I was reading through Labor's list of 200 Fresh Ideas, hoping to find a commitment to cycling of any kind (nope, we don't rate a mention and are clearly less important that their promise to "Recognise Dennis Cometti at the new Perth Stadium") and came across this:
155. Introduce Slow Down Move Over (SLOMO) laws
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a move over law is a law which requires motorists to move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers, firefighters, and in some cases, tow-truck drivers, if you cannot move over you are required to slow to a safe speed (as nominated in the legislation).
It effectively creates a minimum passing distance of ~3m (a lane width) or alternatively a maximum passing speed (in South Australia, for example, the maximum passing speed is 25kph).
The promise was apparently originally made in December which clarified that the proposed law would apply to emergency vehicles and breakdown assist vehicles (which includes private citizens instead of just Government personnel).
From a cycling perspective it is interesting that most of the objections that are made regarding minimum passing laws (difficult to enforce, too difficult to slow down and wait for a safe space to pass etc.) also applies to the SLOMO law yet we have a firm pledge here to protect one group of vulnerable road users while there is silence regarding the protection of cyclists.
I am not against the passage of the SLOMO law (in fact it just codifies something I already do when driving) but the extension of protection to one class of vulnerable road user whilst ignoring the protection of another infuriates me. I just hope that when the SLOMO law is passed it is only applicable to motor vehicles otherwise cyclists might find themselves forced out of the shoulder and into the right hand traffic lane at 110kph if, for example, a cop has pulled someone over on the Forrest Highway.
TL;DR: Motorcycle cop stopped on the road shoulder with beacon light flashing, 3m safety clearance enforced by law; cyclist in the same position, pass 10cm from their handlebars and you are A O.K.