Cars don’t know ride from wrong
EXCLUSIVE: Fed-up cyclists want police to throw the book at dangerous drivers FINES ISSUED:
COUNCIL REPORTER CYCLISTS have called on police to do more to crack down on dodgy drivers amid new figures that show less than one motorist every week is fined for breaching safe passing laws.
The Sunday Mail can reveal only 39 motorists were slapped with fines last year for travelling too close to cyclists – down from 51 the previous year.
The state’s peak cycling group, Bicycle Queensland, says the prevalence of sideswipe collisions needs to be urgently addressed.
Bicycle Queensland chief executive Anne Savage said a clear signal must be sent to dangerous drivers by police adopting a zero-tolerance approach to those who recklessly overtake cyclists.
“The rigorous enforcement of these laws has largely been overlooked since their introduction in 2016, reflecting a serious failure by responsible authorities to make our roads safe for people who help to reduce traffic congestion and save the community costs by riding bikes,” she said.
“It’s simply not good enough. We need a crackdown on drivers who break safe passing laws.”
In Queensland, it is illegal for motorists to come within 1m of a cyclist while passing at speeds of up to 60km/h or to come within 1.5m while travelling above 60km/h.
The law was trialled in 2014 before being permanently implemented in 2016.
In the first six months of this year, 29 motorists were issued with the $391 fine for the offence and received three demerit points.
Ms Savage claims up to 90 per cent of cyclists felt unsafe on the road due to motorists unsafely or illegally overtaking them.
“For too long we have allowed a culture of complacency and indifference while our friends and loved ones are tragically injured and killed,” she said.
A police spokeswoman said it was sometimes more appropriate to instigate proceedings against motorists for a more serious offence, such as dangerous driving or driving without due care.
“The onus as with any offence remains with the prosecution to prove each and every element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said. “Each and every offence needs to be considered on the evidence supporting the case.”
Cyclist Sheree Hughes said it was disappointing that motorists continued to ignore the rules and make it dangerous to ride on the road.
“For the most part, motorists are pretty good but you get those outliers that make cycling dangerous,” she said.
“On Friday, we had a close shave on Coronation Drive and had to report it to police.
“These close shaves are putting people off from cycling altogether.
“I think there needs to be more education about what drivers can and can’t do.” DANGER ZONE: Cyclist Sheree Hughes says motorists are passing too closely on Brisbane roads. Picture: John Gass
IT’S SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH. WE NEED A CRACKDOWN ON DRIVERS Anne Savage