One Metre Matters – Fight for Safer Cycling
- by Rowena Scott
- Published: 27 September 2010
Dave Sharp returned to cycling after years of laziness and bad health, the roads he had ridden in the 90’s where no longer safe. With the rising risk of victimization and road rage, Dave took the passion that he had for cycling and made the choice to turn that passion into something that would benefit Queensland and Australia.
Sharp is asking that vehicles be required by law to give one metre of clearance on the right hand side when passing a cyclist.
Sharp gathered over 5000 signatories, which were passed to the Queensland House of Representatives. The Honourable Member for Ipswich and Minister for Transport, Rachel Nolan, replied with the following statement, “The introduction of a specific rule to restrict vehicles to keeping one metre from cyclists would be, in many cases, detrimental.”
The Australian Road Rules state that a vehicle may only pass a cyclist when it is safe to do so, the law recommends keeping a distance of one metre when passing, but it’s only a recommendation, not a law.
Nolan went on to say, “a law making a one metre distance mandatory would make it illegal for cyclists to move slowly and closely past queued vehicles.”
The petition was clear about its intention, one metre of clearance for a cyclists being passed by a motorist, cyclists would still be able to filter through traffic at traffic lights with care and when safe to do so as recommended by the Australian Road Rules.
The Queensland Government isn’t willing to make a ground breaking decision which could lead the way for safer cycling across Australia, which is why Sharp has teamed up with the Amy Gillet Foundation (AGF) to help campaign the message of ‘a metre maters.’
Australian cyclists Robbie McEwan and Rachel Neylan (AGF Ambassador) are passionate about the project and giving it there full support, they train on public roads daily and no only too well about the risks involved.
With General cost rising and cyclists producing less wear and tear on our roads, government’s still won’t go into bat, cyclists promote good healthy living, but the government won’t stand up.
Sharp has developed a letter campaign that is unique to each State and Territory, the letters can be printed and signed by you, friends, family and co-workers and be sent to the Minister for Transport in your State or Territory the details can be found at www.safecyclingaustralia.org.
The good news is there are more cyclist on Australian roads than ever before, the government will have to pay attention whether it be at a state or federal level, the real question is, how will you be involved?
Get on board Australia! It’s time to make a change; let’s support the ‘one metre matters’ campaign.
You can become involved by supporting The Amy Gillet Foundation: www.amygilletfoundation.org.au
Dave Sharp also needs your support and ideas; your can email him: [email protected]