Prompted by recent fatal and serious cycling incidents in our community, the Whittlesea BUG applied and was successful in obtaining a $10000 TAC Victoria grant. The committee decided to invest the proceeds of the grant into a significant and high impacting cycling safety campaign modelled on the successful Bike Safe campaign, whose message is supported by the Amy Gillett Foundation. Our hope is to raise safety awareness by educating the community about sharing the road with cyclists.
The grant allocated will provide for 6 of the Dyson bus fleet to carry a variety of significant and impacting signs highlighting various cycling safety messages. The buses will travel along main roads such as Plenty Road and target the greatest amount of road users possible for a period of three months.
Additionally, VicRoads have complimented our campaign by offering to fund an additional 6 signs measuring 3.8m x 1.2m carrying the same safety messages. These will be erected roadside across a 5.2km zone along the new Stage 3 Plenty Rd Duplication Project, remaining in place for a period of 6 months.
Bike safety is high on the agenda in Whittlesea, with active transport options encouraged to improve health of the community and ease traffic congestion, the issues around safe cycling remains a major concern to many who wish to take up cycling but feel there is more work to be done to change the attitudes and behaviours of some drivers and cyclists alike. The simple act of educating the community to share the road safely and respectfully with each other could actually save lives.
With the assistance of local business partnerships, and the continuing support of Whittlesea Council and Victoria Police, it is hoped that the Whittlesea BUG can continue to advocate and build on these initiatives into the future and fund further safety campaigns as growing numbers of families continue to move into the municipality and choose cycling as a mode of transport and recreation.