Victorian Police Reward Cyclists For “Doing the Right Thing”

Cyclists melbourne
  • Article by Amy Bradney-George
  • June 23, 2015 at 1:44 PM

A Victorian highway patrol unit has taken a different approach towards cycling safety by offering prizes to cyclists that follow the road rules.

The Moorabbin Highway Patrol, to the southeast of Melbourne, have been handing out prizes including computers, lights, helmets and water bottles to encourage safer road use and cycling etiquette in shared areas.

The region includes cycling hotspot Beach Roach, which follows the bay from Brighton Beach through to Mordialloc and includes around 15km of dedicated cyclist/pedestrian paths.

In an interview with 3AW, the patrol’s acting Sergeant Richard Carnegie says the police saw this as a positive way to protect “the most vulnerable road users”.

“We thought we’d try something a bit different,” he says.

“Rather than observe cyclists doing the wrong thing, we thought we’d take a different focus and reward them for doing the right thing and showing a commitment to road safety on Beach Road.”

He says this approach is also a way to help cyclists doing the right thing avoid unfair criticism and judgment from other road users.

The Beach Road area has a particularly bad reputation for cyclists. In March 2015, a massive accident in the area left nine people seriously injured, including one cyclist who ended up with a fractured skull. The crash was caused when one cyclist clipped another, and police believe the offending cyclist was a member of the Hell Ride group, which races at high-speed from Black Rock to Mount Eliza.

“A sense of humanity was lacking in the Hell Ride group and they all rode on without stopping to check on the other riders,” Sgt Carnegie says of the accident in an interview with the Mordialloc Chelsea Leader.

The Police State Bicycle Unit donated more than $2000 worth of equipment for this latest initiative and while there is no word on how long it will run, Sgt Carnegie has indicated it is a step in the right direction.

“We want to do whatever we can to foster a co-operative relationship between all road users on Beach Rd,” he says.

Images: Cyclists in Melbourne, source: Mat Connolley (Wikimedia Commons); A Twitter photo of yclists and Morabbin Highway Patrol police, source: Mordialloc Chelsea Leader on Twitter.

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