It may not be this week’s most high profile political U-turn, but an Australian politician has retracted his idea that speeding cyclists could be caught using Strava data, describing it as “the single silliest thing I’ve said publicly since being elected.”
Mark Parton, a Liberal member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly, was discussing a proposed 10kmh speed limit on one of Canberra’s major bridges when he made the suggestion.
“I don’t understand how you could possibly police [the speed limit] because unless there’s someone standing there with a speed gun and they’re quick enough to catch them,” he said.
Instead, Mr Parton suggested that Strava could be used to track cyclists breaking the proposed speed limit.
“Every hard-core cyclist is on Strava,” he continued. “They have a digital record that’s public as to how fast they’re travelling and specifically where they’ve done it .”
“If you were getting to the point where you’re trying to crack down on cyclists you believe are riding in excessive speeds in those areas, it’s like people get prosecuted for posting something on YouTube, the data is actually available for most cyclists as to exactly how fast they’ve gone and exactly where they’ve done it.”
However writing on Facebook after the hearing, Mr Parton, who is a regular cyclist and Strava-user himself, had had second thoughts about his idea.
“This takes the prize for the single silliest thing I’ve said publicly since being elected,” he wrote.
“It was a brain fart in a committee hearing. I was thinking aloud and it was an ill conceived thought.
“It didn’t take much examination for me to realize that the suggestion was ludicrous.”