Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:44 am

KenGS wrote:That's a red herring. Courts see a daily procession of people who disregard the law and that is a just a fraction.
I don't think there is anything (within the constraints of a civilised society) you can do about those types.


I don't see any red herrings. But if you're happy about it I'll just fire that gun past your ear :twisted:
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by BNA » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:04 am

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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby human909 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:04 am

il padrone wrote:All this ignores the issue of the deliberate close-shaver. I've observed and experienced plenty of these in my time - horn-blaring, high speed, no diversion from a line..... even coming across into the lane to do it. They won't be much bothered by some 1.5m rule.

Is it OK if I fire a gun 15cms to the right of your head ?? Why is it OK with a car ?


Its been said before but statements like this do not lose their impact. Why this is tolerated and and not addressed is beyond me.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:43 pm

^^ There is deliberate argument without content in the couple of posts just above. Ken is in favour of the 1.5m rule, and his comment wasn't implying otherwise.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby KenGS » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:18 pm

il padrone wrote:
KenGS wrote:That's a red herring. Courts see a daily procession of people who disregard the law and that is a just a fraction.
I don't think there is anything (within the constraints of a civilised society) you can do about those types.


I don't see any red herrings. But if you're happy about it I'll just fire that gun past your ear :twisted:

IP - from earlier posts I understand your position to be skeptical of the value of a minimum passing distance. So I took your statement to be saying " a minimum passing distance wont stop someone deliberately close shaving you" and to a large extent I agree. But there are a large number of close shaves by people who are simply unaware of the amount of space a cyclist needs for safety. Those same people also sit on juries so there is a problem of community attitude. Publishing advised passing distances in pamphlets has been ineffective so something else is needed.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:57 pm

Riding in Italy I've had the occasional close-shave (mostly by non-Italian car makes, and 20-something girls on motor scooters) but overwhelmingly the local drivers give a good 1.5 - 2m space even at 50kmh. I'd like to know the community's secret and apply that to Australian drivers, because I don't believe there is any 1.5m rule here in Italy.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:01 pm

Xplora wrote:^^ There is deliberate argument without content in the couple of posts just above. Ken is in favour of the 1.5m rule, and his comment wasn't implying otherwise.


I realised that and I am mostly not. I believe it ignores the main issue - that of simple respect for the life and safety of another human being.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:22 am

I am fascinated how people who aren't in favour of the law seem to imply that the law creates an invisible shield next to the rider. That's the impression I get from reading Ken's post (it never occurred to me that anyone would think that, but very well... )

The law is about creating a stronger legal distinction between unsafe and safe passing. It removes the grey interpretations, held rightly or wrongly, and says to drivers you must try harder if you struggle to get around a rider. That could mean waiting, or going around further. But that responsibility lies entirely with the driver. And there is enough space to allow for errors from the cyclist as well.

It is somewhat irrelevant to the argument to quote current overtaking laws, because they are inadequate from a cyclist's point of view. A car driver is not guaranteed death if they are shaved by a lorry. A cyclist is, because of speed differences and slipstream effects. Sorry sir I made a mistake is not a particularly comforting comment when it is known that some drivers will do such things intentionally, ignoring the threat to life.

The key is whether or not an act should be considered a threat to a citizen's well being and livelihood. In considering your position, that is the main question to ask. We are talking about the bare minimum distances here, that you should be comfortable enduring every single time you ride on the road. Driver error isn't a reasonable excuse if there is no malice involved. Somehow people manage to drive hundreds of hours without hitting each other, yet they can't provide safe space for a cyclist? Education is pointless because you won't change the behaviour of the deliberate shaver. You need a mechanism at law to punish them. The current mechanisms achieve nothing (like the Pollett case) so we need to work at ensuring such acts are automatically considered illegal. I'm sure speeding wasn't a concern for cars at some point; but the community felt a change was needed. Same reason we need to change cyclist passing expectations.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Bartek » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:52 pm

Xplora wrote:I am fascinated how people who aren't in favour of the law seem to imply that the law creates an invisible shield next to the rider. That's the impression I get from reading Ken's post


On the contrary I believe 1.5m "law" will be about as effective as the "move into another lane" law, without education and enforcement
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby bychosis » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:59 pm

il padrone wrote:Riding in Italy I've had the occasional close-shave (mostly by non-Italian car makes, and 20-something girls on motor scooters) but overwhelmingly the local drivers give a good 1.5 - 2m space even at 50kmh. I'd like to know the community's secret and apply that to Australian drivers, because I don't believe there is any 1.5m rule here in Italy.


