Commuter cyclists in Melbourne have greatly improved their road behaviour since February, according to Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill.
The average number of bicycle offences detected per day during the traffic blitz Operation Halo II in October was around half the number detected per day in February, Mr Hill said.
“While there may have been more cyclists on the road during the sunny February weather compared to October, this result is still heartening,” he said.
Operation Halo II coincided with Safe Cycle Month which aims to raise awareness of bicycle safety among all road users and reduce road trauma.
“Any initiative that raises public awareness of vulnerable road users and road safety issues is a positive thing for the community and Safe Cycle Month has certainly helped with that,” he said.
“Last year, one third of all those killed on Victorian roads were vulnerable road users so it is vital that we work to bring this number down.”
Operation Halo aimed to protect vulnerable road users and raise awareness of the road safety issues affecting them.
Police detected 3265 motorbike, bicycle, pedestrian and car-truck offences during Halo II.
The operation, which ran from 9 to 19 October, aimed to reduce road trauma involving vulnerable road users and ran during peak commuter times at high-collision locations across the Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra, Boroondara and Stonnington Police Service Areas.
In just two hours on the second day of the operation, police issued 40 penalty notices to a spate of drivers for disobeying a No Left Turn sign in Hotham Street, East Melbourne.
Police detected an average of 408 offences per day during the operation. In the two-week February blitz, police detected an average of 455 offences per day.
Mr Hill said it was good to see people taking better care on the road and being more aware of vulnerable road users.
“While it was disappointing that police detected more than 3000 offences during the operation, it is encouraging that the average number of offences detected per day was less than the average detected during our first Halo operation in February,” Mr Hill said.
During the operation, police focused on specific offences which contributed to road trauma involving vulnerable road users such as mobile phone use, failure to signal and disobeying traffic lights or signs.
There were a total of 178 offences by cyclists – 113 were booked for not wearing a helmet, 25 for disobeying traffic lights or signs and 24 for riding on a footpath.
Operation Halo II Results
Pedestrian Offences – 276
Disobey traffic control signal – 228
Walk improperly on road – 30
Cross within 20m of pedestrian crossing – 11
Bicycle Offences – 178
Fail to wear helmet – 113
Ride on footpath – 24
Disobey traffic lights or signs – 25
Motorcycle Offences – 291
Ride in bicycle lane – 150
Disobey traffic lights or signs – 8
Fail to give signal – 2
Car/Truck Offences – 2520
Disobey traffic lights or signs – 384
Use mobile phone – 814
Drive in bicycle lane – 9
Diverge when unsafe – 12
Fail to give way – 16
Alight from vehicle when unsafe – 1