Yesterday the NSW Government has announced that minimum distance passing laws will be made permanent on NSW roads. This is an important step forward for cycle safety in NSW, and a big win for the national campaign for metre passing laws. Victoria now remains the only jurisdiction that has not committed to minimum distance passing laws.
“Minimum distance passing laws improve the safety of people riding bikes and reinforce to drivers that cyclists are among our most vulnerable road users – we need to give them space to keep them safe on the roads,” said Pedal Power ACT CEO Ian Ross.
Minimum distance passing laws require cars to give bikes a one-metre clearance when overtaking them in zones of 60km/h, and one and a half metres where the speed limit is over 60 km/hr. Laws are currently in place or on trial in all jurisdictions except Victoria, with the Northern Territory just recently announcing its intention to introduce them. The law remains in place in the ACT after the completion of a two-year trial, with final confirmation awaiting the results of an ACT government review.
“We are pleased that the ACT has shown leadership in introducing these laws to protect people riding on Canberra roads, and look forward to its confirmation. We congratulate the NSW Government for committing to making their laws permanent. This is a significant win for cycle safety and comes off the back of long-term advocacy by Bicycle NSW and the Amy Gillett Foundation,” said Mr Ross. “We’d like Victoria to follow suit and become the final jurisdiction to formally commit to minimum distance passing laws.”
“We understand the ACT Government is currently reviewing the trail of the law here in the ACT, and we look forward to the outcome. Legal reform is an important step toward behavioural change and needs to be backed up by enforcement and education to drive behavioural change. We look forward to working with the ACT Government to provide education to the broader community about the law and how to share the road safely with bike riders.
“Pedal Power members are currently participating in a study on passing behaviour by University of Adelaide which is supported by the ACT Road Safety Fund. Volunteers have measuring devices fitted to their bikes as they ride around their usual routes. The data they collect will help researchers understand how drivers are complying with the law, and if there are any particular locations or traffic environments where close passing is occurring.
“Minimum distance passing laws are important not just for the people who are already riding, but to encourage more people to take up cycling for transport and recreation. We want everybody to feel safe and be safe when riding on our roads, and these laws go a long way to creating a safer environment.” said Mr Ross.
Read the article on the passing law research in the Canberra Times