The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

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The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:57 pm

It'll only take 2 minutes. We know you all have better things to do.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/S8GLS67
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by BNA » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:08 pm

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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:08 pm

I think my responses probably mirror the many.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:10 pm

There are some clear trends already.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Boognoss » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:11 pm

g-boaf wrote:I think my responses probably mirror the many.


+1

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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby maestro » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:24 pm

Some comments...

Q5 - I tried to change it to say 1,2,4,3 but it kept changing it back to 1,2,3,4

Q6 - For the biggest risk I put "passengers and other vehicles". This risk of interaction with other vehicles is often due to some of the other reasons (such as poor road design). Maybe this should be changed to "driver and passenger behaviour".

Q7 & onwards - I think that the law requiring a safe distance should be retained, with an addition that this safe distance must not be less than 1.5m, or 2m ( > 80kph). I like the fact that the existing law puts the onus on the motorist to make the distance safe for the circumstances, but obviously some guidance needs to be given to law enforcement in the form of a specified minimum.

I would also support a law that says that "where multiple lanes are available in the direction of travel, a motor vehicle must not overtake a bicycle while any part of the motor vehicle is in the same lane as the bicycle being overtaken".
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:30 pm

Goodo :)
I'll look into the ranking Q5 shortly.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby maestro » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:47 pm

One other thought... It would send a message if the specified safe overtaking distance when overtaking a cyclist (could include others, such as horse drawn vehicles) was explicitly specified to be more than what is required when overtaking a motor vehicle.

This would make it more obvious that bicycles need a bit more space for things such as...
- dealing with wind effects from a passing vehicle
- having to change their line to avoid things like potholes & debris
- having room to perform the legally required indicating when turning right
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby darkelf921 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:59 pm

Done
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:34 pm

Done.
Q5 is still borked :roll:
I'm 2 1 3 4 thanks for asking. Ignore the rude comment in one of the "other" fields. :P
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:39 pm

Ah, the number of those is 14.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Xplora » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:45 pm

I'm happy for any vehicle of any size and speed to pass me at 1.5m. If I can touch the vehicle, it is too close.

I didn't like a couple of questions because they assume blanket behaviours, when effective commuting requires you to manage the space that cars can use around you. I pick a lot of different space.

Something else I've noticed is that the first car is OK, but the second car is much closer and the 3rd car is a brownpants as they get progressively closer.

Push for 1.5m for everything. It is simply too hard to dilute it.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:56 pm

A quick heads up on the polling so far. A split rule preference is nudging ahead at 1.5/2 metres. So far 1 metre is a non-request. I didn't think a split rule would be so popular, but at least it's NOT within 1.5 on lower speed roads.
As SCA tweeted tonight, most of us feel antsy when someone we don't know comes within our 1 metre personal bubble (and tonight some grub's body odour made that even worse), so why would we ask for it on the road? It's rediculous.



And have you smelt a Brisbane cabbie lately?
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby FXST01 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:50 am

Done.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Howzat » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:17 am

2nd Womble, here's my take. It seems like 2 meters is basically requesting a wide bike lane on each road (which would be fine by me). But declaring it unsafe, and making it illegal, for cars to overtake without changing lanes might get bikes banned from some roads entirely.

That's the main trade-off at stake. Wider is safer, but wider invites more bike-banning pushback. Until there are more bikes than cars on the roads, that's something to be concerned about.

One meter is about half as far again as an outstretched arm, which is OK most of the time. It's the best figure for sharing the roads. But it's also a minimum, because anything less than a meter feels too close for comfort. At 75cm many people could touch a passing vehicle. And 1 meter it too close for trucks. Commercial vehicle licenses should depend on keeping a 1.5m minimum.

It's possible 1.5 metres is an unintuitive number, a distance drivers can't easily visualise. In this respect, perhaps imperial measurements might have been useful, because "five feet" would be easy for people to grasp.

