Greens call for immediate action on cyclist fatalities with metre passing legislation

A bill introduced to ensure a minimum metre passing distance between cyclists and motorists must be passed in the State to urgently address the rise in serious injuries and fatalities on the road, explained Greens spokesperson for transport, Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC.

“Today the West is filled to the brim with news that Western Australian cyclists are increasingly incurring serious injuries and abuse on the roads; Kent Acott is right on the money when he says that safety relies on separating cars from bicycles.

“While separate bike paths are part of the solution, they will take some time to plan and build. In the meantime, cyclists will continue to risk death and injury on the roads unless something is done to separate them from cars.

“The Greens have a solution that can be quickly implemented to increase road safety. My Road Traffic (Keeping Safe Distances from Bicycles) Amendment Bill requires drivers of vehicles to leave a minimum distance when overtaking bicycle riders: one metre on roads up to 60 km/h, and 1.5 metres on faster roads.

“It’s time WA joined world best practice in cycling safety. Queensland is successfully trialling safe passing distances. Legislated minimum gaps have been introduced in Belgium, France, Portugal and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, as well as nearly half the states in the USA.

“I have said before that we must not wait for increased deaths on the road to implement my bill as an emergency reaction to tragic deaths, we are edging closer to that each day. I urge State MPs to support my bill as a preventative measure”.