THE WHITE BIKE FOUNDATION delivered its road safety message to the Andrews’ Government in a meeting with Jaala Pulford, Minister for Road Safety, at Parliament House on Wednesday.
The Foundation, launched on the Mornington Peninsula, broke its 1,700km annual road cycle tour (Ride for Joel) to share concerns over the lack of respect Australian road-sharers show one another, asking Pulford to consider backing its Think 2 movement.
The movement asks all road users to:
The Foundation is piloting its road safety education in four schools on the Mornington Peninsula in 2019 and plans to roll out the course to as many young Australians as possible.
Founder Chris Savage, who has cycled more than 900 kilometres in the last four days, visiting road trauma sites around Victoria, said:
“The White Bike Foundation is a road safety charity concerned for all that use Australian roads. Our movement is driving a generational cultural shift. It is about respecting another human being with whom you share the road, regardless of the mode of transport they have chosen that day.”
Fifty-eight people died on Victorian roads in January and February 2019; 24 more people (70.6%) than the same period last year (BITRE statistics).
The Foundation was created in memory of 17 year-old Joel Hawkins who was killed while training on his bike in 2015, when the driver of a car failed to give way.
Joel’s mother, Liza Hawkins, said:
“It has been amazing to see the way the Peninsula community has rallied around what we are trying to do.
“We want the message to spread far and wide, because we believe that everybody has the right to use the road safely and complete every journey.”
The White Bike Foundation ambassador and 2018 Commonwealth Games Cycling Road Race gold medalist, Steele Von Hoff, said:
“It only takes two seconds for a road-user to double check they are making the safest decision for everybody – life is such a vulnerable thing and the impact of a road casualty is absolutely devastating to all communities involved.“Joel was respected by everybody who met him because he was such a loving person with a wonderful ethos and tenacious approach to life – on and off the bike.”