Legislative Council

QUESTION: Cycling Safety

March 30th, 2017

On the 30th of March, Mark asked the Minister for Road Safety a question about bollards.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: In June last year, a cyclist died after colliding with a bollard at Goolwa Beach. The bollard was an unlit wooden post and it was noncompliant with just about every physical characteristic set out in the Australian Guide to Road Design Part 6A, pedestrian and cycle path design. This tragic death has triggered the renewal of a longstanding road safety campaign by the Bicycle Institute of South Australia to replace, modify or remove the many thousands of unsafe bollards on cycling routes in South Australia.

In fact, so confident is the institute that bollards in the City of Adelaide are noncompliant that they have launched a competition with a prize for anyone who can identify a single bollard that meets the road design standards which, they note, have remained constant for over 20 years.

The Adelaide City Council, in correspondence with the Bicycle Institute, has expressed disappointment that the institute is now recommending that cyclists bring legal action against council if they are unfortunate enough to be injured or suffer damage as a result of a collision with one of their noncompliant bollards. In response, the Bicycle Institute points out that most bollards were noncompliant on the day they were installed, and that new bollards currently being installed continue to be noncompliant, with many also extremely dangerous.

Whilst many of the offending noncompliant bollards are the responsibility of local councils, it is also true that many have been installed as part of state government funded road safety and cycling programs, so this potentially deadly problem is not one that the state government can wash its hands of.

My question of the minister is: what action will the government take to ensure that road and path facilities used by cyclists are safe, fit for purpose, and comply with relevant engineering and safety standards?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS  (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): I must say I have had the opportunity to meet with various cycling community representatives, including, I think, the one to which the Hon. Mr Parnell refers, and this issue has not been one that has been raised with me up until this point. I am more than happy to undertake to explore the issue and seek some advice around exactly what the standards are that are currently attached to bollards, and seek to ascertain what the situation is and what the current practice is regarding DPTI and their installation, or whether they have funded or supported the installation or indeed have installed bollards themselves and what their practice is in respect to applying the guidelines to which the Hon. Mr Parnell refers.

An additional answer was provided on 2nd August 2017

Hon Peter Malinauskas MLC: I am advised that:

The Department for Planning Transport and Infrastructure ensure that all traffic control devices (including bollards that form part: of traffic engineering projects developed by the Department) are designed and installed in accordance with AUSTROADS, Guide to Road Design Part 6A- Pedestrians and Cyclist Paths. This national guide is quite specific in relation to the requirements of physical appearance and position of bollards. Specifically, amongst other things, bollards are to be highly conspicuous creating contrast with surrounding environment by painting the device with white or yellow paint and applying reflective tape for detection at night. Pavement marking is to be installed to direct cyclists and pedestrians away from bollards. The Department's traffic control approval systems ensures a rigorous process for approving traffic control devices, by recognised traffic engineering practitioners, as part of the delivery of their traffic engineering projects to ensure that the aforementioned guidelines are appropriately accommodated.

The Department also provides grant monies in partnership with South Australian Local Government Authorities for the development of cycling and walking facilities through the 'State Bicycle Fund'. This funds management system ensures that Local Government Authorities, that receive funding from the Department, are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the need to accommodate national standards and guidelines as part of management of approved projects. I am advised by the Department that the bollard installed at Goolwa Beach on Local Government infrastructure did not form part of a State Bicycle Fund project.

Notwithstanding the Department's current processes, I will ensure that the Local Government Association of South Australia is communicated with by the Department to ensure that all South Australian Councils are aware of the importance to install bollards in accordance with the aforementioned national guidelines.

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