Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs...

Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs...

Postby RonK » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:48 pm

briztoon wrote:I would rather see a focus on driver (and rider) education rather than a fight to implement a safe passing distance.

Agree on education - this is ultimately more important than enforcement.
I believe this could be best achieved by introducing a minimum passing distance regulation, which would then become an element of driver education and training, and of driver licence testing.

Personally I have no issue with similar training for cyclists - it seems ludicrous that anyone would be allowed to use the road with no knowledge of the traffic regulations, and yes schools are probably the place to deliver it.

Also I think anyone who uses ignorance of the regulations as a defence should be required to pass the licence test again.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby Donat » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:27 pm

totallybalanced wrote:It is most unclear to me why some cycling organisations oppose the bringing into law of a minimum passing distance to be established for drivers of vehicles when they pass cyclists on the road.
This is a response from BWA on the matter:

"The Board is fully supportive of developing safer riding conditions for all riders – regardless of age, ability or rider type (ie Road, recreational, children, commuter etc) and following careful review has come to the position that the introduction of fixed-distance laws would not create safer rider environments or necessarily address the issue of distracted drivers or poor driver behaviour. The introduction for mandatory distance passing laws is not currently supported by many of the major state cycling organisations including Bicycle Queensland and Bicycle Network.

The Board’s position was included in a recent members e-news and is available on our website http://www.bwa.org.au/bikes-and-riding/735/

Of course, we will continue to liaise with the other national cycling bodies, AGF and State government authorities on this matter."

Meanwhile Westcycle is supportive. Their comment follows:
"Yes WestCycle is supportive of the new legislation being proposed by the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) and the Greens requiring a minimum passing distance."

Just makes sense to me: we have to start somewhere in order to get Australian vehicle drivers to allow adequate space for cyclists on our roads.


Let me get my head around this - Bicycle WA opposes a safe passing distance because of concerns around enforcement.

Guess what - I am not concerned about drivers that overtake me with 800 mm to spare - I am concerned about drivers that just about skim my elbow ... and even the most measurement-challenged driver will know the difference between passing at arms length, or the span of a hand. What is the simplified rule? If the cyclist can touch your car, you are too close. (And it is my understanding that this is the way the three-foot passing distance is applied by plain-clothes policemen on bikes in some American jurisdictions.)

And the comment that a safe passing distance for the most vulnerable of road users is opposed by other state cycling organisations (Bicycle Victoria reborn as Bicycle Network, and Bicycle Queensland, and Bicycle WA ) - are they not all using the same membership systems and the same insurance deal .... perhaps they are pretty much one organisation?. ... based on responses to the QLD inqury, most of the rest of Australian cyclists and cycling organisations seem to support the move towards a one-metre MINIMUM passing distance, more at higher speeds. Perhaps the members of this conglomerate of opposing cycling organisations should reflect if the insurance cover is sufficent reason to support this anti-cycling point of view. I notice that my household insurance with SGIO covers me quite well for mishaps when I am cycling....

Good to see that the West Australian peak organisation for cycling, WestCycle, supports the move towards a safe passing distance. I wonder how they internally deal with contrary Bicycle WA, who, I think, is a member of this peak body.

I ride about 7500 km a year, perhaps one third to half of it on roads, and I would love to have stronger legal protection, backed up by driver education, slower speeds on side roads, and separate bike paths where the volume of cyclists, or the speed and volume of cars justifies it.

I think this should not be a race to the lowest common denominator - all these cycling organisations need to find common ground, or they need to have their heads bashed together like naughty kids in the school yard. Common ground on a legal one meter passing distance would be a good way to demonstrate their relevance.

