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July 23, 2017
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  • ChinookPass

    Auto manufacturers should etch some graphic into all windshields. 3ft minimum passing and bikes may use full lane or similar.

    In our US state of Washington, I’ve found the law is only as good as the will of the people to follow and respect it.

  • Marcus

    WA is even further behind the rest of the country. No surprises there then…

  • Steve

    Good to see Bicycle Network’s idiotic exemption for bicycle lanes and the speed limits below 50 kmh, got dismissed. Cancelled my membership because of that.

    • For those that aren’t familiar with what Bicycle Network proposed, we covered the issue here: https://cyclingtips.com/2016/04/victorias-proposed-overtaking-laws-do-cyclists-always-a-need-a-metre-of-space/

    • Robert

      Yes I also did not renew my membership of Bicycle Network, after more than 30 years of belonging to the organisation and its predecessors. I just couldn’t see the value and felt they were not representing me in the 21st century as they had in the past. They have really turned in to nothing much more than an event organiser, in my opinion anyway.

    • velocite

      I just did a quick read of the report, and noted a number of references to Bicycle Network, all weaselly and negative. Incredible. Like you, I’m no longer a member.

      • George Darroch

        I’m about to cancel my membership for the same reason. This would both complicate and weaken the law, and confuse drivers. I’m glad that Parliament cares about cyclists more than Bicycle Network.

        Who else does good cycling insurance?

        • velocite

          A friend of mine has left BN and joined Bicycle NSW – their offering is similar. I’m insurance free at the moment but I’ll probably join Cycling Australia – they allow direct individual memberships as well as via a club. CA Insurance looks similar.

  • Can we all make sure we check the fine print before we go ahead with our excitement. I am reluctant at best to celebrate with the addition of recommendation 6. Single file is not safe cycling.

    • Recommendation #6:

      “That, if specified minimum passing distances are introduced, the Government erect signage at relevant locations recommending that cyclists ride single files at specified times. Relevant locations would include high-volume arterial roads where it may be impossible for motorists to pass cyclists riding two abreast while maintaining the minimum passing distance.”

      • Luke Bartlett

        I wonder who will make the decision on which roads…

        doesn’t stop people cutting us off every other which way. the amount of people i see using phones in cars on my commute to work makes me think there’s a bigger issue.

        • aries1470

          Totally agree! Thankfully I have a dashcam, since those nutjobs are a danger to all! Not just cyclists! When I go out with my kid I want to feel safe, way to many that do not obey the rules on both sides of the fence. Mayor Robert Doyle said it nicely recently on a radio show last week.

      • Geoff

        Where it becomes difficult, as an example, is if you have a group of 20 cyclists. If you have 20 cyclists riding in single file, assuming they are drafting closely, you now have an “entity” (for want of a better name) that is somewhere around 40m long (probably more) – longer than a double road train. That starts to become a very difficult overtaking manoeuvre. There is no easy “one size fits all” solution. Even 10 cyclists in single file start approaching the maximum length of a B Double! (In a group that large, someone will always be drafting ineffectively.)

    • velocite

      If by fine print you mean the report, it’s fine. We cannot pretend that it’s OK to tool along, two abreast, in front of a line of traffic which would have no trouble passing single file cyclists. I’ve seen that through Warrandyte more than once and it’s inconsiderate and discourteous. The two abreast rule only works because most of us don’t do that.

      • Are you fkn serious?? Did you even see what happened in NSW. You are OK to sell something to get a metre, nest it will be ID and even higher fines.
        Why do we have to give something up to get the one metre rule???

        How did Tas, SA and ACT do it without losing anything? Why are the fast and fearless ok to do this. OK. I hope you do not do rolling turns on Beach Rd from 7am on any weekday morning.

        You really didnt pay attention to what happened across the border. We need to be on the front foot and defend our current rights.

        • velocite

          How very persuasive.

          • Edward Hore

            I am also passionate. And if I wasnt we would be in far worse places.

            Sorry you dont like what I am saying, but if you are OK with our right being eroded away then that is your issue.

            I will disobey all attempts to squeeze us into the gutter.

            • velocite

              Passion is assumed to be good, but if it generates more heat than light it probably isn’t. And no, I don’t do rolling turns on Beach Road, I mostly ride in hill country. On the two abreast issue, here’s what the committee recommended:

              RECOMMENDATION 5:

              That the Government undertake a communication campaign to remind motorists that cyclists are permitted to ride two abreast and to encourage cyclists to be courteous in riding two abreast by not doing so where it will slow traffic down unnecessarily.

              • aries1470

                Totally agree with the 2 abreast, where practical. I have issues with 3 to 5 abreast!

        • aries1470

          Show me in Tassie law, with a reference, that they have a MANDATED distance. Just like VocRoads jumped the gun and say that we have a distance, it is NOT LAW in Victoria.
          QLD & NSW, yes :)
          As for licence, it was composuray many many decades ago, and bicycles also had a rego number in some coutnries. ;-)

      • Edward Hore

        One thing I learnt over the years is never discuss anything with someone that is unaffected by the changes. They can not associate to those that are. Cheers.

