Thanks to Sam and others who wrote letters to the Minister for Roads. It seems Roozendaal has finally learned his lines properly this time , after his foolish comment in the media last Friday that groups of cyclists shouldn't be on the road in peak hour. This is from Hansard on 13 May, during questions without notice.
Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE: I ask the Minister for Roads a question without notice. Is the Minister aware that, in any given year, roughly two in every 1,000 males between the ages of 13 and 19 will be hospitalised due to injuries sustained while cycling on Australian roads? Is the Minister aware that between 2003-06 cycling fatalities increased by 27 per cent, with the vast majority of those fatalities resulting after a collision with a motor vehicle on roads where the speed limit was in excess of 70 kilometres an hour? Will the Government take urgent action to prohibit cycling on highways where the speed limit is in excess of 70 kilometres per hour and require cyclists to use other alternative scenic routes?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: As cycling on our roads has been a topical issue recently I appreciate the member's question. At the outset it is worth stating that the road is there for everybody to use and share.
Road users must show respect for one another on the roads. Cycling is a legitimate usage of the road. However, it is worth differentiating between the different sorts of cyclists. Commuting cyclists cycle to work every day; casual cyclists enjoy cycling on weekends and after hours, often with their families; and professional cyclists, such as those recently involved in the incident on Southern Cross Drive, train for the Olympics.
We have different sorts of cyclists on our roads but they are legitimate road users and they have a right to be on our roads. For their safety and for the safety of the community they should take into account the types of roads on which they are riding. This Government has provided extensive cycleways throughout New South Wales in an attempt to encourage cyclists to use them. However, they are not necessarily suitable for professional cyclists who want to travel at a decent speed for long periods. I ask all road users to be respectful of one another on our roads and to ensure their safety and the safety of others.