I think this thread started with the question what should be advocated for. My answer is pretty much in the previous paragraphs:
- infrastructure that separates cyclist from cars where possible, particularely when car volumes or speeds are a problem
- lower car speeds in the suburbs, to enable me to reach the PSP's safely
- laws that protect cyclist, such as the "strict liability" laws in Holland, France and other European countries, that make the driver of the heavier vehicle for the damage caused by smaller vehicles - trucks vs cars, cars vs bicycles, bicycles vs pedestrians. And also laws that make cars pass at a reasonable distance.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:29 am

schroeds wrote:
exadios wrote:
totallybalanced wrote:It is most unclear to me why some cycling organisations oppose the bringing into law of a minimum passing distance to be established for drivers of vehicles when they pass cyclists on the road.
This is a response from BWA on the matter:

"The Board is fully supportive of developing safer riding conditions for all riders – regardless of age, ability or rider type (ie Road, recreational, children, commuter etc) and following careful review has come to the position that the introduction of fixed-distance laws would not create safer rider environments or necessarily address the issue of distracted drivers or poor driver behaviour. The introduction for mandatory distance passing laws is not currently supported by many of the major state cycling organisations including Bicycle Queensland and Bicycle Network.

The Board’s position was included in a recent members e-news and is available on our website http://www.bwa.org.au/bikes-and-riding/735/

Of course, we will continue to liaise with the other national cycling bodies, AGF and State government authorities on this matter."

Meanwhile Westcycle is supportive. Their comment follows:
"Yes WestCycle is supportive of the new legislation being proposed by the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) and the Greens requiring a minimum passing distance."

Just makes sense to me: we have to start somewhere in order to get Australian vehicle drivers to allow adequate space for cyclists on our roads.


I think the problem of one meter laws are that we would not be starting "somewhere" - we would be starting nowhere.

From the BWA article the operative paragraphs are :-

"For the police, the notion of a measured distance would make evidence gathering so difficult that they believe it would be rare for cases to meet the evidence hurdle to get before a court.

And for prosecution authorities, they are very concerned that such laws provide drivers with the opportunity to construct a strong defence, making successful prosecutions difficult."

There is an additional problem which very few have mentioned. Assume that a cyclist has some method of reliably determining passing distance and assume that police officers or other witnesses are similarly endowered. This would solve the problems detailed above. But the remaining problem is that the driver has no reliable method of determining the distance. So is the driver passing at 800mm or 1200mm? He / she cannot tell. I am not a lawyer but for, as a matter of applied logic, for a law to be effective there must be a reasonable method for the potential transgressors to obey the law.


Take a read of traffic rules....there are LOTS of enforcable distance-related rules.

To me the chances of successful prosecution are secondary to the effect of having a law....most people try to vaguely obey the law =safer cycling = lives saved

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How about you highlight the enforcable distance related rules.

If the chances of successful prosecution are of secondary importance then you can have no problem with the present law which requires that the vehicle must pass safely.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:31 am

RonK wrote:
briztoon wrote:I would rather see a focus on driver (and rider) education rather than a fight to implement a safe passing distance.

Agree on education - this is ultimately more important than enforcement.
I believe this could be best achieved by introducing a minimum passing distance regulation, which would then become an element of driver education and training, and of driver licence testing.

Personally I have no issue with similar training for cyclists - it seems ludicrous that anyone would be allowed to use the road with no knowledge of the traffic regulations, and yes schools are probably the place to deliver it.

Also I think anyone who uses ignorance of the regulations as a defence should be required to pass the licence test again.


This is the criminal code you are talking about. The purpose of the criminal code is not education. It is a power given to government to prosecute.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby Jackfrost » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:07 am

exadios wrote:
schroeds wrote:Take a read of traffic rules....there are LOTS of enforcable distance-related rules.

To me the chances of successful prosecution are secondary to the effect of having a law....most people try to vaguely obey the law =safer cycling = lives saved

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How about you highlight the enforcable distance related rules.
If the chances of successful prosecution are of secondary importance then you can have no problem with the present law which requires that the vehicle must pass safely.

While you are at it why don't you let us know how many convictions stemmed from these 'enforcable distance related rules' in the previous year?
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:50 am

"I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303."

As for the stats on successful enforcement on all of these, are you serious?
As I've said several times however I'm no expert on any of this, so maybe its best to disregard this post entirely.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby Aushiker » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:22 pm

exadios wrote:If the chances of successful prosecution are of secondary importance then you can have no problem with the present law which requires that the vehicle must pass safely.


