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New Rules Give Cyclists a Boost (Australia)

Media Release | Catherine King, Parliamentary Secretary, Infrastructure and Transport

 

New Rules Give Cyclists a Boost

The Gillard Government today paved the way for a new range of electric bicycles into Australia.

Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, announced changes to the national vehicle safety standards that allow for greater consumer choice—while at the same time maintaining safety.

“There is an increasing desire within the community for modern designs of power-assisted pedal cycles. This change in the Australian Design Rules will encourage modern electric bicycles as a healthy alternative to other means of transport,” Ms King said.

“With the National Cycling Strategy 2011–16 aiming to double the number of people riding by 2016, the Government is keen to work with the cycling community to implement reforms that promote healthy lifestyles.

Ms King said that changes to the standard mean the allowable power output has now increased from 200 to 250 watts giving a higher level or performance, while maintaining safety by restricting powered speed to 25 km/h. Riders are required to pedal to access the power or to reach greater speeds than 25 km/h.

The change also means new construction standards for batteries, cables and connections as well as other requirements such as braking performance and the strength of frames.

“In addition, existing designs of machines will continue to be allowed.”

The changes are an important first step towards an overall review by Austroads of alternative vehicles, which would also include mobility scooters, and a key action identified in Australia's National Road Safety Strategy 2011–20.

“It's important that this continues to be a national process that is supported by all governments,” Ms King said.

Ms King praised state and territory authorities for working constructively with the Commonwealth on this change.

However, she said that changes to state and territory road rules may be necessary to allow use of the new electric bicycles and advised people to contact their state road authorities to confirm local provisions.

The standard that has now been adopted is EN 15194.

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Dated - 30.05.2012New Rules Give Cyclists a Boost

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