Greens MP Jamie Parker’s ‘Metre Matters’ legislation goes national

Greens MPs across Australia are today launching a coordinated campaign to make cycling safer, in line with the Amy Gillett Foundation's national ‘a metre matters’ campaign.

Member for Balmain Jamie Parker initiated the national action when he gave notice of a Bill to require at least 1 metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists, in response to NSW being named the worst state for cyclist fatalities.

“Current protections are failing to prevent injuries and deaths on our roads and we must act urgently to save lives,” Mr Parker said.

“NSW is the most dangerous state to be a cyclist, with an average of 11 deaths per year for the past decade, constituting 30% of the country’s total fatalities.

“Today’s national action is the first step toward legislating a minimum overtaking distance in states and territories across Australia.

"An average of 35 bicycle riders are killed every year in Australia and more than 9,500 are seriously injured.

“We need to take action for the benefit of everyone who uses our roads – children riding to school, commuters travelling to work as well as drivers who need guidance about what is a safe passing distance,” Mr Parker said.

Amy Gillett Foundation Chief Executive Officer Tracey Gaudry said:

“Everyone has the right to ride safely for work and play. Legislation supporting a minimum overtaking distance is one of a number of connected initiatives to foster greater acceptance of cycling in our culture, and help drivers and bicycle riders share our roads more safely.”

“The solidarity being shown by the Greens clearly demonstrates that legislative review is needed to make it safer for bicycle riders on our roads. It is vital to achieve bi-partisan support for minimum overtaking distance legislation in states and territories, with the ultimate outcome being national unity through amendment of the Australian Road Rules. Communities across Australia have galvanised in support of this movement,” Ms Gaudry said.

A one-metre legislated minimum gap has been introduced in Europe and in nearly half the states in the USA.

More information: Alison Martin 9660 7586 or 0432 941 533

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