Any pass is considered safe as long the cyclist is not hit (based on my actual experience of reporting incidents) which is not my idea of fun. You might considered 1 cm okay which is a "safe pass", I guess some us don't.

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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:30 pm

Aushiker wrote:
exadios wrote:If the chances of successful prosecution are of secondary importance then you can have no problem with the present law which requires that the vehicle must pass safely.


Any pass is considered safe as long the cyclist is not hit (based on my actual experience of reporting incidents) which is not my idea of fun. You might considered 1 cm okay which is a "safe pass", I guess some us don't.

Andrew


Well plainly that is not satisfactory.

My proposal is that the law be changed so that a vehicle is required to change lanes before passing. This has the advantage that both the cyclist and the motorist can clearly determine which lane the other is in, as can the witness walking beside the road and the officers in the police car following.

On the subject of training in a previous post, I agree. Additionally, I think we should all have to pass a test every year or two in order to keep you licenses. No pass, no drive. I have to do this in order to maintain my flying licenses and piloting a plane is much easier than driving a car.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:16 am

The 2nd Womble wrote:"I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303."

As for the stats on successful enforcement on all of these, are you serious?
As I've said several times however I'm no expert on any of this, so maybe its best to disregard this post entirely.

It's worth noting that some such rules apply to cyclists - for example:

- Cyclists must not ride within 2 metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than 200 metres

- Cyclists riding two abreast must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

Ooooooooo, look - there is that 1.5 metres again - so is this regulation unenforceable? If it is, why have it? And how come cyclists can be expected to estimate a distance of 1.5 metres, but not motorists?
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby schroeds » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:16 am

Jackfrost wrote:
exadios wrote:
schroeds wrote:Take a read of traffic rules....there are LOTS of enforcable distance-related rules.

To me the chances of successful prosecution are secondary to the effect of having a law....most people try to vaguely obey the law =safer cycling = lives saved

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How about you highlight the enforcable distance related rules.
If the chances of successful prosecution are of secondary importance then you can have no problem with the present law which requires that the vehicle must pass safely.

While you are at it why don't you let us know how many convictions stemmed from these 'enforcable distance related rules' in the previous year?


I'll spell it out: its not about conviction, its about prevention.

I just don't get the line of thought "its hard to catch criminals so don't bother having laws". To me that misses the main purpose of having laws which is to provide guidelines for acceptable behaviour. I get that its hard to prosecute and I get that it lacks teeth as a result, but isn't an education campaign based in legal requirements stronger than one saying pretty please.

Most motorists are reasonable people who want to do the right thing. If we view them as psychopaths that we need to catch, and do nothing until we can come up with a foolproof means of doing so, then were missing the opportunity to help most people to get it right most of the time. It's a numbers game...that'll save the most lives.

Adding a specified

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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:24 am

Someone slammed me yesterday for stating that education alone hasn't reduced the road toll. It never has and it never will.
As far as I know, it's a legal requirement for our children to attend school and get an education. In your face! :)
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:48 pm

RonK wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:"I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303."

As for the stats on successful enforcement on all of these, are you serious?
As I've said several times however I'm no expert on any of this, so maybe its best to disregard this post entirely.

It's worth noting that some such rules apply to cyclists - for example:

- Cyclists must not ride within 2 metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than 200 metres

- Cyclists riding two abreast must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

Ooooooooo, look - there is that 1.5 metres again - so is this regulation unenforceable? If it is, why have it? And how come cyclists can be expected to estimate a distance of 1.5 metres, but not motorists?


The evidence that you need to provide that these laws are enforcable is the evidence of their enforcement. Quoting the legislation does not cut the mustard.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:56 pm

exadios wrote:
RonK wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:"I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303."

As for the stats on successful enforcement on all of these, are you serious?
As I've said several times however I'm no expert on any of this, so maybe its best to disregard this post entirely.

It's worth noting that some such rules apply to cyclists - for example:

- Cyclists must not ride within 2 metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than 200 metres

- Cyclists riding two abreast must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

Ooooooooo, look - there is that 1.5 metres again - so is this regulation unenforceable? If it is, why have it? And how come cyclists can be expected to estimate a distance of 1.5 metres, but not motorists?


