Mandatory safe passing distances: the time for change is now

Wednesday 22 January 2020

The RACV today proposed a trial of laws mandating a minimum distance to be observed by cars when overtaking cyclists in Victoria.

The new protections would require motorists to facilitate a gap of one metre when overtaking a cyclist in areas where the maximum speed is up to 60km/h area, and 1.5m when travelling at speeds in excess of 60km/h.

The suggestion was borne following the growing trend over recent years of cyclists being killed or suffering injury on Victorian roads. Statistics from the TAC indicate that the number of cyclists who have died on Victorian roads has remained constant over the last five years, and the number of injured cyclists who required hospitalisation has continued to increase each year between 2015 and 2019.

Genna Angelowitsch, head of the TAC division at Adviceline Injury Lawyers, noted that Victoria is presently the only jurisdiction in Australia where safe distances are not mandated by the legislature.

“Every other state has already implemented the proposed standards at a minimum, so suggestions that these requirements will be difficult to enforce have little merit. Some states have had these standards in place since 2017.

“It is time Victoria implemented a similar regime to protect some of our most vulnerable road users, cyclists, and minimise their risk of serious injury.”

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