Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

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Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:35 am

http://www.theage.com.au/national/cycli ... .html#poll

SUPPORTERS say it will make cycling safer, Cadel Evans and Lance Armstrong are on board, and parts of Europe and the US have taken action.
But opponents say there is little evidence laws requiring motorists to leave at least a metre when overtaking cyclists have any impact, and are difficult to enforce.
Minimum passing distances are law in four European countries and 19 American states, but no Australian state appears even close to following suit, despite support from cycling and safety groups, which want a distance of at least one metre.
The issue will be the focus of a traffic safety forum today at Richmond Town Hall, where the Institute of Transportation Engineers will gather a panel of experts to discuss how to address the rise in cycling injury rates.
The Amy Gillett Foundation has, for three years, called for a minimum distance through its ''metre matters'' campaign.
The foundation has highlighted the discrepancy in state governments recommending drivers allow a metre when passing and not enforcing it as legislation.
In an interview with The Age earlier this year, foundation chief executive Tracey Gaudry said: ‘‘We’re just asking one and one be put together to make two.’’
Safe Cycling Australia director Dave Sharp said a one-metre law, with a 1.5-metre minimum when motorists drove above 80km/h, would reduce the ''intimidation'' many cyclists felt when being overtaken.
''Anything less than a metre at any time is unsafe,'' he said.
Mr Sharp said he was confident a state government would pass the law within the next two years.
But road authorities do not envisage any change soon.
VicRoads road user safety director James Holgate said ‘‘there are some circumstances where one metre may not be enough, particularly on higher speed roads’’.
‘‘Drivers must overtake only when they can do so safely,’’ he said.
Bicycle Network Victoria spokesman Gary Brennan said it was rare for drivers not to allow safe distances when passing bikes, and that statutory distances had little effect on driver behaviour overseas.
‘‘We’re an evidence-based organisation and because there is no evidence that a minimum statutory passing distance will make a difference we haven’t supported its introduction,’’ he said.
Some cyclists are incredulous the network does not support a law giving riders more room, but Mr Brennan said its introduction would diminish other advantages bike users had, such as being permitted to pass close by cars when at intersections and red lights.
A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Terry Mulder highlighted enforcement as the major issue related to a minimum passing distances.
Police say they want legislation that provides safety for all road users and that overtaking is discretionary, meaning drivers can allow as much — or as little — as they believe safe.
But some cyclists are taking action to protect themselves.
Sergeant Bob Cerisara, of the Moorabbin Highway Patrol, said a colleague had recently fined a truck driver for getting too close when overtaking after the cyclist used footage from a helmet-mounted camera as evidence.
Marilyn Johnson, a research fellow from Monash University’s Accident Research Centre, said it was difficult to find data where cyclists’ injuries were directly attributable to motorists passing.
Ms Johnson said that while a one-metre rule was a worthy long-term goal, motorists should focus on giving cyclists more space.
‘‘It’s really not about saying the cyclist is on the left, the driver must be one metre away on the right. It’s more about creating the idea that there needs to be more space than you might currently give,’’ she said.





There's another poll included with this one
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby Oxford » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:54 am

the way I see it, if a minimum passing distance law is enacted it will just simply give some teeth to being able to prosecute drivers. at present, even with video, prosecuting drivers for dangerous passes is difficult. if the law is enacted, the police will be able to issue a ticket (with of course the right supporting evidence) and like a speeding ticket, the onus is basically on the driver to provide evidence that they did not commit the infringement. or if there is a situation where a cyclist is struck from behind, there is an automatic ability to issue a TIN on this evidence alone.

any legislation though needs to be accompanied by a massive education program. no good having the law if drivers are not aware of it.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:25 am

I agree. Education and enforcement as well as the rule itself all need to be applied in equal measures.
We are attending a round table in Brisbane with the Transport Minister and her cycling advisor Matt Johnson on Dec 12 similar to todays Melbourne meeting, where we will be stressing that very point.
We're lucky here as there are no Govt representatives attending in Victoria. They have a much tougher battle on their hands, particularly with Bicycle Network Vic also attending.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:33 am

Not sure on this one, if it was law then wouldn't it equally apply to cyclist? ie they must leave 1 meter gap, no passing on the left at traffic lights.
Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.
In a lot of case it might not be enforceable, leading to more confusion on the roads rather than less.

