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  • mzungu

    So…. to enforce this requires a cyclist, a driver and a cop showing up at the same place, all within sight…. Or, an accident, a cyclist, a driver and a witness within sight of each other, what are the chances?

    • Dave

      Video evidence is admissible in South Australian courts.

      • mzungu

        Well, I guess on top of that, you need a camera to show up too… Just make sure you aim it where it can judge the distance…or not have the car block the view.

        • Dave

          Or perhaps instead of relying on being lucky, wouldn’t it be great if someone could invent a video camera which a cyclist could take on the road with them and use to film evidence of dangerous driving.

          What? There’s enough companies already making such devices that it’s a competitive market? Welcome to the 21st century buddy.

          On a side topic, did you enjoy the Bathurst 1000 today? I certainly enjoyed a nice ride with the roads being free of you and all your idiot mates.

      • Andrew Hagen (Cycliq)

        It’s great to hear the introduction of the law and any help for cycling safety must be welcomed. At Cycliq, we make cycling cameras and understand that often it is hard to prove when someone has come close to you which is why we are delivering embedded “tram lines” as an option to show just how far 1 meter (or 3 foot) is from your bike (see the example screen shot).

        This way, you can take this footage to to police as some form of measurement if there were no police to witness the event. It is exciting for us to be at the forefront of this technology. We believe that when motorists start understanding that they can now be prosecuted for breaking this law, they will start thinking twice before doing it.

        We have introduced this “tram line” overlay in our latest product, Fly12 (which is available on pre-order from http://www.cycliq.com

        • Roger

          How does this account for Parallax error? At what distance in front of the bike are the tramlines correct? Does the camera also indicate camera mounting direction relative to bike direction of travel?

    • Manning Thomson

      Have actually had that happen once riding around the Gold Coast, guy swerved at our bunch and there was unmarked cop car driving there other way. Really enjoyable seeing him get pulled over haha

  • axeman

    Will these laws prevent cyclists under taking a vehicle less than a meter and will cyclists be fined accordingly? Do these laws prevent cyclists from riding two abreast like motor bikes? The definition of “The Driver” includes Transit Vans, Light Trucks, Heavy Rigid (with dog), Semi’s and Buses. Why not make it Law that these listed vehicles may not overtake cyclists at all and paint the real picture! Will these Laws fine cyclists for riding on the road when bike lanes or paths run parallel to a cyclist’s direction? I applaud your efforts but get fair dinkum!

    • Dave

      Cyclists are already required to ride in a bike lane if the road has one, and can (in South Australia) be fined $54 if they do not do so during the hours it is operational.

      • Brett Jensen

        Cyclists need fines that are more comparable to the fines for drivers. Why should we be fined $347 when cyclist get a paltry $54 fine?

        • Dave

          1. The fine is $287, it is only with the Victims Of Crime Levy (also added to a cyclist’s $54 fine) that it goes up to $347.

          2. Given that the motorist is at fault in 87% of motorist/cyclist crashes and the cyclist in 13%, it is quite appropriate that the fines are scaled accordingly – 287/54 is a ratio of 84/16.

          3. The main deterrent for a cyclist against neglecting their responsibility to use the road safely is that they’ll end up in hospital or dead. Motorists are insulated from such consequences, and so need higher penalties to deter them from putting someone else’s mother or father or daughter or son in a coffin.

          4. It’s a privilege and honour to be entrusted with driving a big heavy motor vehicle that has the ability to kill and maim. With greater privilege comes greater responsibility and greater consequences when the privilege is abused. Don’t abuse the privilege and you won’t wear the consequences.

        • EcoAdvocate

          calculate it by the mass of the vehicle. That would be fair. The heavier the vehicle the more infrastructure it needs (width of road), the heavier the more wear on the roadways, the more pollution it likely kicks into the air, the longer the distance needed for it to stop, the more DAMAGE it would do it it doesn’t stop in time. Mass is a good parameter.

          • Dave

            How about calculate into that the amount of Registration, License fees and insurance the vehicle operator spends. Plus the tax for the fuel they use.
            Then tell me Pushbike riders should get fined less.

            What happens when a pushbike hits my vehicle. I pay excess, I dont have a vehicle during repairs, I am out of pocket not the pushbike rider.

            How about you pushbike riders start paying for registration and insurance to protect other road users.

            Im a motorcycle rider and yes have issues with cars. But I still beleive pushbikes should be registered and insured if they use public roads.

