WA election: Cyclists to be protected by one-metre overtaking law under Labor promise
ABC News, 10 February 2017
Drivers will be required to leave a gap of at least one metre when overtaking cyclists under rules to be trialled if WA Labor wins the March State election.
Labor has promised to introduce safe passing distance rules on a two-year trial basis, with the regulation to be based on those already operating in other states.
Shadow transport minister Rita Saffioti would not confirm details or timing of the trial, but said it would be similar to what operates in Queensland.
That would require drivers to leave at least a one-metre gap when overtaking cyclists in speed zones up to 60 kilometres per hour, and 1.5 metres on roads with higher speed limits.
“It will be based on that model, but the fine detail will be worked out with the Road Safety Commissioner in particular,” Ms Saffioti said.
“It is about trying to make sure there is a mutual respect on the roads and that we all use the roads fairly.”
Cycling advocates have previously called for the introduction of safe passing laws in the wake of a spate of deaths involving bicycles on roads.
The Government considered introducing similar laws but ultimately decided against it, arguing further education campaigns would be better measures to improve safety.
“The one-metre rule has been trialled in other states and there has been no discernible improvement in outcomes for cyclists as a result of it,” Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said.
Ms Harvey said the difficulty of enforcing the new rule was another reason why she chose not to progress it.
In addition to announcing its support for safe passing distance rules, Labor also promised to spend an additional $27 million on cycling infrastructure over four years.