A NEW safe passing distance rule between cyclists and motorists would not impact cycling lane designs, says City of Vincent mayor Emma Cole.
From November 30, drivers overtaking a cyclist must keep a 1m gap between their car and those on a bike while on a road with a speed limit up to 60km/h.
A 1.5m gap will be needed on roads with a speed limit over 60km/h.
“The intent of the legislation is not to change the design and construction standards of bike lanes, but we don’t see this as a substitute for bike lines.” Ms Cole said.
“Bike lanes provide a visible demarcation between the cyclist and the motorist which provides added peace of mind, rather than relying on motorists to judge the 1m gap.
“The City has made significant investment in bike lanes, most recently creating physical separation between motorists and cyclists, which is the safest option for all and we will continue construct these in accordance with relevant standards.”
Ms Cole said the Cycling and Pedestrian Advisory Group’s support was “conveyed to the relevant State Government Departments” about the new rule.
A City of Perth spokesman also welcomed the rule.
“The City takes the safety of commuters seriously, and welcomes legislation that aims to further protect those choosing a sustainable mode of transport,” he said.
WestCycle chairman Neil Hackett said the rules sent a “clear message” cyclists have a right to be on the road.
“This will make cycling in WA a safer activity,” he said.
Bicycling Western Australia chief executive Debra Graham said the law provided clarity for riders and drivers.
“Both parties should aim to do the right thing,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Main Roads WA said the safety initiative does not currently require any alteration to existing roads.
The new rules will be monitored by the Road Safety Commission, with a report provided to the Minister after two years.