    • Manning Thomson

      So much ignorance in the one post, congrats!
      1. cyclists overtaking are not required to keep a meter as they are the one conducting the overtaking manoeuvre – get it? 2. Two abreast is still legal, just as it is for two motorbikes to share the same lane, time for a brush up on the road rules old mate. 3. You are required to use a bike lane (not path) unless it is impractical to do so, plenty of reasons where a bike lane is impractical to use; glass, gravel, car doors, too narrow, turning right etc etc.

  • rosscado

    What are the proposed penalties for drivers infringing the rule?

    • Dave

      Expiation fee of $347 (including $60 victims levy) and two demerit points.

      No details yet on the maximum penalty if the driver elects to be prosecuted instead.

      • rosscado

        Thanks Dave, that’s a strong disincentive to narrow overtaking.
        Does SA allow user-reporting of traffic violations? A GoPro and a daily commute could constitute a second income for some! ;)

        • Dave

          Video evidence certainly is admissible in court and in reports to the police.

          A pity that traffic fines go to the state and not the complainant though, and that the police would probably look down on offering to accept a private settlement from the driver in return for not reporting ;-)

          • rosscado

            I see, the term “victims levy” is not to be interpreted literally. ;-) And probably for the best too.

            • Dave

              It’s the victims of CRIME levy which is basically a voluntary tax to fund support services for victims of serious crimes.

              I hate being buzzed as much as anyone, but I’m not going to go claiming it’s a serious crime.

  • Michele

    AdelaideNow.com.au certainly set the article up as click bate.

    Classy editor using the headline “Cars vs. Bikes”.

    Didn’t bother to read it, nor the 300 plus comments – as at lunch. I can guess the content of those remarks.

  • Paul

    The new law allows undertaking by bikes as they should, and puts the onus on driver to take car when then passing the cyclist.

    • axeman

      Undertaking instigates dooring, as it should.

      Onus on driver..? Does this measurement start at the end of the side mirror or tyre?

      • Dave

        “Undertaking instigates dooring”

        No, dooring on the left hand side is only instigated by the criminally negligent actions of a car user.

    • Dave

      The existing road rules already allows undertaking by cyclists, except where a vehicle has the left indicator activated and is making (or preparing to – the present tense is assumed to include the future tense in the Australian Road Rules) a left turn.

      There will be no change in this respect.

  • Paul

    Cyclist are not required to use a footpath, they may elect to use a foot path unless it is marked as no cyclists.

    • Dave

      Cyclists will be required to use a bike lane if there is one available on the road itself, unless they have a certificate of exemption from a recognised medical professional.

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    • EcoAdvocate

      in the US, at least in New York State, there is no requirement to use the bike lane, and even so encouraging the cyclist to remain ‘far right’ isn’t always practical or safe: about to turn left, debris, parked cars, delivery trucks or drivers dropping off people in bike lane/on right, snow not plowed away, potholes, etc. Or just because the bike lane sucks and it is in the car door zone setting people up for crash when a door suddenly opens.

  • Dave

    It will be interesting to see if the minimum distance rule applies when the cyclist and driver are in different lanes, as in whether a lane marking is as acceptable as a 1m or 1.5m gap.

  • chris

    We have a similar law in California that requires 3-feet of space between a car and cyclist. Even with all the catchy slogans (“give me 3”, “3-feet, it’s the law”, “3 for Safety”, etc) it is generally ignored by motorists and law enforcement. Also, I believe a violation here carries a whopper of a fine at $35.

    • jules

      a $35 fine is basically law-makers way of saying “here, we did something to make it look like we’re trying, but really – we don’t care so we’ll attach a trivial fine to it.” pathetic.

  • Bones

    I believe laws like these, which are essentially unenforceable in a non-accident situation are there for 2 reasons:
    1) New drivers will be required to know this law and it tells them that the cyclist has a right to the road- which is good
    2) Provides a mechanism for guilt/fine in an accident

  • Derek Maher

    I can see this law working okay on open roads,However in towns and cities without cycle lanes on a lot of streets I can see some real traffic problems as cyclists and motor traffic try to pass each other in very restricted road spaces.Traffic filtering at 5k per hour is going to be fun as cyclists and motors try to avoid each other with a 1 metre passing space between them.
    In Ireland they have introduced mixed pedestrian and cyclist paths along side some major urban roads and that mix can lead to some hairy moments for both.

    • Dave

      While motorists will not be allowed to overtake cyclists with less than a metre’s clearance, cyclists will be allowed to overtake as close as they want.

      Once you’ve got motorists going fast enough to overtake cyclists, you’re clearly well out of the realm of filtering through jammed traffic and it makes sense for the safe passing distance rules to apply.

  • Mk

    Great law. Very big supporter. When I’m driving on a climb, that has double lines, how do I pass the cyclist without putting my wheels over the double line?

