Amy Gillett Foundation welcomes Victorian Parliamentary inquiry

by / Friday, 12 February 2016 / Published in News item
A metre matters

The Amy Gillett Foundation welcomes the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into minimum overtaking distance rules.

“We look forward to sharing with the inquiry our experience of the trials of the minimum overtaking distance in Queensland and the ACT, and it’s implementation in SA,” Chief Executive Officer, Phoebe Dunn, said.

Ms Dunn said the inquiry is a positive step in the continuing efforts to implement ‘a metre matters’ legislation into Victoria.

“Victoria is one of the few remaining jurisdictions in Australia yet to commit to making bicycle riding safer with this simple measure,” Ms Dunn said.

Queensland was first to implement a minimum overtaking distance trial in 2014, with ACT and NSW following suit, and South Australia and Tasmania mandating these laws, or equivalent.

“While we welcome the inquiry, the Victorian government has the opportunity to implement ‘a metre matters’ laws immediately as part of the new package of cycling road rules currently under consideration,” Ms Dunn said.

“A metre matters provides a practical measurement for drivers when overtaking bike riders,” Ms Dunn said.

“Experience on the ground shows that the minimum overtaking distance rules are working and we believe that bicycle riders are safer,” Ms Dunn said.

Drivers are respecting the one metre rule. Almost two-thirds (60%) of bicycle riders in Queensland have noticed an increase in the space drivers give them since the trial started. A Bike SA survey found that over half (55%) of South Australian bicycle riders said drivers were respecting the amended rules.

For an update on activities that the Amy Gillett Foundation has led or supported to amend national, state and territory safe overtaking distance road rules, click here.

Background

Current road rules require that drivers give a ‘sufficient’ amount of space when overtaking bicycle riders, however ‘sufficient’ is an ambiguous term.

Victoria’s own guidelines for drivers recommend that vehicles provide a minimum overtaking distance of one metre when overtaking a bicycle rider at speeds of up to 60 km/h and 1.5 metres at speeds above 60 km/h.

It’s confusing for drivers. The road rules should be amended to reflect the guidelines.

 

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