Italians have probably just evolved from a cycle/horse and cart based society on the same roads as they drive on today and aren't 'blessed' with whole cities designed primarily for cars to the detriment of the cycle.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:30 pm

Bartek wrote:
Xplora wrote:I am fascinated how people who aren't in favour of the law seem to imply that the law creates an invisible shield next to the rider. That's the impression I get from reading Ken's post


On the contrary I believe 1.5m "law" will be about as effective as the "move into another lane" law, without education and enforcement


+1

I am all for a 1.5m safe distance, but why introduce this as law if the current law isn't enforced? The burden of proof is even easier...."Did you fully change lanes to overtake?"...,"No"...,"Ok. Guilty"

If it is just another law for motorists, police & courts to ignore, I see no value in having it.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:53 pm

Moving to the other lane just has many problems with regards to practicality when it comes to bikes. You CAN squeeze past, and many people are aware of this. This is precisely why the Pollett decision could hold water. There is no guarantee that a pass without full lane change will result in risk for the rider (or even discomfort).

You are definitely not required to pass in another lane when there are no lane markings. There are practical issues with simply saying "must change lanes" where there are none. The consideration of legal ramifications for violation is a separate issue. Right now, you have ZERO protection. The law would give you SOME.

I seriously wonder what kinds of riding are done by the people who don't want it introduced.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby sumgy » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:43 pm

Xplora wrote:Moving to the other lane just has many problems with regards to practicality when it comes to bikes. You CAN squeeze past, and many people are aware of this. This is precisely why the Pollett decision could hold water. There is no guarantee that a pass without full lane change will result in risk for the rider (or even discomfort).

You are definitely not required to pass in another lane when there are no lane markings. There are practical issues with simply saying "must change lanes" where there are none. The consideration of legal ramifications for violation is a separate issue. Right now, you have ZERO protection. The law would give you SOME.

I seriously wonder what kinds of riding are done by the people who don't want it introduced.


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Why do you think that the issue comes back to the "kinds of riding done by the people who don't want it introduced"?
It is simple in my mind.
This same idea has been introduced in countries around the world and from what I have read has provided no significant safety improvement.
Why will Australia see a difference to this result.
First off without SIGNIFICANT ONGOING education that this is actually a law, nothing will change.
Without a change to our jury system where reasonable doubt is no longer required, nothing will change.
You might think that the 1.5m rule somehow extinguishes reasonable doubt that the truck, car, whatever passed too closely, but you are not every juror on every panel.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby high_tea » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:03 pm

queequeg wrote:
Bartek wrote:
Xplora wrote:I am fascinated how people who aren't in favour of the law seem to imply that the law creates an invisible shield next to the rider. That's the impression I get from reading Ken's post


On the contrary I believe 1.5m "law" will be about as effective as the "move into another lane" law, without education and enforcement


+1

I am all for a 1.5m safe distance, but why introduce this as law if the current law isn't enforced? The burden of proof is even easier...."Did you fully change lanes to overtake?"...,"No"...,"Ok. Guilty"

If it is just another law for motorists, police & courts to ignore, I see no value in having it.


There is no rule that requires a lane change when overtaking. The nearest thing is r146, which forbids straddling lanes but only on multi-lane roads.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:37 pm

Xplora wrote:I seriously wonder what kinds of riding are done by the people who don't want it introduced.


We descend beyond limits again. "Play the ball not the man" as the saying goes.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:11 pm

I agree, Pad. I'm honestly trying to work out what kind of riding is done by people who aren't interested in this. If they in fact ride much at all. I've done well over 10000kms commuting in the last 18 months, and honestly believe the most dangerous times are when I'm forced to go close to cars because of narrow roads, traffic calmers and parked vehicles. A bike has an obligation to keep left in the lane, but this obligation sends a silent but powerful message that there is space for cars to go around me. I suffer far worse than the driver if they misjudge. Experience has taught me how to manage all this, and I'm fine with rumbling in peak hour, however as a human being in a modern society, I need legal protection so I can rightfully report drivers and get justice for poor behaviour on the road. My life, and the lives of my family, suffers if one driver makes a mistake, or a "mistake". There is always a responsible party on the road. Our current laws don't allow for prosecutions of dangerous driving around cyclists. No other sphere of life can get away with "oops" as a legitimate legal defence.