But the main point is enforceability. 2m is utopia, 1.5m is wonderful, but I'd count fines being issued for coming closer than 1m as a win.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:27 pm

Again I am surprised at the support for 2m, but it should perhaps be pointed out that it would most likely only be entertained on high speed roads.
Where 1 metre is concerned, it is considered too little in terms of distance to be able to judge and manage accurately for the average Joe, which is the argument that has seen it fail to become law for years. Also, again worth mentioning here is that 1 metre laws in various states of the US are being said to have failed, with no descernable reduction in serious injuries and deaths as a result of collisions whilst being overtaken by faster vehicles. I'm sure none of us want to see a ho-hum law after having come this far if there isn't going to be any benefit gained.
I can guarantee you we will only get one opportunity to work toward a meaningful piece of legislation. After that it'll be years before our politicians can be bothered making such an effort again.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby g-boaf » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:11 am

2m is a good distance - I guess we just don't like other heavier vehicles close to us.

If you tied it in with cycling rego and MHL, ;) I'm sure you could make it happen! :twisted: (note the emoticons first)

Kidding aside - it's just as important that once these things are done, that the rules are enforced. Take any number of bike lanes which are pointless because of cars parked in them.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby sumgy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:24 am

How about SCA take it one step better and get the rules changed around Bike Lane signage.
I have been warring with the Main Roads Dept regarding parking being allowed in a stretch of Bike Lane at Albany Creek.
They have told me that as there is no yellow line the cars can park there.
I checked and apparently all a Bike Lane sign does in QLD is.......ummmm.........well.......nothing at all.
The true meaning of it is that it is a bicycle lane and is not to be used for driving in by motorised vehicles.
But they can park in it as long as there is no yellow line.
So in reality we have no road based bicycle infrastructure in QLD full stop despite all of the hard work and wins that we are told about by our advocacy groups.

With regard to the 1m rule.
Nice sentiment but means nothing IMO.
"I was a metre, no you weren't, yes I was, no you weren't, prove it, no you prove it".
A failed venture around the world using various distances.
What is needed is a proper long term advertising campaign about cyclists rights and the facts about the road rules, rego etc etc.
Not a short term campaign that is on and gone before it sinks into the publics brain.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:06 pm

sumgy wrote:What is needed is a proper long term advertising campaign about cyclists rights and the facts about the road rules, rego etc etc.
Not a short term campaign that is on and gone before it sinks into the publics brain.

x 1,000.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Xplora » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:00 pm

sumgy wrote:With regard to the 1m rule.
Nice sentiment but means nothing IMO.
"I was a metre, no you weren't, yes I was, no you weren't, prove it, no you prove it".

It makes for a guaranteed success at prosecuting any contact, because it is not reasonable for a driver to hit a cyclist while leaving half a lane next to them. The current "I thought it was OK" defence is removed because this is a higher level of responsibility. It is similar to the rules around the speed limit - you can't claim you were under, because you weren't. If you are supposed to allow 1.5 metres, you cannot possibly justify contact with the cyclist because you clearly failed in fulfilling your obligation. It will allow a few more prosecutions for dangerous behaviour because your close shave has broken a law... currently it fails the bastard test, but passes the legal one.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby VRE » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:11 pm

Xplora wrote:
sumgy wrote:With regard to the 1m rule.
Nice sentiment but means nothing IMO.
"I was a metre, no you weren't, yes I was, no you weren't, prove it, no you prove it".

It makes for a guaranteed success at prosecuting any contact, because it is not reasonable for a driver to hit a cyclist while leaving half a lane next to them. The current "I thought it was OK" defence is removed because this is a higher level of responsibility. It is similar to the rules around the speed limit - you can't claim you were under, because you weren't. If you are supposed to allow 1.5 metres, you cannot possibly justify contact with the cyclist because you clearly failed in fulfilling your obligation. It will allow a few more prosecutions for dangerous behaviour because your close shave has broken a law... currently it fails the bastard test, but passes the legal one.

The existing "unsafe overtake" law (well at least Victoria has it, don't know about the other states) fulfils the purpose already. If a car makes contact with a bicycle when the former is overtaking the latter, then clearly the law has been broken. I agree with sumgy on this - the 1m law will just prove to be unenforceable.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby high_tea » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:38 pm

VRE wrote:
Xplora wrote:
sumgy wrote:With regard to the 1m rule.
Nice sentiment but means nothing IMO.
"I was a metre, no you weren't, yes I was, no you weren't, prove it, no you prove it".

