyclists as possible to make a submission here - this is a great opportunity...
  2. This is interesting:
    REALLY interesting:

  3. I'll be giving this a bit of a once over too - thanks for the heads up Tony.
  4. Performance based standards have been a major topic at the NTC and participating State agencies for at least 10 years. Looks like they're finally getting close to wide implementation. Having had some involvement back when I was a Public Servant I'm broadly in favour of the approach.

    On another subject, this could be a good time to give the explicit legalisation of filtering a bit of a push. Might not work this time but every little helps.
  5. You betcha! Some of the key folk at NTC are well aware of the benefits of filtering... trust me.

    I found this part interesting:

    It demonstrates that they were listening, that academically at least there is an understanding about filtering/splitting and one aspect of it's benefits, and it demonstrates that there are a host of laws which when combined, adequately cover to act of splitting (as opposed to filtering). This suggests that we DO NOT need another statute to cover splitting when we put the case forward to define and legitimise filtering.

    Interestingly, motorbike, motorcycle and rider, don't appear much in the document and there are no specific references after page 56. So it doesn't look like that motorcycles are being singled out for specific road rules treatment. However, we should be looking at this document as a user of the roads as currently, all carcentric rules apply to bikes as well.
  6. Actually, I was thinking about the 'road rules' over the weekend. I worked out it's not the rules I have such a problem with, it's how they are enforced that pisses off.
  7. the problem with performance based standards is that this is exactly what the current noise requirement is. The cop who pulls you over can't prove it's illegal so you are forced to go to a test station at your own expense to get the certificate. Imagine if this was the rule for braking performance, stability, headlamp and turn lamp performance......
  8. It wouldn't (or shouldn't) work in this manner.

    My information on this is now ~5 years out of date, but, back then, the general intent was to retain a set of prescriptive rules that would ensure that a vehicle built to those rules would meet the performance based standards. This would act as a backstop for individuals and vehicle manufacturers without the resources or inclination to go through the PBS process. However, there would also be provision for vehicles to be certified as meeting the performance requirements instead without having to meet the prescriptive standards.

    As a simple example, the overhang of a vehicle behind the rear axle is currently limited to the shorter of (IIRC) 2.4 m or 60% of the wheelbase. This ensures that the tail swing on corners remains within limits deemed acceptable. However, if by some means the manufacturer can retain a longer overhang within the same path, that vehicle can be certified as compliant with the performance based standard.

    A vehicle licensed under the PBS system will already have jumped through the testing and engineering hoops and will have the certification paperwork to prove it before it ever sees the road. In 99% of cases, loud aftermarket exhausts do not.

    In reality, PBS is mainly (though not exclusively) aimed at trucks anyway, so its application to bikes is likely to be fairly limited.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. The above is a completely flawed system. If you're forced to take time out of your day to prove that your vehicle is within spec and it passes, you should not only not have to pay for the test, but should be reimbursed for your time.
  10. With the bulk of the money coming from the coppers own wages.....
    • Like Like x 1
  11. You've got one more day to put in a submission to the NTC review of the Australian road rules. http://www.ntc.gov.au/viewpage.aspx?documentid=2029

    Here's what I've written with respect to a few motorcycle related road rules. Don't plagarise me, but feel free to take some "inspiration" from these suggested changes. I've also put in a bit of a section about the pros of filtering and that the road rules should better reflect the advantageous characteristics of PTW's, e.g. overtaking on a solid white line.


    = = = = = = =

    Rule 270
    Rule 270 requires the wearing of a helmet any time a rider is on their motorbike, either stationary or moving, unless they are parked. However, the rider can conflict with this rule when parking their motorcycle.

    When a rider stops with the intent of parking their bike, they often remove their helmets to improve their peripheral vision. They take an unhindered look around to ensure suitability prior to putting the side stand down and dismounting. Alternatively, if the bike has a centre stand, they will dismount and manually handle the bike onto the stand which is a little more difficult while wearing a helmet.

    Sometimes the position is unsuitable, so they may use their feet on the ground (conflicting with rule 271) to move the bike as required, all the while using their improved vision to ensure they are moving their bike safely. Once the bike is positioned, they will use the side stand or centre stand as previously discussed.

    The parking process therefore puts many motorcyclists in direct conflict with rule 270 and subject to an infringement. Clearly rule 270 and it's sub rules require amending. A suggested amendment is included below:

    (1) A rider, while riding a moving motor bike, or astride or mounted on a stationary motor bike that is not parked or not in the process of being parked, must:
    (a) wear an approved motor bike helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head; and
    (b) not ride with a passenger unless the passenger complies with subrule (2). etc.