    • winkybiker

      Don’t move to BC, Canada then. We are prohibited by law from riding two abreast anywhere, and must stay as far to the right (that’s like left for ‘strayans) as is “practicable”.

      • aries1470

        Actually….. your last part is recomended but not adhered to overhere. As for the 2 abreast, there is a width limit and road condition limit too… but many people ingore that fact. Thankfully, I have come across some that do follow it and are great, plus safer too.

  • winkybiker

    The unintended consequence of the metre-passing rule is that motorists now are likely to get a much lighter penalty for actually running us down.

    • Edward Hore

      “But your honor, he was riding 2 abreast and I was in a hurry”

      • aries1470

        “But your honor, he was riding 2 abreastand did not adhere to the road rule of “Bike riders are allowed to ride side by side (two abreast) but no more than 1.5 metres apart. If the road is narrow be courteous to other road users and ride single file to allow vehicles to overtake safely.” and were 2 metre and infront of me on a 1 lane traffic per direction”…

  • pedr09

    Whether or not a 1m passing law will deliver safer riding for cyclists, I am hoping that by the very fact of these laws being passed, motorists will feel less empowered to abuse and marginalise us as they do now. Of course, it could also have the opposite effect on some motorists…

    • It won’t make you safer.

      It hasn’t worked in NSW: It’s unenforceable, the police don’t care, and people driving cars ignore it. Qld is either thinking of repealing theirs, or already has, for the same reasons. There’s no reason it will suddenly start working in Victoria, either.

      To make people cycling safe, Australia’s car-centric culture has to change. People driving motor vehicles need to stop being able to get away with murder. Cars and bicycles need to stop being forced to mix.

      • aries1470

        Works both ways. When there is a bicycle lane, you must adhere to it, I am sick and tired in station street in the s.e. when all the space is over run by packs of cyclists that ignore the road rule and go 4 abreast and cut me off in MY LANE, and get pissed of if you honk them.
        What I do like are the few saving face riders, that ride single file in heavy traffic and I give them way as they do to me!
        I do NOT let my son even use the bicycle lane on his own, and instead we travel to Mordi and use the bicycle lane not the road!

  • Terance Hore

    What stops people from not skimming past us?

    • aries1470

      No law against it, but I hate that too! They just don’t have anything better than endagering other peoples lives! Unfotunately, police can’t be bothered, and I don’t even bother reporting it, even though it scares the shit out of me, especially when they speed up and their mirror is just some 15 cm away!

  • Will

    Motorists only obey laws that are being enforced. How will this be enforced by police?

    There’s an interesting trial at the moment in the UK where a police officer in plain clothes rides a route that’s known to have issues with close passing etc. If the police officer is closely passed, they radio a squad car further down who pulls the offender over and offers either a fine or a fifteen minute period of re-education (complete with a fisher price felt road map and toy cars and bikes). If the behaviour persists, then the police drop the re-education option and start prosecuting.

    Interestingly, the police department that are carrying out this have identified that close passing is perceived by cyclists as the largest risk to them, but actually that the main risk of injury is cars pulling into and out of junctions. This is particularly true when the motorists look but do not see the cyclist. The cycling foundations should be focusing on how to implement and prosecute under these new laws, and how driver education can be improved, starting with the driving test.

    • aries1470

      Actually, that is why our posties have flags on tiheir ones, fluro traingualar ones. Not perfect, but helps. Same woth motorised scooters for the elderly.

  • aries1470

    …and it didn’t pass… although the article also has a mistake, since Tasmania, does NOT have a distance in their legislation.

    About Tasmania as per the report:

    p.8, section 2.3.1 states the following:
    “Specified minimum passing distance rules have been introduced into four other
    Australian jurisdictions, with each jurisdiction requiring motorists to leave
    1 metre when passing in areas with speed limits of 60 kilometres per hour or
    less and 1.5 metres in areas with higher speed limits. In addition, Tasmania has
    introduced legislation allowing motorists to cross centre lines, straddle lanes and
    cross painted islands in order to pass a cyclist, but has not specified minimum
    passing distances in the legislation. Table 2.1 below compares the passing
    distance laws across Australia.”

    Also, the law in Victoria states 2 abreast, while in my area, there are PACKS of cyclists going 3 to 5 wide and if you honk them to go in to their bicycle lane so you can overtake they get pissed at you and start swearing and also go infront of you and cut you off! Pathetic!

    On the other hand, I have come across great cyclists too of which thank me for giving way to them and I respond in kind.
    I also wait for them, even though I don’t have to, to cross in to my street, and they acknowledge that.

    Now, on mountainous roads, where there is no bike lane and is narrow, you realistically can NOT have in a winding road the 1 metre rule, especially if the cyclist does NOT adhere to the keep left or near the shoulder and allow other vehicles to overtake! Common sense fails some people unfortunately.

    Anyway, just thought to update it with up to the minute information.


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