The evidence that you need to provide that these laws are enforcable is the evidence of their enforcement. Quoting the legislation does not cut the mustard.


Uh-uh. These laws already exist - you prove that they cannot and have never been enforced.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:57 pm

schroeds wrote:
Jackfrost wrote:
exadios wrote:
How about you highlight the enforcable distance related rules.
If the chances of successful prosecution are of secondary importance then you can have no problem with the present law which requires that the vehicle must pass safely.

While you are at it why don't you let us know how many convictions stemmed from these 'enforcable distance related rules' in the previous year?


I'll spell it out: its not about conviction, its about prevention.

I just don't get the line of thought "its hard to catch criminals so don't bother having laws". To me that misses the main purpose of having laws which is to provide guidelines for acceptable behaviour. I get that its hard to prosecute and I get that it lacks teeth as a result, but isn't an education campaign based in legal requirements stronger than one saying pretty please.

Most motorists are reasonable people who want to do the right thing. If we view them as psychopaths that we need to catch, and do nothing until we can come up with a foolproof means of doing so, then were missing the opportunity to help most people to get it right most of the time. It's a numbers game...that'll save the most lives.

Adding a specified

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But there is legislation now which, if obeyed, would address the problem of cyclists being struck by passing vehicles. The problem is that it is largely unenforcable. This is what is behind the push to change the legislation. The problem is that the suggested solution is to implement more unenforcable legislation. It is not hard to predict that the suggested unenforcable legislation will be obeyed no more than the current unenforcable legislation, even where it possible to do so.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:59 pm

RonK wrote:
exadios wrote:
RonK wrote:It's worth noting that some such rules apply to cyclists - for example:

- Cyclists must not ride within 2 metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than 200 metres

- Cyclists riding two abreast must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

Ooooooooo, look - there is that 1.5 metres again - so is this regulation unenforceable? If it is, why have it? And how come cyclists can be expected to estimate a distance of 1.5 metres, but not motorists?


The evidence that you need to provide that these laws are enforcable is the evidence of their enforcement. Quoting the legislation does not cut the mustard.


Uh-uh. These laws already exist - you prove that they cannot and have never been enforced.


Done.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:04 pm

Ooh goody, I used to have to enter the MHL thread for fresh buttered popcorn.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:15 pm

exadios wrote:
exadios wrote:The evidence that you need to provide that these laws are enforcable is the evidence of their enforcement. Quoting the legislation does not cut the mustard.


RonK wrote:Uh-uh. These laws already exist - you prove that they cannot and have never been enforced.


Done.

Yes, just as I expected, you can offer NO such proof...
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby schroeds » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:42 pm

But there is legislation now which, if obeyed, would address the problem of cyclists being struck by passing vehicles. The problem is that it is largely unenforcable. This is what is behind the push to change the legislation. The problem is that the suggested solution is to implement more unenforcable legislation. It is not hard to predict that the suggested unenforcable legislation will be obeyed no more than the current unenforcable legislation, even where it possible to do so.[/quote]

You're referring to the law abour "when its safe to pass" I presume. Thing is, that leaves it subjective....ie the Cairns truck driver got off because he thought it was safe to pass. Specifying a distance provides an important clarification and the required objectivity.

"Only pass when you think its safe" is a weak educational message.

"It's only safe when you leave 1.5 (or 1) m " is stronger.

"Leave 1.5 (or 1)m, its the law" is strongest.

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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:28 pm

schroeds wrote:But there is legislation now which, if obeyed, would address the problem of cyclists being struck by passing vehicles. The problem is that it is largely unenforcable. This is what is behind the push to change the legislation. The problem is that the suggested solution is to implement more unenforcable legislation. It is not hard to predict that the suggested unenforcable legislation will be obeyed no more than the current unenforcable legislation, even where it possible to do so.


You're referring to the law abour "when its safe to pass" I presume. Thing is, that leaves it subjective....ie the Cairns truck driver got off because he thought it was safe to pass. Specifying a distance provides an important clarification and the required objectivity.