That's why I ask the question... if they don't actually spend any serious time interacting with traffic, and needing to act like a vehicle instead of a high speed jogger, then perhaps they don't see my need for better protection?
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:31 pm

high_tea wrote:
queequeg wrote:
Bartek wrote:[quote="Xplora"]I am fascinated how people who aren't in favour of the law seem to imply that the law creates an invisible shield next to the rider. That's the impression I get from reading Ken's post


On the contrary I believe 1.5m "law" will be about as effective as the "move into another lane" law, without education and enforcement


+1

I am all for a 1.5m safe distance, but why introduce this as law if the current law isn't enforced? The burden of proof is even easier...."Did you fully change lanes to overtake?"...,"No"...,"Ok. Guilty"

If it is just another law for motorists, police & courts to ignore, I see no value in having it.


There is no rule that requires a lane change when overtaking. The nearest thing is r146, which forbids straddling lanes but only on multi-lane roads.[/quote]

Not according to the NSW Govt, who are on record in Hansard as stating that a 1m rule is not required because a full lane change is already required when overtaking.
The dictionary definition of "Overtake" in the NSW road rules is where that apparent requirement is drawn from, though there seems to be various ways if can be interpreted. since "room for a line of traffic" is up to the driver to calculate.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:51 pm

queeq, the NSW Government is completely incorrect in their view of the Road Rules, because " moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic" is effectively what I've been going on about - there is no prescription beyond "don't hit someone". In fact, I see a clear directive to claim a lane under all circumstances when on a multilane road, even if that's not particularly necessary.

The issue is that the road rules are written from a car perspective. No one else. While I don't expect different, and cars need the regulation more than bikes, we have to state that the penalty for failure is not worn by the driver. They would have to jail offenders for 2-5 years to have an appropriate response. It's an assault, plain and simple. If your goal is to not hit someone, that's an acceptable goal if you are unlikely to hospitalise the person you are trying to avoid. If you are going to hospitalise, you need to say "hey guys, we need a higher standard of ethics applied here".

BNA Riders. Let your family know it is not illegal to endanger your life while you ride on the road. See how long you remain in the saddle before they tell you to stay off the road for your own safety.

It's little wonder we've had such a long barney in the MHL thread; the number of riders who have absolutely no concern for other people who choose to travel the same way they do is appalling.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby high_tea » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:09 pm

queequeg wrote:
high_tea wrote:There is no rule that requires a lane change when overtaking. The nearest thing is r146, which forbids straddling lanes but only on multi-lane roads.


Not according to the NSW Govt, who are on record in Hansard as stating that a 1m rule is not required because a full lane change is already required when overtaking.
The dictionary definition of "Overtake" in the NSW road rules is where that apparent requirement is drawn from, though there seems to be various ways if can be interpreted. since "room for a line of traffic" is up to the driver to calculate.


What's in Hansard is here nor there. What matters is statute or case law. I defy anyone to show me statute or case law that makes this requirement.

I want to know how this supposed requirement interacts with r141, which is about overtaking on the left. And on what planet I have to move into the opposite lane, facing oncoming traffic, to overtake someone on my bicycle. And why they bothered with r146(a) if a complete lane change is required. Come to that, I want to know how whoever it was said that with a straight face. C'mon, the fact that someone said it in Parliament doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it law.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Summernight » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:15 pm

high_tea wrote:What's in Hansard is here nor there.


If the legislators who supposedly know the current laws (and are there to presumably make said laws better for society - not just to sit on their behinds earning taxpayer dollars and have child-like slanging matches) don't even know the correct law and think the current NSW RRs require a full lane change, then how are ordinary citizens supposed to know what the current law is?
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby KenGS » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:55 pm

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:^^ There is deliberate argument without content in the couple of posts just above. Ken is in favour of the 1.5m rule, and his comment wasn't implying otherwise.


I realised that and I am mostly not. I believe it ignores the main issue - that of simple respect for the life and safety of another human being.

I don't think Australians and Australian drivers are any more callous than anyone else in the world. There are however, norms of behaviour that need addressing. It's true that there are more and bigger issues and a minimum passing distance law will not address those but it is the topic of the thread. If there's a thread on how to improve respect for life and safety of others I'm sure we'd have lots of discussion on that too.