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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby Oxford » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:46 am

martinjs wrote:Not sure on this one, if it was law then wouldn't it equally apply to cyclist? ie they must leave 1 meter gap, no passing on the left at traffic lights.
...

people often cite this situation, but to me it is very clear. if a motor vehicle is passing a cyclist ie approaching from behind, then they must leave a 1m space. usually cyclists are only passing vehicles that are stationary in traffic so no need to leave a 1m space as the motor vehicles are stationary. yes it becomes a problem when you pass a vehicle then it starts moving, but then the obligation is on the vehicle passing from behind to create a 1m space. no 1m, no pass. there are many situations already like this incorporated into the traffic regulations. for instance motorbikes can pass bicycles in the lane from behind (I do often, but slowly and safely), but cars cannot. motorbikes can pass other motor vehicles in the lane whilst the the vehicle is stationary but not while they are in motion (I lane filter in traffic but only slowly 1st gear only). but other motor vehicles (motorbikes excepted) cannot share a lane with another vehicle.

where the 1m rule would shine is in non multi lane situations. in a multi lane situation, technically with the exception of bikes and motor bikes inclusively, vehicles must change lanes to pass. in non multi lane situations, it would put the onus on the vehicle passing from behind to leave a 1m space to pass. if this means crossing to the wrong side then a whole new set of requirements comes into play.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:35 am

Oxford wrote:
martinjs wrote:Not sure on this one, if it was law then wouldn't it equally apply to cyclist? ie they must leave 1 meter gap, no passing on the left at traffic lights.
...

people often cite this situation, but to me it is very clear. if a motor vehicle is passing a cyclist ie approaching from behind, then they must leave a 1m space. usually cyclists are only passing vehicles that are stationary in traffic so no need to leave a 1m space as the motor vehicles are stationary. yes it becomes a problem when you pass a vehicle then it starts moving, but then the obligation is on the vehicle passing from behind to create a 1m space. no 1m, no pass. there are many situations already like this incorporated into the traffic regulations. for instance motorbikes can pass bicycles in the lane from behind (I do often, but slowly and safely), but cars cannot. motorbikes can pass other motor vehicles in the lane whilst the the vehicle is stationary but not while they are in motion (I lane filter in traffic but only slowly 1st gear only). but other motor vehicles (motorbikes excepted) cannot share a lane with another vehicle.

where the 1m rule would shine is in non multi lane situations. in a multi lane situation, technically with the exception of bikes and motor bikes inclusively, vehicles must change lanes to pass. in non multi lane situations, it would put the onus on the vehicle passing from behind to leave a 1m space to pass. if this means crossing to the wrong side then a whole new set of requirements comes into play.


Sounds good in theory but I'm still not convinced it'll work that well in practice. Or in deed if it's fair. Ok just for a moment think about this. It's not rush hour so the traffics moving at normal posted speeds, 10 cars with 2 lanes of traffic have pulled up at a set of lights just towards the end 2 cyclist zip up the side manage to get away first at the lights. Woops to bad car drivers you can't go past as there is no 1 meter clearance. Yep that'll make the car drivers more understanding.

More policing for the police to do and you'd better be able to actuality measure otherwise it'll be back to your word against my word.
One minute cyclist want less rule, next they want more rules. Go figure.

Not saying I'm against it as from one perspective it sounds like a great idea, just not sure it would work to well in practice.

I'm a strong believer in sharing the road, ie give and take and I know a lot of car drives and such are !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! but so to are a lot of cyclist's. I think the real problem is not one or the other rather it's down to human stupidity and selfishness on all sides.

"Do on to others has you would have done to you!" is my rule which I'm trying to pass on to my kids.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby biftek » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:42 am

martinjs wrote:Not sure on this one, if it was law then wouldn't it equally apply to cyclist? ie they must leave 1 meter gap, no passing on the left at traffic lights.
Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.
In a lot of case it might not be enforceable, leading to more confusion on the roads rather than less.

Martin


same i do a lot of riding on narrow country roads , not enough room for 1meter gap , but i guess it's the same as always worry about metro areas don't worry about the country areas
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:19 am

martinjs wrote:Not sure on this one, if it was law then wouldn't it equally apply to cyclist? ie they must leave 1 meter gap, no passing on the left at traffic lights.
Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.
In a lot of case it might not be enforceable, leading to more confusion on the roads rather than less.

Martin

We're proposing a 30m exemption at intersections in order for cyclists to still be allowed to filter through. The 30m distance is applied to other rules goberning intersections so it would be uniform
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:29 am

biftek wrote:
martinjs wrote:Not sure on this one, if it was law then wouldn't it equally apply to cyclist? ie they must leave 1 meter gap, no passing on the left at traffic lights.
Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.
In a lot of case it might not be enforceable, leading to more confusion on the roads rather than less.

