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Delivery riders flouting road rules

Some motorcycle, scooter and bicycle delivery riders are flouting traffic and parking rules, endangering pedestrians and other road users, says Motorcycle Council of NSW vice-chairman Jason Antony.

He says it has worsened under the current pandemic lockdown, as more and more people use online services to order meals.

Delivery rider scrutiny

“The food delivery industry — part of the burgeoning gig economy — is in dire need of regulatory oversight as well as scrutiny from road safety authorities,” Jason says.

“As a significant number of these workers are from overseas, it would not surprise me if they do not hold an Australian licence.

“Many such riders therefore tend to be unfamiliar with, or have little regard for, Australia’s traffic system and road rules — often endangering other road users, including pedestrians, for very little gain.

“For years, I have observed them on barely roadworthy motorbikes and scooters, choosing to behave in an increasingly dangerous manner as they stare at their mobiles, focussing on text and video conversations instead of their surroundings.

“Even L-platers can be frequently seen lane filtering, lane splitting, kerb filtering, failing to give way, chucking U-turns into the path of oncoming traffic, running red lights, almost striking pedestrians who are crossing legally … the list goes on.”

Under lane filtering rules, only those who hold a full Australian motorcycle licence are permitted to lane filter, not overseas licence holders.

We asked Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne councils if they had an issue with scooter delivery riders and whether they were over-represented in traffic and parking fines. However, they said they didn’t keep records relating to delivery riders. They also didn’t have any specific operations to keep a check on them.

Kymco Agility Carry delivery scooter

Jason says the perceived lack of targeted action by the relevant authorities to hold errant delivery riders to account is perplexing.

“Over the past few years, I have observed an increase in the number of delivery riders taking more risks, breaking more road rules and creating close calls — yet we have not seen a campaign targeting them,” he says.

“The message needs to be spelled out and enforced with no wiggle room: inconsiderate, reckless and dangerous riding that puts others at needless risk will not be tolerated.”

CyclistsBicycle Delivery

Jason says it’s not just motorcycle and scooter delivery riders at fault.

He says many push-bike delivery riders are also illegally riding on footpaths, including many on power-assisted electric bikes despite the roads being relatively empty during the lockdown.

“They power through narrow footpaths at ridiculous speeds, speed past shop entrances and intersections, bang the bell when approaching pedestrians and frighten them out of their way — others silently scrape past those on foot with very little room to spare.”

In some states, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on pedestrian footpaths, but there are some exceptions for children.

Licensing and training

Jason says delivery riders should be made to undertake road rules training and a defensive riding course.

“It could provide the impetus for food delivery riders to understand the responsibilities that come with operating a vehicle on the roads safely, sensibly and considerately,” he says.

“At the end of the day, it is about their safety as well — not merely the general public’s.”

He also points out that people with overseas driver/rider licences should have to obtain a relevant local licence after a certain period as is the case in some other states.

  1. Looks hardly different to the average idiot Australian car driver to me – parking cars on the wrongs side of the road so the rear reflectors are facing the wrong way, sticking out of driveways halfway across the road, parking too close to vehicles on the other side of the road so other vehicles, especially trucks and buses, can’t get through, illegally dazzling other drivers with fog-lights on in clear conditions, crossing double centre-lines around bends and so-on. The list goes on, but why bother? As long as you aren’t “speeding”, it seems anything goes these days. The police are only interested in devices such as speed-detection radar which are hard to challenge in court.

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