Aussies back new ban on cyclists
Cyclists should be banned from using headphones or earbuds while riding, according to the results of a new international survey.
The Electronic survey of road user's attitudes (ESRA) took in responses from about 35,000 people in 32 countries including Australia. It asked road users for their thoughts on a variety of issues including speeding, drink-driving and distraction.
Some 64.8 per cent of Australians surveyed were in favour of a ban on cyclists using headphones.
That's a little lower than the UK, where 68.2 per cent of survey responders were in favour of the ban, or the 65.8 per cent international average.
Australians are less concerned about drivers or pedestrians being distracted by phone calls - just 38.9 per cent of Australians surveyed supported laws banning people wearing headphones while walking, while 57.6 per cent of Aussies advocated for a total ban on drivers using any type of phone while driving.
Older road users around the world were the most likely to support a ban on headphones, while people aged 18 to 24 were less likely to back a ban.
Neil Greig, policy and research director at British road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, said "it's clear that the majority of road users are very concerned about distracted cyclists wearing headphones or earbuds while riding".
"These findings were consistent right across the world in this substantial survey," he said.
"Being plugged in to either headphones or earbuds is the ultimate distraction, as it completely shuts you off to your surroundings, creating a potential road safety risk to yourself, pedestrians and other road users around you.
"This is even more critical with the popularity and increasing prevalence of noise-cancelling equipment."
The survey results come as people resume regular travel following coronavirus restrictions, with cyclists particularly at risk.
Official data shows 280 people died on Australian roads in the September quarter of 2020, compared to 248 deaths in the July quarter.
Cyclist deaths on the road increased by more than 30 per cent in the last year, with 47 bicycle riders losing their lives on Australian roads in the 12 months to September.
Originally published as Aussies back new ban on cyclists