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Truck driver found not guilty over death of cyclist Richard Pollett

6th May 2013

The AGF is stunned to learn that in Brisbane today the driver of a cement truck has been found not guilty by jury of the death of Richard Pollett.

On September 27, 2011 Mr Pollett was killed when riding his bike after being struck by the cement truck's rear tyres as the driver attempted to overtake him. The truck driver’s lawyer said the driver was under "the honest and reasonable belief" there was enough room on the road to safely overtake him.

After 3 days of deliberation, the truck driver was freed with no charge. We pass our deepest sympathies for this pointless tragedy to the Pollett family, friends and community who are all connected to this tragedy.

As the community of Australia is aware, the AGF believes that the existing Australian Road Rule (Reg 144) is inadequate, allowing drivers to make ‘judgement calls’ regarding 'a sufficient distance to avoid a collision’. For safety’s sake, the road rules need to be amended in numerous places to better protect bike riders as a vulnerable road users. A minimum of 1 metre (higher at speeds 60km/hr or more) provides absolute and practical clarity, it:
- provides drivers with a clear, identifiable minimum distance when overtaking bike riders – otherwise they must slow down and wait
- practically reduces the risk of bike rider-driver crashes
- acknowledges bike riders are legitimate road users
- recognises bike riders are physically vulnerable and need the protection of space

Minimum overtaking distance is law in many states in the US and a number of countries in Europe.

The current Queensland road rule is: Reg 144—Keeping a safe distance when overtaking
A driver overtaking a vehicle:
(a) must pass the vehicle at a sufficient distance to avoid a collision with the vehicle or obstructing the path of the vehicle; and

(b) must not return to the marked lane or line of traffic where the vehicle is travelling until the driver is a sufficient distance past the vehicle to avoid a collision with the vehicle or obstructing the path of the vehicle.

Our Mission: Safe bike riding In Australia
Our Vision: Zero bike-rider fatalities