Ken Lay's bike safety message
A message from Chief Commissioner Ken Lay of Victoria Police on bike safety.PT0M0S 620 349
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has come out in emphatic support of cyclists' right to be on the road, stating that it is the responsibility of all motorists to be vigilant about bike riders' safety.
Mr Lay's firm pro-cycling comments feature in a YouTube video clip that has not been officially released, but has been obtained by Fairfax Media.
''Bikes are classified as vehicles, and like cars, they have the right to use our roads,'' Mr Lay says. ''The vulnerability of cyclists does put the responsibility on motorists to drive safely and in a way that doesn't risk the life of cyclists.''
Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay. Photo: Craig Sillitoe
The state's most senior policeman also uses the video to dispel two myths that are a frequent source of hostility towards cyclists – that motorists pay for the roads through their registration fees, and that cyclists are legally required to ride in single file.
''Our roads are paid for by our taxes and rates,'' he says. ''Cyclists may ride two abreast legally. Be patient when you're driving and give bikes at least one metre clearance when passing, more if you're travelling over 60km/h.''
He also calls on cyclists to ride responsibly and always wear a helmet.
A keen cyclist himself, Mr Lay was verbally abused by a motorist while cycling with other police officers on a fundraising bike ride in Gippsland in November. The driver stopped and was told to move on by the officers, who were not identified as police but were riding within the group.
''The man apologised, stating his frustration with cyclists and the impact on road users,'' a Victoria Police spokeswoman said when the incident was reported.
''Police educated the man on his responsibility to share the road with all users. There are no charges pending.''