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29 June 2017

New laws that start on July 1 2017

Cyclists using their phones while riding after July 1 face on-the-spot fines.

MOTORISTS and cyclists will have to contend with five new road rules which come into force on Saturday.

The new road rules starting July 1 include on-the-spot fines for cyclists using mobile phones, and new give-way rules for vehicles at intersections with bike crossing lights.

Other rule changes will permit cyclists and coaches to use bus lanes, while a rule that prohibited people from driving with an empty bicycle carrier attached to the rear of their vehicle has been removed.

The new rules are in addition to the recently announced change that drivers must slow to 40km/h for emergency services vehicles.

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Understand these rules and all road users can get along

Dave Jones, RACV Roads and Traffic Manager, said he was concerned about the lack of notice given to road users when significant changes are made to road rules.

“These changes came into effect only days after being announced and did not give road users enough time to absorb the changes,” Mr Jones said.

“RACV has listened to its members and believes VicRoads needs to provide more notice to the Victorian community about any changes to the road rules, and publicise the changes well in advance of them coming into effect.

“For example, there should be greater community consultation, consideration of a mandatory 30-day notice period and mass-media communications.”

While RACV acknowledged the need to ensure emergency services workers operated in a safe environment, Mr Jones said he was concerned about the lack of public understanding of the new rule.

“The slow down requirement of the rule applies in relation to emergency or enforcement vehicles in service roads, but not when the emergency vehicle is on the other side of a median strip,” he said.

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“RACV calls for the rule to be amended so that drivers do not need to slow for emergency vehicles in service roads.”

The State Government says the changes are aimed at tidying up existing road rules and formalising current practices.

It says the emergency services road rule was developed thorough consultation with a working group of emergency services and enforcement agencies, as well as other parties, over 18 months.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the new road rules were commonsense changes aimed at keeping people safe on our roads.

“VicRoads is running an extensive advertising and communications campaign to let people know about these new rules that will make our roads safer for everyone who uses them,” Mr Donnellan said.

andrew.jefferson@news.com.au

@AndyJeffo

Originally published as Five new road rules coming your way

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