Martin


same i do a lot of riding on narrow country roads , not enough room for 1meter gap , but i guess it's the same as always worry about metro areas don't worry about the country areas

I lived and trained on rural roads and Interstates around FNQ for over 10 years, and we have absolutely no intention of simply catering for city dwellers. It's getting the Pollies to think outside our capitals that presents a problem.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:34 am

I lived and trained on rural roads and Interstates around FNQ for over 10 years, and we have absolutely no intention of simply catering for city dwellers. It's getting the Pollies to think outside our capitals that presents a problem.


Good luck with that, lol In NSW country people reckon it stands for Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong as most of the time that's where the money gets spent.
Country towns and groups have been fighting that biased balance for years.
Get ride of state governments for a start, then we might be on the right track. :D :D

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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:48 am

Of course there should be a minimum safe distance - no right minded motorist ever wants to have an accident with a cyclist.

There should also be rear vision mirrors fitted to cycles so that the riders may be better aware of motorists approaching from behind - the modern motor car is pretty quiet on the road - and cyclists listening on i-whatevers may not hear a car following them or possibly may not even hear a cautioning "toot".

Cyclist should also be required to have bells fitted to their bikes to warn pedestrians of their approach on the shared walkways and tracks around Melbourne

There should be registration plates fitted to bicycles so that it may be easier for authorities to deal with breaches of the roadrules - for example - riding three wide when there are double or solid single lines- or the dangerous manouever of riding in the centre of the road when turning on bends -

Yes - bring on the safe passing distance requirements - but also enforce a few other conditions intended to improve safety for all road users and pedestrians - thankyou

Concerned | Melbourne - November 30, 2011, 8:00AM

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/cycli ... z1f9Iq2WLi


Yes indeed, this reply make sense to me, well some of it anyhow.

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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:06 pm

martinjs wrote:Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.

There certainly is..... the driver just needs to cross to the other side of the white line, like they do when overtaking any other motor vehicle.


There is way to much of a presumption amongst drivers, that they have a god-given right to overtake a cyclist.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:13 pm

il padrone wrote:
martinjs wrote:Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.

There certainly is..... the driver just needs to cross to the other side of the white line, like they do when overtaking any other motor vehicle.


There is way to much of a presumption amongst drivers, that they have a god-given right to overtake a cyclist.

+1
I'm surprised 2 usual suspects haven't popped in here and attempted to shoot the whole thread to pieces by now. It's good to hear reasoned debate rather than "This is crap & don't come anywhere near my kids" :roll:
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby trailgumby » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:18 pm

This is crap & don't come anywhere near my kids :roll:
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby trailgumby » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:18 pm

Sorry :oops:
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:30 pm

I spend most of my hours on country lanes.There is no white line and when two cars come across each other they both have pull off the road, often in advance as there are big drainage ditches running a meter to the side everywhere to be able to pass.... and yet in over 3 years I can't recall more than one or two close calls. Cars wait for a safe place to pass and I am quite happy to pull right over to let them pass safely. Trucks are no difference... they wait till they can pass safely (to be honest it seems more common for cars to nearly have head ons with on coming traffic than get anywhere near a cyclist :shock: ). Everyone indicates when passing a cyclist to warn the traffic behind.
I don't know if there is a 1 meter rule here but it hardly matters when you have respect on the road.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby rustychisel » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:40 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I spend most of my hours on country lanes.There is no white line and when two cars come across each other they both have pull off the road, often in advance as there are big drainage ditches running a meter to the side everywhere to be able to pass.... and yet in over 3 years I can't recall more than one or two close calls. Cars wait for a safe place to pass and I am quite happy to pull right over to let them pass safely. Trucks are no difference... they wait till they can pass safely (to be honest it seems more common for cars to nearly have head ons with on coming traffic than get anywhere near a cyclist :shock: ). Everyone indicates when passing a cyclist to warn the traffic behind.
I don't know if there is a 1 meter rule here but it hardly matters when you have respect on the road.



+ 1

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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:13 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I spend most of my hours on country lanes.There is no white line and when two cars come across each other they both have pull off the road, often in advance as there are big drainage ditches running a meter to the side everywhere to be able to pass.... and yet in over 3 years I can't recall more than one or two close calls. Cars wait for a safe place to pass and I am quite happy to pull right over to let them pass safely. Trucks are no difference... they wait till they can pass safely (to be honest it seems more common for cars to nearly have head ons with on coming traffic than get anywhere near a cyclist :shock: ). Everyone indicates when passing a cyclist to warn the traffic behind.
I don't know if there is a 1 meter rule here but it hardly matters when you have respect on the road.

