Delivery rider safety concerns
The recent explosion of delivery bike rider numbers on our roads thanks to food delivery services raises significant questions about safety for employees and other road users.
BQ believes that companies must do more to ensure their employees’ safety and riders need to be more aware of their risks.
“When someone’s doing a professional service, it’s a fair call to say that there should be an education process,” BQ’s CEO Ben Wilson says. “There should be a better standard of bike design safety that is commensurate with their evening use, more training for riders and more reflectivity on the bikes, on the large delivery backpacks and on the riders.”
“There’s been some risky situations where riders are young people, perhaps visitors to Australia who are not familiar with our streets, and have found themselves on major roads, right up to those they shouldn’t be on like freeways, all because their phone app directions has not been set to bicycle – it’s actually been set to car.”
BQ believes requirements to increase rider visibility beyond standard lighting requirements should be implemented.
“As any bicycle rider will know, you need to have a more prominent system of lighting than just the barest minimum for front and back lighting. There are issues about being seen from the side which become very important when you’re very exposed to a lot of traffic situations.”
BQ also suggests the addition of illumination on the delivery products themselves, which are often big, black backpacks that are poorly visible at night when deliveries are most often made.
“Delivery packs should be bright and could have reflectivity built into them. Helmets too should be decent quality, bright and with reflective material added. Lights should be bright and extra lights are required other than the bare minimum to make delivery drivers safer.”
BQ does however support the use of bicycles as delivery vehicles.
“We can see bicycle deliveries happing right across the sphere because the bicycle is an incredibly efficient way to move things in cities particularly and are here to stay. Deliveries by bicycle reduce the number of motorised vehicles on our roads and are simply more efficient in their role.”
“Drivers will be getting used to this already. But, as in any city where cycling rates are high, drivers share the responsibility and must remain vigilant and aware of the increased numbers of bikes on our roads.”
BQ will be discussing these issues further with transport authorities and delivery companies.