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Police operation to improve pedestrian safety in Southbank

Pedestrian safety along the Southbank Promenade is the focus of a new Victoria Police operation, targeting speeding cyclists, electric bike and scooter drivers.

Southbank Promenade is a busy CBD thoroughfare, designed to be used by both bike and scooter riders, and pedestrians at a speed limit of 10km per hour.

Operation River Run will see the Melbourne Bike Patrol and local police patrol the area at peak travel times to detect and deter speeding offences, as well as those putting other path users in danger.

Speed warning signs are in place to notify riders of their speed, and police will also be using hand-held speed measuring devices.

The first phase of the operation will incorporate an educational approach, with police handing out flyers and making sure those using the space understand the rules.

If a cyclist fails to abide by a signposted limit along a shared path, they can be charged on summons and prosecuted under Road Rule 20 of the Road Safety Act. This holds a maximum penalty of $1,652.20.

Police will also be checking those using electric bikes and scooters to ensure their devices are in line with current regulations. This includes:

• Scooters – the maximum power must not exceed 200 watts

• Electric bike – the maximum power must not exceed 250 watts, and the power assistance must only be available to travel up to 25km an hour (and the power assistance is not available unless the rider is pedalling)

If these parameters are not met, then the device can only be used on a private property otherwise that person could be penalised for driving an unregistered motor vehicle.

Operation River Run commences today and will run for three weeks.

Quotes attributable to Southbank Acting Senior Sergeant Brett Sidebottom

“Pedestrians are among our most vulnerable road users – if involved in a collision there is very little that protects them from impact.”

“It is incredibly dangerous for all path users to have riders zooming past pedestrians at a great speed, particularly when we have more people coming back into the city visiting the wonderful food and entertainment precincts along Southbank Promenade.”

“We know more people are choosing options such as electric bikes and scooters to get around the city, and we want to make sure their devices are up to standard and in line with current regulations.”

“We encourage all users of roads and shared footpaths to have patience and make sure you look out for each other to ensure everyone is using the space safely.”

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