Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
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Cycling article Brisbane Times
Talented violinist Richard Pollett rode his bike for the last time along Moggill Road on September 27, 2011.
On Friday morning, dozens of cyclists will ride the same stretch to demand a change to the road rules they say could have saved Richard's life.
“Motorists can, and do, regularly give cyclists mere inches as they whiz past you,” said Paul French from cycling lobby group CBD BUG. The group is supporting a petition to require cars to give cyclists a minimum 1.5 metres distance when overtaking. “We'd be happy with a metre,” Mr French said. “We just need something.” Mr Pollett, 25, was killed when a cement truck struck his bike while overtaking him.
Truck driver Luke Stevens was found not guilty of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death on May 6, after a three day trial.
Director of Safe Cycling Australia David Sharp said he was inspired to create the petition after speaking with Mr Pollett's devastated mother Patricia. “She was very disheartened and upset as you can imagine, and she just wanted to know what else could be done,” he said. “She wants her son's life to mean more than what the courts have basically told her it meant.”
Member for Moggill Bruce Flegg has sponsored the petition, which has received more than 3000 signatures since being lodged on May 10. Dr Flegg, himself a keen cyclist, will join CBD BUG's A Metre Matters Awareness Ride, supported by the Amy Gillett Foundation.
Riders will start the three-kilometre journey at the Kenmore Village Shopping Centre at 7.30am then travel along Moggill Road past a "ghost bike" that marks the spot where Richard Pollett died.
Dr Flegg said the current law that simply requires vehicles to leave a sufficient distance was no longer enough protection.
“There is a need for a specific gap to be left, which gives motorists a clear idea of how much room they need to allow them,” he said. Mr French said a growing number of jurisdictions in Europe and the United States were bringing in minimum passing distances. “It's just a best practice approach that we'd like to see adopted in Queensland,” he said.
He said the publicity of introducing a safe passing distance rule would educate motorists, and suggested it could be enforced much like tailgating regulations.
“It typically isn't enforced unless police happen to be on the spot, or in the case of a crash, it becomes clear when a motorist hasn't allowed enough space between vehicles,” he said.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson said the petition would be considered, but there were currently no plans to change rules regarding overtaking cyclists. “Any petition lodged will be considered, however a fixed distance raises a number of issues such as making it illegal for cyclists to move slowly and closely past queued vehicles,” he said.
“All cyclists and drivers should be considerate of each other and ensure they are travelling safely at all times.”
Good stuff, this is gaining momentum.
It has to be made clear to motorists that if there isn't enough space to pass safely, they are required by law to stay behind the cyclist.
Even in the case where - and this is a big one - even in the case where the cyclist is going slower than the motorist would like to go.
+1, that's what needs to get through, if you can't pass safely, you DON'T.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
Unfortunately the latest court case doesn't support that. As long as the motorist 'thinks' there is enough room to pass safely! If it turns out there wasn't enough room then tough luck to the cyclist and his/her family.
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