Bike safety is law’s target

Brent Meyer and his father Peter. Picture: Martin Kennealey d408630
Brent Meyer and his father Peter. Picture: Martin Kennealey d408630

It aims to achieve the added safety of a one-metre distance for cyclists when vehicles pass them, similar to the rule that will come into effect for motorists in Queensland from January 1.

The rule would keep a minimum one-metre passing distance for vehicles travelling 60km/h and under and 1.5m for speeds higher than 60km/h.

‘I am also looking at the results from bicycling safety inquiries in Queensland and the ACT ” there may be additional measures we can adopt,’ she said.

‘The next part of the process is encouraging more cyclists onto our roads; a one-metre passing distance will not just reduce death and injury but also encourage more people onto an eco-friendly method of transport.

‘We must encourage this at a time where the local population is increasing and congestion is worsening. More cycling will help to clear the air, improve health and well-being and make our cities a more pleasant place to live.’

Perth cyclist and author Brent Meyer ” who recently launched the second edition of the family-friendly Where to Ride in Perth cycling guide ” said the Bill would help prevent cyclist deaths and injury that put people off riding.

Meyer, who said he’d had many close calls himself as vehicles skimmed past and had two friends knocked off their bikes as cars tried to squeeze past, hoped the Bill would help draw attention to the daily dangers cyclists faced from passing vehicles and cause drivers to think before overtaking.

While he admitted it would be a tough law to police, he believed most drivers were sensible enough to observe it.

‘I know plenty of people who while otherwise good, caring citizens are really aggressive toward cyclists when they’re on the road.

‘I believe these same people will obey the law and give cyclists a wider berth and pass only when it’s safe whereas now there really isn’t a distinct ruling,’ he said.

‘A bike rider is totally exposed on the road against cars and trucks weighing more than a tonne; if a vehicle hits a bike there is going to be serious injury and sometimes death. When is it ever worth killing someone to save a few seconds?’

Another indication that cycling in Perth is rapidly gaining popularity, Meyer’s book, released in October, is selling 300 copies a month.