Media release: Education not enough to save cyclists - urgent legislation needed
Greens MP Jamie Parker has welcomed the announcement that Transport for NSW will join with the Amy Gillett Foundation for a cyclist safety education campaign, but says the government must also legislate to ensure it is effective.
Transport for NSW has committed $400,000 to promoting cyclist safety, prioritising the Amy Gillett Foundation’s “a metre matters” and “stop on red” campaigns.
Greens MP Jamie Parker gave notice of a Bill last month to require at least 1 metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists, and said whilst education is important, the 1 metre principal needs the force of the law in order to be effective.
“NSW is the most dangerous state to be a cyclist and we need to act urgently and comprehensively to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect cyclists,” Mr Parker said.
“NSW guidelines already recommend a minimum of 1 metre passing distance and I welcome this move by Transport for NSW which further reinforces the principal by prioritising this vital education campaign.
“Whilst education is crucial and important, the existing recommendation is failing because it doesn’t have the force of the law.
“We must also have a legally enforceable minimum passing distance to protect cyclists and prevent further loss of life.
“The Australian Road Rules are failing bicycle riders and we must act urgently to save lives. The government already recognises this is a priority and now it must legislate accordingly.
“Bicycle riders are physically vulnerable and need to be protected – we should be encouraging cyclists and ensuring they are safe.
“While protecting cyclists, the legislation would also provide drivers with a clear, easily recognised measure when overtaking bicycle riders,” Mr Parker said.
NSW RTA guidelines on overtaking: “If you’re overtaking a bicycle rider, give them at least one metre of space to the side in a 50 km/h zone. If the speed limit is higher, you need to give the cyclist more space.” http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/geared/driving/getting_past_it.html