QUEENSLAND has introduced a trial of a law requiring drivers of vehicles to overtake cyclists with a one metre minimum berth where the speed limit is 60 km/h, or 1.5m where the speed limit is higher.
Motorists caught driving within one metre of cyclists will be fined $330 and lose three demerit points under a two-year trial starting this month.
Motorists will be able to cross double lines on the other hand – when it is safe to do so – to pass a cyclist.
The trial follows a push by the Amy Gillett Foundation to ramp up its 2009 ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign to push for a minimum overtaking distance to be introduced as law around Australia, rather than just a recommendation.
In Victoria, the road rules state only that a driver overtaking a vehicle must pass the vehicle at a sufficient distance to avoid a collision with the vehicle or obstructing the path of the vehicle.
The cycling community believes these so-called ‘safe passing distance’ laws do little to protect cyclists and don’t punish drivers that are seemingly in breach of the law.