    Rule 271 (1), (2) & (3)
    Rule 271 (1) and (2) requires that both the rider and passenger have their feet on the appropriate footrests at all times. The discussion document points out that the rider conflicts with this rule whenever they use their feet to move the bike backwards.

    A rider is also in conflict with this rule whenever they are slow manoeuvring their bike or manoeuvring on a low traction surface and keep their feet near or on the ground to aid stability.

    Further a rider or passenger conflicts with these rules when they stretch their legs to alleviate an impending (and potentially distracting) cramp, loosen a clothing restriction or momentarily unfurl a weary leg. In the case of a passenger stretching their leg, the rider is required by subrule (3) to stop immediately and is subject to a potential penalty if they don’t, despite a rapid stop being a potentially dangerous manoeuvre.

    To better meet pragmatic requirements, the following amendments are suggested:

    (1) A rider, while riding a moving motor bike, or astride or mounted on a stationary motor bike that is not parked or not in the process of being parked, and who is not a rider walking beside and pushing a motor bike, must:
    (a) sit astride the rider’s seat facing forwards; and
    (b) ride with at least 1 hand on the handlebars; and
    (c) if the motor bike is moving — keep both feet on the footrests designed for use by the rider of the motor bike, unless the rider is managing the motor bike's stability, or one leg at a time is momentarily moved for the purposes of stretching or adjustment.

    (2) A passenger on a motor bike (except a passenger in a sidecar or on a seat designed for a passenger, other than a pillion seat) that is moving, or is stationary but not parked, must:
    (a) sit astride the pillion seat facing forwards; and
    (b) keep both feet on the footrests designed for use by a pillion passenger on the motor bike, unless one leg at a time is momentarily moved for the purpose of stretching or adjustment.

    Rule 271 (5A)
    Rule 271 (5A) currently requires that a pillion passenger is at least 8 years old, despite age not necessarily being the best predictor of what makes a safe passenger.

    A safe passenger is one that is physically tall/large enough to reach the footrests (see rule 271 subrule (2)) and importantly one that is capable of following instructions. These requirements could easily be met by a younger child or in some cases be missed by an adult. It's therefore recommended that the rule be revised to require a pillion passenger be sufficiently able to comprehend and comply with rider given instructions.

    Rule 297 (3)
    Rule 297 (3) prohibits any animal being between the rider and the bars – despite a lack of evidence indicating that this endangers either rider or animal. The typical small dog that might ride up front with a rider is usually no bigger than a useful item of motorcycle luggage called a "tank bag" [16]. Indeed, sometimes an animal has ridden in a tank bag safely with the rider maintaining full control of the bike. We strongly recommend that subrule (3) be revoked, but if kept, it should be revised to better meet its intent. In either case, subrule (4) will no longer be valid. The suggested revision is:

    (3) The rider of a motor bike must not ride with an animal on the motor bike in a position or manner that interferes with either the rider’s ability to control the motor bike or having a clear view of the road.
  12. Well, for what it's worth, a submission has been made. Recommends filtering, overtaking on solid white lines, better definitions about off road roads and the above suggested modifications to actual road rules.

    Submission appear on http://www.ntc.gov.au/RFCCommentsView.aspx?DocumentId=2240

    The majority of submissions are from cycling organisations all demanding greater restrictions on road traffic to make cycling safer. Very interesting.
  13. Also interesting is the number of submissions basically accusing motorists of callously running down children... bit strange that..
  14. Excellent submission Rob, I agree with all the points you have made.
    But how would you recommend your revision to Rule 271 (5A) be enforced? I think it is easier to enforce an age requirement rather than the requirement to comprehend and follow instructions. But I still agree that it would be better to change the rule as you've recommended, as I'm sure there are 8 year olds physically capable to ride on the back of a motorcycle but who do not have sufficient ability to comprehend and follow instructions.
  15. becareful what you wish for.

    would you agree to having your pay docked everytime someone else determines you were incorrect?
  16. My official submission hasn't appeared on the NTC webpage despite later submissions appearing. :? :-k

    Kernel, I don't know how it's to be enforced, but if you're not big enough and competent enough to be a pillion, then you shouldn't be a pillion. An arbitrary age limit doesn't ensure that anyone would be a suitable pillion.

    The majority of submission are about revoking the mandatory bicycle helmet laws - are they flogging a dead horse?
  17. In one breath they want to rescind the helmet laws, the next they go on about how vulnerable they are. The horse is truly dead and stinking!
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  18. Ah Harold Scruby, you forever put a smile on my face