Enforcement is important. Objectivity may help in that regard. In the Pollett case, enforcement was not the issue as charges were laid.
Education is important. Sometimes a change of law is part of the education process e.g. 0.05% BAC
In fact, it would be beneficial to describe why cyclists need more than a few cm space and how much they really need - whether as the basis for a 1.5m law or not
Broad education on safe driving practices is also important
Is it possible to teach people to have respect for others? Or is it something innate?
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:02 pm

high_tea wrote:
queequeg wrote:
high_tea wrote:There is no rule that requires a lane change when overtaking. The nearest thing is r146, which forbids straddling lanes but only on multi-lane roads.


Not according to the NSW Govt, who are on record in Hansard as stating that a 1m rule is not required because a full lane change is already required when overtaking.
The dictionary definition of "Overtake" in the NSW road rules is where that apparent requirement is drawn from, though there seems to be various ways if can be interpreted. since "room for a line of traffic" is up to the driver to calculate.


What's in Hansard is here nor there. What matters is statute or case law. I defy anyone to show me statute or case law that makes this requirement.

I want to know how this supposed requirement interacts with r141, which is about overtaking on the left. And on what planet I have to move into the opposite lane, facing oncoming traffic, to overtake someone on my bicycle. And why they bothered with r146(a) if a complete lane change is required. Come to that, I want to know how whoever it was said that with a straight face. C'mon, the fact that someone said it in Parliament doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it law.


Clover Moore Originally asked a number of Cycling Related Questions back in 2010.

Ms Clover Moore to the Minister for Transport and Roads—

Noting that there is no legislated minimum distance for vehicles passing cyclists, what action has the NSW Government taken to review the road rules to improve cyclist safety?


The answer given by the then Minister for Roads:-

I am advised:
6. The Road Rules currently require a driver to change lanes when overtaking a cyclist. A minimum distance is therefore not considered necessary.


Interestingly there was a followup to the Minister for Police and Minister for Finance asking about enforcement of the overtake rule that revealed the opposite:-

Ms Clover Moore to the Minister for Police, and Minister for Finance—

Noting the response from the Minister for Transport which states in point 7, "The Road Rules currently require a driver to change lanes when overtaking a cyclist. A minimum distance is therefore not considered necessary" (Question 9497):

What enforcement operations do NSW Police carry out to enforce this rule?
How many infringements or warnings were given in 2009 for drivers failing to change lanes when overtaking a cyclist?
What plans does the Government have to increase enforcement of this rule, given the increasing numbers of cyclists?
Answer—

The NSW Police Force has advised me that there is no requirement under the Road Rules 2008 for a driver to change lanes when passing a cyclist. Hence, failing to change lanes in these circumstances is not an offence and is not enforced by police. However, there is a requirement under rule 144 to keep a safe distance when overtaking any vehicle.



Now, you are raising Rule 141, which covers Overtaking on the Left. I think you are confused because bicycles are exempt from Rule 141. I am not sure under what circumstances you would be overtaking a fast moving car by crossing onto the other side of the road. The rule covering Overtaking is Rule 144 (as above), which states that you must keep a safe distance when overtaking.
Rule 146 is about staying within a marked lane or line of traffic (when the road is unmarked), and has got nothing to do with overtaking at all.

Rule 144 refers you to the Dictionary to see what "overtake" means, and it is in there that you find:-

overtake, for a driver, means the action of:

(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic, and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction), and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling in the adjacent marked lane or line of traffic.
Note.
Marked lane is defined in this Dictionary.


and marked lane is defined as....

marked lane means an area of a road marked by continuous or broken lines, or rows of studs or markers, on the road surface that is designed for use by a single line of vehicles.



Note my bold red highlight above. Rule 144 does not only apply to multi-lane roads or marked lanes. Overtaking (b) clearly says that if it is a single lane and you want to overtake, you must move onto the opposite side of the road and perform the overtake. Perhaps the language is too complicated for most people. After all, the Minster for Transport said a lane change was required, but the Minister Police said it wasn't, and nobody has ever been fined for unsafe overtaking because police don't enforce it as they believe it is not a requirement to change lanes. Who is right? Well, the laws are set by parliament, the police enforce the laws. Clearly the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:03 pm

KenGS wrote:
il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:^^ There is deliberate argument without content in the couple of posts just above. Ken is in favour of the 1.5m rule, and his comment wasn't implying otherwise.


