New rules about the minimum distance motorists must give when passing cyclists are helping reduce aggression and increase confidence for cyclists and drivers alike in South East Queensland.
The ACT is about to introduce similar legislation as a result of the recent government inquiry, so the behaviour change occurring in Queensland is being watched with particular interest by riders in the ACT.
The new rules, which require motorists to provide cyclists with a buffer of at least one metre when passing at 60km/h or less – and 1.5 metres where the speed limit is over 60km/h – are being trialed by the Queensland Government for a two-year period.
Council Liaison Officer for the Fraser Coast Bicycle Users Group, Ernie Prior, said the new rules had already made a positive difference for road users in the region, with many members reporting an increased level of courtesy from motorists.
“Since the introduction of the ‘metre matters’ rules, we’re seeing less road rage and abuse towards cyclists in Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast.
“Drivers are generally giving us far more room when overtaking, or waiting until it is safe to pass where there is limited room.
“Generally, there’s a feeling among members of increased safety when we’re on the road,” said Mr Prior.
But while Queensland’s new ‘metre matters’ laws might be aimed primarily at changing behaviour among motorists, Mr Prior said it was equally important for cyclists to consider their own role as road users, with cyclists who break road rules in Queensland now be subject to the same penalties as motorists.
“As a club, we’re constantly training and reminding members about the road rules and showing courtesy toward motorists.
“Cycling in our area is on the increase – whether riding or driving, we need to work together to create a ‘share the road’ culture which will benefit all road users.”
For more information on the Queensland Government’s new laws for passing cyclists, visit the Transport and Motoring website.