Bikeway infrastructure and stronger enforcement key to bike rider safety as cycling rules trial period ends
With the state-wide trial of the minimum passing distance laws coming to an end, Bicycle Queensland is reiterating the need for bikeway infrastructure and stronger enforcement of dangerous driving to keep bike riders safe.
An evaluation of the two-year trial of the new rules is due to be released soon as the trial period comes to an end on Thursday April 7.
Under the laws, motorists must give bike riders a minimum 1 metre berth while passing them in a 60km/h or less speed zone, and a 1.5 metre berth where the speed limit is over 60km/h.
The 2015 Bicycle Queensland Members Survey revealed that since the introduction of the laws, 66% of members say they feel safer while riding.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Ben Wilson said while it was encouraging to see riders feeling safer on the roads, more infrastructure was required to really guarantee protection.
“Bicycle Queensland started a campaign 20 years ago for drivers to give riders a metre while driving, and to get legislation changed to reflect our safety concerns for vulnerable road users,” said Mr Wilson.
“It is a great move in the right direction, but we want to reinforce that nothing beats bikeway infrastructure, and the State Government knows that – the ball is in their court.”
“Separating riders from vehicles on segregated bikeways will lead to safer conditions and ultimately more people cycling more often.”
With Queensland Police previously admitting they have had difficulty enforcing the minimum passing distance laws, Mr Wilson is also calling for stronger legislation to ensure any drivers who endanger bike riders are caught.
“We still have an issue that police are finding it difficult to enforce the rule, and that the current laws are too forgiving for drivers if they do hit a rider with their vehicle,” said Mr Wilson.
“There needs to be better legislation for enforcement of dangerous driving charges, and police do need help catching drivers who dangerously break the 1-metre rule.”
“It’s up to the State Government to assist police with appropriate technology to make the roads safer for vulnerable road users like bike riders.”
Bicycle Queensland is available for further comment on the minimum passing distance laws trial period.