WHY A METRE MATTERS

In the remaining States and Territory (Victoria, Western Australia and Northern Territory) without a metre matters legislation, existing road rules should be amended to specify the minimum distances drivers must allow when overtaking cyclists.

A metre matters calls for the current wording in the road rules to be changed from ‘sufficient distance’ to:

  • 1m in speed zones up to and including 60km/h
  • 1.5m in speed zones over 60km/h

This will help to reduce crashes between motor vehicles and cyclists.

 

a metre matters because:

  • It reduces the risk of crashes when drivers pass cyclists
  • Over 1 in 10 of all cyclist crashes in Victoria involve a vehicle overtaking a cyclist[1]
  • Cyclists are legitimate and vulnerable road users who need space when sharing the road with drivers
  • These are practical measurement for drivers
  • Better infrastructure is critical for safe cycling but we cannot afford to wait for safe cycling infrastructure to be built. Separated bike lanes will never be in every street in Australia. An immediate way to make cyclists safer is for drivers to give them enough space
  • Awareness is not enough – education, legislation and enforcement for behaviour change is needed

“ The previous road rule was very difficult to enforce, there was no objective standard for what was ‘sufficient’. Now we have a clear cut definition.” 

Sgt Ian Crang, Queensland Police Service

 

[1] Analysis of all police-reported crashes involving a vehicle overtaking a bike rider; all crashes: 14.6% (fatal: 11.1%; nonfatal: 14.7%).

Source: VicRoads CrashStats database, VicPol reported crashes, 1 Jan 2009 to 31 Dec 2013.

Crashes involving an overtaking manoeuvre by a vehicle travelling in the same direction: left lane side swipe (DCA133); lane change left (DCA135); left turn side swipe (DCA137).

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