Southern Metropolitan Region MLC Lynn MacLaren launched the Bill last week, the key component of which is a proposed law requiring motorists leave a minimum distance of one metre when overtaking cyclists on roads up to 60km h and 1.5m on roads with higher speed limits.
The Greens plan to push for the changes across Australia, in partnership with the Amy Gillett Foundation’s ‘A Metre Matters’ movement.
According to a recent RAC cycling survey, 91 per cent of WA cyclists expressed fear of sharing the road with motorists.
Peel District Cycling Club president Steve Dodd said cyclists were ‘frightened’ because of the increasing number of motorists on the roads.
Mr Dodd said he would like to see local councils working with the State Government to provide safer road infrastructure, including more roundabouts and pathways.
‘There needs to be more communication between motorists and cyclists about the part they play at keeping our roads safe,’ he said.
‘I think the new laws would be very effective if everyone took them seriously because it’s not one sided; everyone needs to be aware of each other. If a cyclist is hit on the roads, that motorist has to live with it for the rest of their life and some guidelines need to be put in place, to give the drivers a chance to keep their distance so no-one gets hurt.’
The City of Rockingham is currently reviewing its cycling infrastructure and cycle ways as part of a major bike plan, with initial plans to provide better links for cyclists from the City to Kwinana Freeway.
Kwinana MLA Roger Cook said there were two major issues for cyclists in the Rockingham and Kwinana areas.
‘The key issues for both areas are the need for safe roads to ride on, including the provision of more dedicated paths and lanes, and also the interaction with vehicle traffic,’ he said.
‘The safety of cyclists is paramount to WA Labor and we will consider the legislation when it is presented to Parliament.’