"Only pass when you think its safe" is a weak educational message.

"It's only safe when you leave 1.5 (or 1) m " is stronger.

"Leave 1.5 (or 1)m, its the law" is strongest.

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We talking about the Criminal Code not some community education program. You seem not to understand the significance of that distinction.

Of course if the distance requirement was in place than the driver could say, "I thought I left a distance of 1 / 1.5 m."

If you scan up you will see a link to the report in which both the police and the prosecutors state that this proposed law is unenforcable.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:29 pm

RonK wrote:
exadios wrote:
exadios wrote:The evidence that you need to provide that these laws are enforcable is the evidence of their enforcement. Quoting the legislation does not cut the mustard.


RonK wrote:Uh-uh. These laws already exist - you prove that they cannot and have never been enforced.


Done.

Yes, just as I expected, you can offer NO such proof...


On the contrary I supplied the exact empirical proof required to prove a negative.

But beyond that I assume that as a proponent of the 1 or 1.5 meter rule you would wish to persuade people to support you. I'm am pointing out that, in order to pursuade me, the quality of your arguments will need to improve dramatically.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:38 pm

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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby Donat » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:24 pm

exadios wrote:If you scan up you will see a link to the report in which both the police and the prosecutors state that this proposed law is unenforcable.


If you scan up you will see a post that quotes a cycling organisation opposed to a safe legislated passing distance that speculated that the police and prosecutors would find the law difficult to enforce. I would not take this as gospel.....

From my previous post: " I am not concerned about drivers that overtake me with 800 mm to spare - I am concerned about drivers that just about skim my elbow ... and even the most measurement-challenged driver will know the difference between passing at arms length, or the span of a hand. What is the simplified rule? If the cyclist can touch your car, you are too close. (And it is my understanding that this is the way the three-foot passing distance is applied by plain-clothes policemen on bikes in some American jurisdictions.)"
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Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs...

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:42 pm

exadios wrote:But beyond that I assume that as a proponent of the 1 or 1.5 meter rule you would wish to persuade people to support you. I'm am pointing out that, in order to pursuade me, the quality of your arguments will need to improve dramatically.

Why would I need to persuade you? The thousands who have signed the various petitions on the issue show that there is strong support for mandatory passing distance regulations. It is of no consequence that you choose otherwise.

On the other hand, show us the support for your alternative proposal. Where are the petitions, the public discussions, the parliamentary inquiries.
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby CycleSnail » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Here an example of a police chief (no, he is not Australian) promoting the three foot legislated passing distance:

( I guess you are all familiar with this Youtube clip )


"“Sharing the roadways could help you avoid a citation but, more importantly, it could save a life. Please, drive safely,” Art Acevedo, Chief of the Austin Police Department"
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Re: Legalised safe passing distance opposed by cyling orgs..

Postby exadios » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:34 pm

Donat wrote:
exadios wrote:If you scan up you will see a link to the report in which both the police and the prosecutors state that this proposed law is unenforcable.


If you scan up you will see a post that quotes a cycling organisation opposed to a safe legislated passing distance that speculated that the police and prosecutors would find the law difficult to enforce. I would not take this as gospel.....

From my previous post: " I am not concerned about drivers that overtake me with 800 mm to spare - I am concerned about drivers that just about skim my elbow ... and even the most measurement-challenged driver will know the difference between passing at arms length, or the span of a hand. What is the simplified rule? If the cyclist can touch your car, you are too close. (And it is my understanding that this is the way the three-foot passing distance is applied by plain-clothes policemen on bikes in some American jurisdictions.)"


Speculated? Not so. The section "Police and road safety authority opposition" is very clear and direct. It says that police depts, prosecution offices, and road safety authorities all oppose the proposed legislation and it gives reasons why.

You may not be concerned whether the distance is 800mm or not but if the law is 1 M then your concerns are irrelevent. Or they would be if the distance could be determined with any accuracy - which it can't.

So are you saying that you are going to stick you are out to see if you can touch a passing car? And is the driver going to lean over to the passanger side so he can likewise stick his arm out?
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exadios
 
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