Cy­clist wary, de­spite new traf­fic laws

Comment News (Armadale) - - News -

A SEVILLE Grove cy­clist says he is un­sure whether the State Gov­ern­ment’s new min­i­mum safe pass­ing laws will make rid­ing on the roads any safer.

Matthew Schoof has en­joyed the free­dom of cy­cling for al­most a decade but ad­mits tak­ing a bike on the roads could be a dan­ger­ous pas­time for both novices and sea­soned rid­ers alike.

“As rid­ers you need to be very aware and al­ways ex­pect the un­ex­pected; you need to be on the look­out for that one driver who has not looked prop­erly to the right and pulls out in front of you,” he said.

He and other Perth cy­clists are await­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the State Gov­ern­ment’s new min­i­mum safe pass­ing rules later this month, which re­quire mo­tor ve­hi­cle driv­ers to keep a min­i­mum dis­tance of one me­tre be­tween them­selves and cy­clists on a road posted 60km/h or less, and 1.5m for roads faster than 60km/h.

The changes al­low driv­ers to cross cen­tre-lane mark­ings on road, in­clud­ing dou­ble white lines, to ad­here to the safe pass­ing dis­tance. The penalty for fail­ing to do so is a $400 fine and four de­merit points.

Road Safety Min­is­ter Michelle Roberts said there was suc­cess with sim­i­lar laws in other states.

“Cy­clists are among our most vul­ner­a­ble road users and these new rules are de­signed to pro­vide greater pro­tec­tion and hope­fully re­duce the num­ber of se­ri­ous in­juries and deaths,” she said.

“It is about mo­torists and cy­clists show­ing mu­tual re­spect for one an­other and shar­ing the roads to­gether safely.”

Mr Schoof said he hoped the laws would make cy­cling safer but said rid­ers would al­ways have to deal with a few bad seeds.

“You will still get the driv­ers out there who will throw things at you or call you names be­cause you hold them up by a few sec­onds,” he said. “It will cer­tainly be bet­ter than hav­ing to tuck your el­bows in to avoid be­ing hit as the cars squeeze past.

“Part of the is­sue is also the roads; im­prove­ments can be done, make them wider.

“Cy­clists also need to be mind­ful of the driv­ers and cars, it’s about shar­ing and both cy­clists and driv­ers need to co­op­er­ate to­gether to make it safer.”

The new laws come into ef­fect on Novem­ber 30.

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