Bike bill set to crash

A BILL intended to save cyclists’ lives by forcing drivers to “leave a metre” between their cars and bikes is unlikely to win Barnett government support.

Freo-based Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren brought her bill forward for urgent debate following the latest cycling death on WA roads.

She describes a minimum legal distance as “the single most important action needed to reduce bicycle rider fatalities,” as it makes drivers responsible for leaving space between their vehicles and cyclists.

Debate was adjourned Thursday and will continue during the next Greens non-government business time next year, but the Liberals weren’t sounding keen.

They’ve jumped on the comments of Bicycling WA, which opposes the bill on the grounds it would “reduce attention from the real villain—distracted driving”.

Ms MacLaren says many other cycling groups supportive of the change will continue to lobby the government.

The rule exists in Campbell Newman’s Queensland and the ACT, and a study from Baltimore showed that once the law was in place it didn’t find a single case of cars veering within 75cm of bikes.

And the safer cycling is, the more people who are likely to take it up.

Currently the law requires “sufficient distance” when passing but Ms MacLaren says that’s so vague a truck driver in Queensland was found not guilty after killing a cyclist because he’d eyeballed the space and figured he had “sufficient distance” when going back in his lane. The bill removes ambiguity.


One response to “Bike bill set to crash

  1. What a waste of time just enforce the laws we have, cyclists are just as bad for not following the road rules we have, I’m sure most don’t even know what rules to follow.
    Fremantle is even worse off with a mayor that encourages cyclists to flaunt existing road rules like not to wear a helmet, its a disgrace that such a public figure can encourage such disregard for the laws of WA! Even worse he was not taken to account by the police commissioner, minister for police or even the Premier.
    It just shows the why freo has such a anti social problem, his position only encourages certain elements in our community, to act in anti social manner, its an utter disgrace, I’m not surprised our poor Fremantle has dipped to such an outrageously low level.
    Its really embrassing.
    Drug addicts
    Shop lifters
    Riding a bike with no helmet on the wrong side of the road is just a norm, this is just a cue for the rest.
    He should hang his head in shame.
    Our beautiful city deserves better.

Leave a Reply