A metre matters – make it law!

by / Wednesday, 03 July 2013 / Published in News item

Greens Leader Mark Parnell will today introduce a Bill into State Parliament that will require drivers to leave a gap of at least one metre when passing cyclists on the road.

The Bill is in support of a national campaign by the Amy Gillett Foundation.

With Mr Parnell at the launch were Mary and Denis Safe, Amy Gillett’s parents, and Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Tracey Gaudry.

“As Aussie riders dominate the Tour de France, our road rules continue to fail to protect cyclists at home,” said Greens leader and keen cyclist Mark Parnell.

“Far too many bike riders are injured and killed on South Australian roads.

“A one metre minimum gap makes sense, and recognises the significant risk of vehicles overtaking cyclists, particularly at speed,” he said.

This is the first Bill of its kind introduced in Australia, however, the 1 metre legislated minimum gap is in place across Europe and in half the states in the USA. Every year in Australia, an average of 35 bicycle riders are killed and more than 9,500 are seriously injured.

“Our road laws must support safe cycling. The human trauma costs of cycling in SA are unacceptable,” Mr Parnell said.

“We are very proud that SA is the first State to debate the proposed law in Parliament. This Bill will go a long way to help save families from the trauma and resulting grief from senseless road tragedies between drivers and bicycle riders”, said Mary Safe, mother of Amy Gillett.

The Road Traffic (Overtaking Bicycles) Bill 2013 will require drivers to maintain a minimum overtaking distance of 1 metre on roads up to 60 km/hr, and 1.5 metres on faster roads. This will provide a protective space that will significantly reduce the risk of crashes resulting in the death or serious injury of bicycle riders.

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