Bicycles in Australia are currently regulated by a mandatory safety standard that sets out requirements for braking, steering function, reflectors, bells, identification markers and user guidance. In addition to the mandatory standard all State and Territory road rules require bicycles to have a brake, reflectors and a bell.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reviewing the mandatory standard for pedal bicycles because:
- they want to see if the safety standard is still effective in reducing serious injuries from bicycle product failures (it was introduced in 1979 because of concerns about unsafe bicycles supplied in Australia)
- there have been technological developments in bicycle manufacturing and the current regulatory arrangements may no longer be the best way to address the safety concerns
- the market has changed since the previous review of the mandatory safety standard
- they are considering trusted international standards for bicycles
- they are considering whether mandatory safety requirements for recumbent, one-of-a-kind, folding, tandem, second-hand and hire bicycles are required
- they are considering safety principles rather than prescriptive requirements to ensure bicycles have effective braking and are structurally sound.
- they want to ensure that the mandatory safety standard keeps pace with changes in bicycle technology, bicycle marketing and use.
The purpose of this review is to assess whether the mandatory safety standard remains effective and whether there are more efficient ways of achieving the same level of safety. This review of the standard considers the adoption of international standards. The ACCC has assessed the European, ISO and CPSC standards for bicycles against its published criteria for acceptance.
The ACCC is considering the following policy options for dealing with the current mandatory safety standard:
- Option 1: Retain the current mandatory safety standard (status quo)
- Option 2: Adopt the entire updated voluntary Australian standard
- Option 3: Adopt parts of the updated voluntary Australian standard
- Option 4: Allow compliance with the voluntary Australian or trusted international standards
- Option 5: Revoke the mandatory safety standard.
A detailed discussion of the options, including a cost/benefit analysis using the regulation impact framework is in the paper.
You can read the consultation paper and find more information here.
The National Retail Association will be lodging a submission representing the interests of retailers. We invite members to submit a submission to the ACCC directly, or send your feedback to us at [email protected] by COB 14 December 2016 so we can include your views in our submission.