ROAD TRAFFIC LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2) 2015

I, too, rise to support the Road Traffic Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2). The Greens support all the clauses in the bill. I want to thank the minister for the detailed briefing that we were provided with and the very many experts who met us and talked about their particular expertise. This includes the expert who went through the formula for how speed is going to be calculated from point-to-point cameras. “Boggling” is a good word, Hon Stephen Dawson. I appreciate the attempt to try to teach me how that figure will be arrived at; I just said, “Well, it’s got to be an average, right, to get to that point?” As I understand it, that trial is currently underway and we will know whether it has been successful. If it is successful, there is provision in this bill before us to implement point-to-point speed offences. The honourable member who spoke before me outlined quite well, I believe, all the key points; he certainly mentioned the ones that I was going to raise. For example, I was going to raise the ability to report crashes online and the extension of the ability to release information to insurance companies for the purpose of making an insurance claim. I will put just a bit more detail on that point. One clause amends the legislation to empower the disclosure of details, when they are sought by one of the parties to an incident, to the requesting party or to a person authorised by that party for this purpose. Are members following me? It is not very easy to follow but the upshot is that, when a person is involved in an accident where an injury occurs, sometimes the details of the people involved in the incident are not passed on to the right individuals to be able to file a claim, for example. I believe the commissioner now has the ability to pass on those details. It was kind of interesting to find out that the commissioner did not have that ability until now, but, from this point on, he will have that ability. I think all Western Australians will appreciate that. The explanatory memorandum has 47 pages. That can give members some idea of the complexity of this omnibus bill. The bill makes a series of amendments to four different acts. Those amendments seem to be very reasonable, hence the reason we are giving the bill our support. Normally when we get an omnibus bill, we have concerns about one or two clauses and we might seek to go into committee to find out more detail. As the honourable member who spoke before me has explained, these are very reasonable changes, and it is appropriate that we pass them quickly, because we are talking about road safety, which impacts people’s lives. I would mention only that the government has missed an opportunity in this bill. Although we support all the clauses in the bill, we would have liked to see a further amendment to section 63 of the Road Traffic Act. I have put this amendment on the notice paper in a separate bill. That is an amendment to establish a one-metre rule for cyclists. The government, in its response to the bill thus far, has indicated that there will be other opportunities to implement such a rule through regulations. In my view, the government has missed an opportunity in this bill to provide a safer experience for cyclists on our roads. The simple amendment that I have proposed is to insert after section 63 a new section that reads — A driver of a motor vehicle must, while following or passing a person on a bicycle on a road, keep a safe distance, between all parts of the vehicle and all parts of the person and bicycle, of at least — (a) if the speed limit applicable to the vehicle or the place does not exceed 60 km/h — I metre; (b) otherwise — 1.5 metres. This bill could have been improved had the government proposed to insert that new section. I encourage the government and the minister to pursue that amendment with haste. We know that cyclists may be injured if they come into contact with cars on the road. This bill contains very good provisions for people who ride trail bikes and go on the road temporarily to get to their favourite off-road facility or get to their nearby house. In this bill the government has gone to the extent of dealing with unlicensed motorised bikes on our roads to try to curtail that activity and improve road safety. If the government had taken the next step in this bill of improving safety for cyclists on our roads, that would have been warmly received by cyclists in Western Australia. I therefore ask the minister to address in his second reading reply why that opportunity was forgone on this occasion, and whether he has any intention of proposing an amendment to improve safety for cyclists on our roads, because that is certainly something that I would consider in this bill. With those brief words, I indicate that the Greens will be supporting the bill.