Are you still in France? They have a split 1m/1.5m rule.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby high_tea » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:23 pm

Oxford wrote:the way I see it, if a minimum passing distance law is enacted it will just simply give some teeth to being able to prosecute drivers. at present, even with video, prosecuting drivers for dangerous passes is difficult. if the law is enacted, the police will be able to issue a ticket (with of course the right supporting evidence) and like a speeding ticket, the onus is basically on the driver to provide evidence that they did not commit the infringement. or if there is a situation where a cyclist is struck from behind, there is an automatic ability to issue a TIN on this evidence alone.

any legislation though needs to be accompanied by a massive education program. no good having the law if drivers are not aware of it.


There are deeming provisions relating to speed camera readings. That's one explanation for speeding being such a popular offence to pursue. The evidence is easy to get and extremely hard to rebut. Even if you have video evidence, I've seen no mention of evidentiary provisions for the 1M passing law.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:25 pm

il padrone wrote:
martinjs wrote:Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.

There certainly is..... the driver just needs to cross to the other side of the white line, like they do when overtaking any other motor vehicle.


There is way to much of a presumption amongst drivers, that they have a god-given right to overtake a cyclist.


Say what? I'll try and find the pictures I took last week. NO white line with a road only wide enough for 1 car. The cars go off to go around me as it is. If they went any wider they would end up in a ditch or bank.

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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:33 pm

martinjs wrote:Say what? I'll try and find the pictures I took last week. NO white line with a road only wide enough for 1 car. The cars go off to go around me as it is. If they went any wider they would end up in a ditch or bank.

OK, a country lane with ditches, or a single lane black-top with gravel shoulder either side. I ride plenty of these in rural regions on tours, as well as the winding mountain roads in places like the Dandenongs. It still doesn't change the basic proposition - drivers must allow a suitable overtaking margin. I don't specifically agree with a 1 metre rule, but it is the appropriate space to give in nearly every case. At speeds of 80km+ a wider margin still is needed. Drivers not able to leave such a space should a) slow down; b) wait until the road is clear/wide enough to get by.
Last edited by il padrone on Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:35 pm

I should explain what I mean. The tarred section is only wide enough for 1 car, when the trucks go down they are often in the dirt on at least 1 wheel. The cars can get by each other going in the opposite direction only by going into the grass in some places.
Because of the nature of the rough edges I never go off the tar while riding, to dangerous on a road bike even with 700x28 so the cars have to go around me and most have no choice but to go with in less than a meter.
When I know a grain truck or another type of semi is coming down these narrow roads I get off my bike and let them pass in either direction and usually get a wave of thanks. Most slow down but some don't such is life.

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Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Or you could pull over and let them pass
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:38 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I spend most of my hours on country lanes.There is no white line and when two cars come across each other they both have pull off the road, often in advance as there are big drainage ditches running a meter to the side everywhere to be able to pass.... and yet in over 3 years I can't recall more than one or two close calls. Cars wait for a safe place to pass and I am quite happy to pull right over to let them pass safely. Trucks are no difference... they wait till they can pass safely (to be honest it seems more common for cars to nearly have head ons with on coming traffic than get anywhere near a cyclist :shock: ). Everyone indicates when passing a cyclist to warn the traffic behind.
I don't know if there is a 1 meter rule here but it hardly matters when you have respect on the road.

My bold, exactly what I feel, all the road rules in the world won't change anything until such time as we ALL learn to work together on our roads.
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Re: Cycling's margin of safety forum - The Age

Postby Oxford » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:41 pm

martinjs wrote:
il padrone wrote:
martinjs wrote:Also as a regular rider on narrow country roads there is NO room for a 1 Meter gap.

There certainly is..... the driver just needs to cross to the other side of the white line, like they do when overtaking any other motor vehicle.


There is way to much of a presumption amongst drivers, that they have a god-given right to overtake a cyclist.


Say what? I'll try and find the pictures I took last week. NO white line with a road only wide enough for 1 car. The cars go off to go around me as it is. If they went any wider they would end up in a ditch or bank.

Martin

Many Qld roads are like that, especially scary when the oncoming vehicle decides not to yield/slow down, particularly when you are on a bicycle or motorcycle as the asphalt/edge of road is often very crapulous. closing speeds often mean there is little time to complete an evasive safe maneuver.
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