    • Wombatdutch

      Just make sure it’s clear and cross the double lines to overtake the cyclist.

      http://www.premier.sa.gov.au/images/news_releases/2015/15_10Oct/cyclinglaws.pdf

      • Derek Maher

        Also eat a nice bar of chocolate to avoid an attack of road rage as you crawl along for a few Ks.

        • Dave

          Which SA roads can you think of which don’t provide a straight or an open curve for a few kilometres?

          Most drivers will be held for a few hundred metres and lose 10-20 seconds at most.

          • jules

            it’s the principle of the thing. being held up by cyclists is enough to make a lot of drivers lose it.

            • Sean

              Every second counts.

          • Brett Jensen

            The ones I drive every day and that are also used by buses – Belair Road and Old Belair Road. There are only a couple safe places to pass, and past windy point there is nowhere that it is safe to cross the double line.

            • Dave

              Leave a couple of minutes earlier for work and you’ll be fine.

    • Chris

      Remember the double lines are usually there for a good reason…..that is oncoming visibility is restricted so in most cases we shouldn’t be putting our wheels over the double lines anyhow.

      In the future, as in the past, the law (and common sense safety) always requires a driver not to overtake unless/until it is safe to do so. In effect this means (and many drivers already happily do this) that sometimes as drivers we need to slow down a little and spend 10 or 20 seconds waiting until it’s safe to pass.

      • jules

        Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! ;)

    • markpa

      At beginning of year Tas. introduced change to make it clear that you could pass on continuous lines in acceptable circumstances.
      http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/new_road_rules_to_improve_cyclist_safety,
      It uses the 1m & 1.5m separation distances though those rules have not been implemented as yet.

  • Sean Doyle

    Why is this concept so difficult for people to understand? Are people truly this stupid or is being ignorant a cool thing these days?

    • jules

      it’s not difficult to understand – it’s difficult to accept. when you don’t like something (e.g. slowing down for cyclists) – it’s human nature to justify doing what you’d prefer to do – i.e. not slowing down for cyclists. it’s at that point where logic and reasoning take a back seat.

      • Sean Doyle

        In my mind that means they decide to be ignorant because they refuse to see the reasoning behind the intent of the law. pretty sad really that they are that petty.

        • jules

          I’d say you’re exactly correct. this is the world we live in – people vote for tax policies that are blatant rorts with no objective value (baby bonus, tax cuts for middle class, tradie tool tax bonus) – cos they personally will be better off. arguably, that’s democracy. but modern democracy is supposed to be limited by human rights – e.g. you don’t have a majority of one religion stop a minority of another building their own place of worship, or a minority of cyclists from being protected by the law to maximise convenience of a majority of motorists. except we haven’t quite figured that one out yet and it does happen.

          on a related note, I find Gary Brennan’s comments hard to understand. for argument’s sake – what if he’s right that passing distance laws don’t work? is there any evidence laws against murder work? would you remove them if they didn’t work? of course not.. that’s no reason to oppose them.

          • Sean Doyle

            In theory they should work. Like all laws if people were honest and really cared about their place in society and their affect on others around them……..and I just wrote a whole bunch of over thinking crap but deleted it……..some people are arseholes.

            • jules

              for many cyclists, cycling is our only exposure to what it’s like being in a weak/vulnerable position – on the road and in society – and part of a minority. while I agree 100% with you, I’m always wary of the fact it’s not a unique position.

              • Sean Doyle

                Yes. Good point. Even though Ive been riding for nearly 30 years its only been recently that Ive experienced the hate and vitriol that some minorities experience their whole lives. Purely because I wear lycra. Ive been fortunate.

                • jules

                  I think that’s relevant to your original question above. some of these people don’t want to understand, they want to hate. they get their jollies from casting cyclists as a sub-class, no different to other minorities.

  • Brett Jensen

    These laws need to reflect the requirement of both drivers and cyclists. If drivers are forced to cross double lines, cyclists should be banned from roads where this isn’t safe. In particular Belair Road going up into the hills, where there are few places where it is safe to cross double lines on the winding roads. This is also a road used by buses, which could be forced to follow a cyclist up the hill the entire way at 2 kph. This road was never appropriate for both cars and cyclists, and even less so now.

    • Dave

      Somebody call the waaaaaaaaambulance!

  • jason bourne

    The new rule does NOT allow anybody to overtake a cyclist on a solid dividing line single or double. Passing a cyclist is one thing and overtaking another. Passing means the cyclist is stationary and overtaking means in motion. Technically you are breaking the law if you touch a solid dividing line when overtaking a cyclist.

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