Avoid injury and cycle safely
With cycling events happening around the region in the coming weeks, Consumer Affairs Victoria is reminding riders to always take care when using their bikes and bike accessories.
“Cycling is fun but like with any activity, accidents can happen. It’s important to always remember that safety comes first,” Consumer Affairs Director Dr Claire Noone said.
More than 330 cyclists are injured on Victorian roads each year.
“There are a number of ways you can injure yourself on a bike but you can minimise the chance of getting hurt by using safe and well maintained products and using them correctly.”
“Make sure that the bike you’re using is in good working order. Before you get on a bike make sure your helmet, brakes, tyres and chain are all in good condition.”
Maintaining your bike and keeping it in good working order will make your bike easier to ride. If a bicycle fails and a rider falls they risk broken bones, head injuries and even death.
Even the most experienced rider can get into trouble if they use a bike that doesn’t meet mandatory safety standards.
The standards set out safety requirements for bikes on things such as:
- braking systems
- protective chain guards
- warning devices such as bells.
Since the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) came into effect on 1 January 2011, bicycles around the country must meet the same standards. Under the ACL bicycles must come with safety and maintenance instructions. For bicycles that are partially assembled, simple, clear and adequate instructions for completing the assembly are required.
“If you buy a bike that needs to be assembled, remember to always follow the directions. A bike that’s incorrectly assembled poses a significant safety risk,” Dr Noone said.
“Cycling is a great way to get around and sustainable too, and so we want to make sure that there are as few injuries as possible.”
Bicycles should be marked with the details of the Australian manufacturer or distributor.
The Ballarat Cycle Classic is being held on 20 February 2011. The Bendigo International Madison cycling athletic carnival will take place from 1 to 13 March.
Consumer Affairs Victoria, 1300 55 81 81
Consumer Affairs Victoria, 1300 55 81 81 or visit Consumer Affairs Victoria.
ACCC Infocentre, 1300 302 502