Drive for new road rule to help protect cyclists

one-metre gap for cars overtaking
one-metre gap for cars overtaking

The South Metropolitan MLC’s Bill 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, 2014.

She said the WA legislation would establish a road rule to keep a minimum one-metre passing distance for vehicles travelling 60km/h and under and 1.5 metres 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 from these recommendations,’ 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.’

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 injuries that put people off riding and cause parents to stop their children from riding bikes.

Meyer said he’d had many close calls himself as vehicles skimmed past and two friends had been knocked off their bikes as cars tried to squeeze past.

He hoped the Bill would draw attention to dangers faced by cyclists and cause drivers to think before overtaking. While he admitted it would be a tough law to police, he believed most drivers would 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.

Meyer’s book, released in October, is selling 300 copies a month.