A METRE MATTERS TO BE PASSED IN VIC ALONGSIDE $13M VIC GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE

The Amy Gillett Foundation is excited to announce that after a 10-year campaign, Victorian’s new Minister for Road Safety, Hon. Ben Carroll today announced Victoria’s commitment to A Metre Matters, effective early 2021 AND a $13 million investment in temporary bike lanes, joining NSW and QLD to create this vital cycling-safety infrastructure.

Victoria will be the final state to update this road rule and this change makes it easier for drivers and cyclists everywhere in Australian to share the road.

Congratulations Victoria, this support for cycling will save lives and keep people riding!

The road rule will require all Victorians to:

  • Leave a minimum of 1 metre distance when passing a cyclist in speed zones 60km/h or lower, and
  • Leave a minimum of 1 metre distance when passing a cyclist in speed limits over 60km/h.

Dr Marilyn Johnson, AGF Research and Policy Manager and Senior Researcher at the Monash University Institute of Transport Studies has been leader of the A Metre Matters campaign since 2009.

 “It’s taken over a decade but today is a great day for road safety for both cyclists and drivers. The original road rule was vague and didn’t provide drivers with any guidance. With today’s announcement, the road rule is clear, now we know the minimum space to give when we drive passed a cyclist, it’s consistent nationally and will provide a safe space around everyone riding every kind of bike on every road,” said Dr Johnson.

A Metre Matters has broad community support, with 9 out of 10 Victorians supporting the introduction of AMM (AGF Community Attitudes Research, 2016), including from RACV who called for the Victorian Government to implement a trial of the Minimum Passing Distance in January of this year.

RACV Senior Manager Transport, Peter Kartsidimas, said, “RACV welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews Government. We’ve been calling for a minimum passing distance rule for some time now and we consider this a win for Victorian motorists and cyclists alike.”

“Many more Victorians have taken up cycling and we expect these numbers to continue to soar as people choose private vehicles instead of public transport as a result of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need both cyclists and motorists to feel safe on our transport network and a minimum passing distance can play a significant part in ensuring everyone gets home safely. RACV would welcome the opportunity to work with government in implementing this rule and addressing the unique issues on Victorian roads.”

Earlier this year, the Amy Gillett Foundation launched a national campaign calling for Temporary Separated Bike Lanes across Australia. A national YouGov poll commissioned by the AGF found that 89% of Australians support temporary separated bike lanes (YouGov, May 2020). This national poll also found that 75% of drivers would feel more comfortable sharing the road with cyclists if there was a separated bike lane.

When COVID-19 restrictions eased in May and June this year, roads went back to 90% capacity, while public transport only reached 30% capacity.

AGF CEO, Dan Kneipp said, “Today’s announcement is a huge step forward for cycling in Victoria. We’ve advocated tirelessly for A Metre Matters in Victoria and today the cycling community celebrates the hard work of all of our partners and supporters who understand this update makes it safer for both cyclists and drivers sharing the road.”

 We would like to thank our supporters, we would not have got this over the line without you.  This continued support for cycling will save lives and keep people riding.

Article by AGF Media

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