It makes for a guaranteed success at prosecuting any contact, because it is not reasonable for a driver to hit a cyclist while leaving half a lane next to them. The current "I thought it was OK" defence is removed because this is a higher level of responsibility. It is similar to the rules around the speed limit - you can't claim you were under, because you weren't. If you are supposed to allow 1.5 metres, you cannot possibly justify contact with the cyclist because you clearly failed in fulfilling your obligation. It will allow a few more prosecutions for dangerous behaviour because your close shave has broken a law... currently it fails the bastard test, but passes the legal one.

The existing "unsafe overtake" law (well at least Victoria has it, don't know about the other states) fulfils the purpose already. If a car makes contact with a bicycle when the former is overtaking the latter, then clearly the law has been broken. I agree with sumgy on this - the 1m law will just prove to be unenforceable.


Queensland too.

I don't think 1m is any worse than the existing law. I just don't think it's significantly better.

As for guaranteed prosecutions in the event of contact, assuming this to be true then the maximum penalty in Queensland is 20 penalty units. That's something a tad under $2500. For hitting someone with a car. Whoopee. And, as VRE pointed out, basically the same argument runs with the existing law.

The guaranteed-prosecution claim is pretty bold too. The gold standard for easy-to-prosecute offences is things like speeding and DUI, which have deeming provisions. That is to say, if the police follow set-down procedures the readings they obtain are considered conclusive evidence. I have my doubts whether going from a qualitative standard to a quantitative one is going to help all that much on its own.

What I like about the petition is that it is putting the issue out in front of the public. That is a good thing all on its own. In some ways it's more important than the particular change.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby sumgy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:52 pm

I can just see all the extra police being put on to drive around with a metre ruler making sure that cars and bike do not get too close together.
Seriously??
1m?
That is like an outstretched arm.

Be aware this is not a rule that improves what happens if you get hit, it is a rule that supposedly enforces that another vehicle must give you an outstretched arm of space when passing. And given the lack of police resources for all of the other traffic violations that occur every day on our rules, I have to think it is a self policing rule (again a case of he said, she said).
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:04 pm

You guys aren't getting it. Laws don't actually provide any protection. People can still choose to disobey. All they do is allow the authorities to prosecute and sanction a transgression after the fact.

I don;t expect police to run around with rulers issuing tickets - that is a straw man argument and diminishes those using it to mock the 1.5m proposal.

However, in the case where the truck driver hit and killed that talented young musician, it would have given specific guidance in the facts of the case to the jury by removing doubt that the driver was in fact at fault. Trying to squeeze past when 1.5m + vehicle width was less than the entire lane width at the point of collision (even before you add the width of the rider and his distance out from the kerb) is a clear breach of the law that led to his death. This "I thought I was going to miss him" drivel trotted out by the defence could have been leapt on by the prosecution as irrelevant, with that law available as a concrete handle.

In the event of a collision it significantly reduces discretion. Had they still acquitted, the issue of jury bias against cyclists would have been out in the open for all to see, and then we would be having that debate, which is just as important as the current one, if not more so since not respecting cyclists is actually the root cause.

The sanctions can then be used as a lever to help generate culture change. But only if the effort is put in to push for change, rather than just relying on the law to do something on its own, which never works.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Xplora » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:16 pm

yep, TG has it. It's not about sanctioning the distance, as much as providing a clear invisible line between the bike and the car, that can be prosecuted. Indeed, it MUST be prosecuted because there is no discretion involved. I regularly have trucks 1m away from me at 80kmh on the Saturday ride (Windsor Road near Richmond) and while it can be unnerving, I struggle to believe that the pass is safe at just a foot. Given the fact that the steering wheel is on the right hand side, we shouldn't accept careless passes... and the current law is insufficient because there is too much grey.

Some scumbags will continue to shave, but give it 5 years and suddenly those people will be hated by a chunk of the community that is bigger than "cyclists". This isn't a bad thing because scumbag passing costs humans their lives.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby sumgy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Trailgumby
I honestly dont think it does anything.
There are very specific expectations about many many laws and yet people gt a slap on the wrist all the time for breaking those expectations.
The X metre law has been tried all around the world and from what I have read on forums has made little/no difference.

As I said earlier the key is significant and obvious advertising regarding cyclists absolute right to be on the road.
This needs to clear up all of the common misconceptions that drivers have about what pays for roads, what the road rules are in relation to cyclists and for cyclists.
Without this sort of ONGOING education the 1m rules is just another law that drivers will have no idea about or will see as yet another inconvenience in relation to cyclists.
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