I realised that and I am mostly not. I believe it ignores the main issue - that of simple respect for the life and safety of another human being.

I don't think Australians and Australian drivers are any more callous than anyone else in the world. There are however, norms of behaviour that need addressing. It's true that there are more and bigger issues and a minimum passing distance law will not address those but it is the topic of the thread. If there's a thread on how to improve respect for life and safety of others I'm sure we'd have lots of discussion on that too.

Enforcement is important. Objectivity may help in that regard. In the Pollett case, enforcement was not the issue as charges were laid.
Education is important. Sometimes a change of law is part of the education process e.g. 0.05% BAC
In fact, it would be beneficial to describe why cyclists need more than a few cm space and how much they really need - whether as the basis for a 1.5m law or not
Broad education on safe driving practices is also important
Is it possible to teach people to have respect for others? Or is it something innate?


Not sure, my 5 year old does but my 3 year old doesn't. If he learns then that might prove the case. If he doesn't does that disprove it? Or is he a psychopath?

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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby high_tea » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:37 pm

queequeg wrote:
Now, you are raising Rule 141, which covers Overtaking on the Left. I think you are confused because bicycles are exempt from Rule 141. I am not sure under what circumstances you would be overtaking a fast moving car by crossing onto the other side of the road. The rule covering Overtaking is Rule 144 (as above), which states that you must keep a safe distance when overtaking.
Rule 146 is about staying within a marked lane or line of traffic (when the road is unmarked), and has got nothing to do with overtaking at all.


What I'm doing is reading the Act as a whole, because that's how you're supposed to interpret a statute. If you're going to pick a definition for "overtaking", it has to work for the whole statute. The definition that supposedly requires a full lane change does not work at all with r141. I doubt that's the only thing wrong with it, just the first example that I thought of.

queequeg wrote:Rule 144 refers you to the Dictionary to see what "overtake" means, and it is in there that you find:-

overtake, for a driver, means the action of:

(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic, and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction), and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling in the adjacent marked lane or line of traffic.
Note.
Marked lane is defined in this Dictionary.


and marked lane is defined as....

marked lane means an area of a road marked by continuous or broken lines, or rows of studs or markers, on the road surface that is designed for use by a single line of vehicles.



Note my bold red highlight above. Rule 144 does not only apply to multi-lane roads or marked lanes. Overtaking (b) clearly says that if it is a single lane and you want to overtake, you must move onto the opposite side of the road and perform the overtake.


I reject that. "part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic" doesn't imply a lane change. Plus, see above. This is a good example of why you have to read the Act as a whole. You pick on one section and your definition kinda-sorta works. You apply it to a different section and nonsense comes out.

Perhaps the language is too complicated for most people. After all, the Minster for Transport said a lane change was required, but the Minister Police said it wasn't, and nobody has ever been fined for unsafe overtaking because police don't enforce it as they believe it is not a requirement to change lanes. Who is right? Well, the laws are set by parliament, the police enforce the laws. Clearly the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.


I couldn't agree more. What I find particularly unnerving is this quote:

"The NSW Police Force has advised me that there is no requirement under the Road Rules 2008 for a driver to change lanes when passing a cyclist. Hence, failing to change lanes in these circumstances is not an offence and is not enforced by police. However, there is a requirement under rule 144 to keep a safe distance when overtaking any vehicle."

The Police are advising the Minister on the meaning of a statute? :shock:
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby KenGS » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:37 pm

ironhanglider wrote:
KenGS wrote:Is it possible to teach people to have respect for others? Or is it something innate?

Not sure, my 5 year old does but my 3 year old doesn't. If he learns then that might prove the case. If he doesn't does that disprove it? Or is he a psychopath?

I should have said "adults". Kids are too complicated to understand
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:17 pm

Bartek wrote:
Xplora wrote:I am fascinated how people who aren't in favour of the law seem to imply that the law creates an invisible shield next to the rider. That's the impression I get from reading Ken's post


On the contrary I believe 1.5m "law" will be about as effective as the "move into another lane" law, without education and enforcement


Well for starters WA does not have a "move into another lane" law (that is Victoria and possibly other states, not WA from what I can find. You couldn't supply evidence of it when I last asked either. So WA law is a safe pass is one where the cyclist is not hit or obstructed. Personally I would prefer 1.5 metres but each to their own. If you happy with 10 cm I will remember that when passing you :)

Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
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