The following media releases went out last night from the MRA(Vic), the VACC and Motorcycling Australia. VACC (Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce) VACC calls for improved road sharing schemes VACC, the peak Automotive Industry body in Victoria, has reiterated its call for improved road sharing schemes. â€œThe global economic slowdown has forced many Australians to re-consider their personal transport options,â€ VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said. â€œMany commuters have cut costs by leaving the car at home but some do not like the idea of having to cram onto an already over burdened public transport system. Therefore, Powered Two-Wheeled (PTW) vehicles have become an attractive alternative. â€œScooters are a cheap, efficient and accessible mode of transport. But they deserve the same status and respect as other vehicles on the roads. In the VACCâ€™s opinion, the Victorian Government has failed to recognise this. â€œVACC believes the Government and the infrastructure plans should make provision for scooters through an integrated transport policy. â€œThe community and environmental benefits of scooters are clear. Scooters use smaller parking spaces than cars and leave a tiny carbon footprint. However, some people are put off from using them because they feel vulnerable riding on the roads. â€œVACC repeats its call for scooter riders to be allowed to share bicycle lanes. VACC is calling for designated and signed â€œSafe Routesâ€, safety boxes, access by scooter riders to certain designated bicycle, transit and bus lanes and allowing boxed turns on certain busy intersections â€œIt is a call echoed by the Motorcycle Riders Association (Victoria) which is today calling on the Minister for Ports and Roads, Mr Tim Pallas, to consider allowing all vulnerable road users, including PTWs to share the on-road lanes that are now the exclusive domain of bicycles. â€œVACC will be highlighting this issue through the fifth annual Scooter Rally in Melbourne. Hundreds of scooter riders will take to the Cityâ€™s streets to emphasis the fact that while scooter riding is social and fun, it is an important mode of transport. It is about time the Government took Powered Two-Wheeled vehicles seriously and made an effort to appreciate their value in reducing congestion and demand for parking spaces,â€ Mr Purchase said. Motorcycling Australia Motorcyclists are vulnerable When it comes to road crashes, motorcyclists and scooter riders are vulnerable and restrictions on the use of bicycle lanes should be lifted, according to Australiaâ€™s peak body for motorcyclists, Motorcycling Australia. â€œThere has been an enormous investment in creating safer lanes for bicycles in capitals and major cities across the country,â€ said Motorcycling Australiaâ€™s Dan Rotman, â€œbut riders of scooters and motorcycles- Powered Two Wheelers [PTWs] - are locked out of them because of legislation and regulation.â€ He said that there had rightly been an effort to protect bicycle riders from other traffic, but that legislators and road constructors seemed to have forgotten that riders of PTWs were even more vulnerable than bicyclists. â€œWhile injury trends for bicycle riders and car occupants are in decline, riders of PTWs remain highly vulnerable, and part of the solution could be extending the use of bicycle lanes in selected locations,â€ Rotman said. Bicycle and PTW riders have a lot in common- a similar exposure to risk, size and footprint- and much of the new bicycle lane infrastructure could safely and easily accommodate both user groups. â€œNot every bicycle lane would be appropriate,â€ Rotman said, â€œbut thereâ€™s a great opportunity to conduct a trial to establish how, and where the protection of these exclusive lanes could be extended to all vulnerable road users.â€ Motorcycling Australia said that it would like to work with bicycle user groups, the MRA, car user groups and Government to work out how this could be best achieved. For more information check out www.ma.org.au/rights MRA(Vic) Let Vulnerable Road Users Share Lanes Motorcycle Riders Association (Victoria) (MRA(Vic)) President John Karmouche today called on the Minister for Ports and Roads, Tim Pallas, to take action and introduce specialist lanes for every vulnerable road user (VRU). At present lane separation is limited to bicycles and does not take into account the needs of the even more vulnerable segment of powered two wheelers (PTW). Mr Karmouche said today that, â€œWe know that road space is often a sensitive issue within the bicycle community, but PTW also share many of the risks experienced by bicycles. Bicycles and PTW share many similarities in terms of the risks posed by other traffic and have very similar on-road footprints. We see it as a sensible proposal that PTW be separated from the same threats by initiating shared on-road VRU lanesâ€. â€œWe are not looking at full sharing of every on-road bicycle lane; some are patently unsuitable for sharing. What we want to see is the establishment of safe combined VRU routes wherever possible.â€ We are calling on VicRoads to establish trial routes where the interaction between users can be studied with a view to establishing â€œbest practiceâ€ for VRUs. No Crash History. According to VicRoads Crash Stats database there have been very few incidents between PTW and bicycles involving road space conflict. MRA(Vic) asserts that given this history it is possible to develop vulnerable road user lanes that can be shared amicably by both PTWs and bicycles. MRA(Vic) is joining forces with the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and Motorcycling Australia (MA) to support this issue.