Brakes applied to cycling safety signage as insurance issues create confusion

SAFETY REQUEST: Orange Treadlies want bicycle signs at 36 locations across Orange.

SAFETY REQUEST: Orange Treadlies want bicycle signs at 36 locations across Orange.

SIGNS warning motorists to be wary of road cyclists will be left to the City of Orange Traffic Committee after confusion surrounding legal advice.

The committee considered signs at 36 locations last month, at the request of Orange City Council and Orange Treadlies, with a recommendation to approve them.

However, the issue of insurance arose and the proposal was deferred for further discussions on Tuesday.

Concerns were raised installing the signs could acknowledge the areas as dangerous and create legal problems for the council, however a second set of advice contradicted the first.

Councillors baulked at the confusion last week, with councillor Jason Hamling saying the signs should be installed.

“This is not new, I don’t get why this is such an issue, we’re not reinventing the wheel here just to warn motorists that cyclists use these roads,” he said. 

“It’s in Bathurst, it’s in other cycling towns.”

Councillor Joanne McRae pointed out there were signs around Cook Park warning motorists of ducks.

“I’m just wondering did we also have to pursue the insurance advice regarding the warning signs for ducks or is this particularly bicycles?” she said.

“It just seems a little concerning that we keep deferring this, which is a basic safety issue in a city which is trying to encourage cyclists.”

Orange Cycle Club president Colin Dibble said signage could not be “anything but good”, particularly along the loop between Gosling Creek and the airport where the club did a lot of its competition riding, as well as Forest Reefs Road, Cargo Road and Cadia Road.  

However, Dr Dibble said signage alone would not eliminate safety concerns for cyclists, with broader road user education needed.

“They would help if motorists aren’t thinking about it or if they’re not from the area, but not in isolation,” he said.

He said there were rogue elements in both the motorist and cycling communities.

“There’s only a small number of motorists who are anti-cyclists and pass too close – likewise there’s cyclists who ride too many abreast and go through run red lights and that annoys motorists too,” he said. 

“There’s minorities in both groups behaving in a very selfish way that gives a bad name for both sides.

“We need mutual respect for all road users.”

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