IF cyclists straddle a fine line between the safety of the footpath and Perth’s often treacherous roads, Mark Pearmine’s skidding along a knife-edge.
The Atwell resiTdent is a keen cyclist who likes nothing better than joining a dozen or so buddies in a peloton around Cockburn’s streets before heading to a local cafe for a drink and bonding.
But then he jumps into his truck for a day’s work, where most of his colleagues view him and his cronies as nothing more than a pain in the bumper.
“I talk about cycling around my mates and they don’t like them at all,” Mr Pearmine says about new laws which come into effect at the end of this month and will force motorists to keep at least one metre away from cyclists.
Mr Pearmine says he tries to convince other truckies the laws are a good idea, but admits it often falls on deaf ears.
He says slowing down for a cyclist has never cost him more than a second or two, while making the roads safer for everyone.
Driver skills are also a bugbear for cyclists, who can’t understand why Transperth buses can get passed without breaking the centre line, but often people in little matchboxes will create traffic snarls by nervously hovering behind.
Mr Pearmine says the state government should consider mandating cycle-passing skills for learner drivers before they can get a licence.
Jandajot Labor MLA Yaz Mubarakai caught up with the club this week to celebrate the introduction of the new rules, which force drivers to stay at least one metre from cyclists on roads up to 60kmh, and 1.5 metres if the speed limit is higher.
“As some of our most vulnerable road users, these protections will help cyclists in Jandakot and beyond travel more safely on our roads,” Mr Mubarakai said.
“The new rules reflect a common sense approach that provides clarity and promotes an attitude of mutual respect between all road users.”
Mr Peamine and his cycling pals warn drivers that they all have video cameras attached to their bikes now which can be set to show a line a metre away, meaning they’ll have evidence if anybody strays too close and causes an accident.
by STEVE GRANT