Protect People who Ride Bikes with Proactive Enforcement of Safe Passing Distance

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Every day the lives of decent hard-working cyclists are being threatened by a small minority of reckless drivers. Cameron was fatally hit by a ute, leaving behind a wife and three children. Lauren was cut-off by a sedan that knocked her from the road to the footpath, all caught on CCTV footage. Adrian was cycling to work when a car came so close on a roundabout that he thought he was about to die. Anastasia was killed after being struck by a truck, she was 23 years old. Neil was enjoying a pleasant National Park ride when a Police car shocked him with a dangerous close pass, shortly after the passing distance law was brought into place. James was hospitalised for weeks with horrific injuries after being hit by a sports car, while on a popular cycling route. Marc and Tom took definitive evidence to the Police (video and ultrasonic distance measurement), but were fobbed off by a misinformed and uncaring system.

There have been thousands of victims of dangerous close passes since the law was changed, but only a handful of fines have been issued. How would you feel after an unsafe pass from a ute or van, to take the video evidence to your local police station, and be told by the officer that they wont even make a record of your incident (let alone start an investigation)? Stunned, angry, victimised, ignored, alone... This has happened to hundreds of cyclists across Australia.

All States and Territories are implementing safe passing distance laws for vehicles when overtaking cyclists (with the exception of Victoria). The purpose of these rules is to reduce injuries and deaths to bike riders. But in practice the burden of evidence and prosecution has fallen onto the victims of dangerous close passes... This is grossly unfair!!

Lives are being unnecessarily lost, and serious injuries are being sustained, for as long as Safe Passing Distance goes unenforced. As a coalition of cyclists, groups and concerned citizens we are calling out this injustice... Sign for your mates, for your family, and for our children to have safer roads than we ride on today.

We the undersigned call on Governments and Police to proactively enforce Minimum Passing Distance (MPD), as an essential measure for improving Road Safety in Australia.

  • Amy Gillett Foundation
  • Cycling Australia (CA)
  • Bicycling Australia
  • Bicycle Queensland (BQ)
  • Bicycle NSW
  • Australian Cycle Alliance (Cycle)
  • We Ride Australia (Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation)
  • Bicycles Network Australia (bicycles.net.au)
  • Bicycle Network
  • Safe Cycling Australia (SCA)
  • Cycling New South Wales (Cycling NSW)
  • City of Sydney and Lord Mayor Clover Moore
  • Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club (DHBC)
  • Inner West Bicycle Coalition (Ashfield Bicycle Group, Bike Leichhardt and Bike Marrickville)
  • Inner West Cyclists
  • BIKEast
  • Bikes Botany Bay
  • Bike North
  • North Western Sydney Cycling Club
  • Waratah Masters Cycling Club
  • ARTcycle
  • Newcastle Cycling Club
  • Newcastle Cycleways
  • Newcastle University Bike Users Group (NUBUG)
  • Wild Horizons
  • Cycling Victoria
  • Hobsons Bay Bicycle User Group (HBBUG)
  • Cycling Queensland
  • Brisbane West BUG
  • Cams Cycle Coaching
  • WestCycle (Cycling Western Australia)
  • Bike SA
  • Cycling South Australia
  • The Bicycle Institute of South Australia
  • Aldinga Bike Kitchen
  • Cycling Tasmania
  • Pedal Power ACT
  • Cycling Australian Capital Territory
  • Cycling Northern Territory

West Midlands Police have won multiple awards for their Operation Close Pass, which has decreased serious injuries and deaths to cyclists by one-fifth in the first year alone. Motorists observed making unsafe passes and other poor driving are pulled over, and either warned/educated/prosecuted. Police have also asked the public to submit video evidence, which has resulted in several hundred fines. Google "West Midlands Operation Close Pass" to see the impressive results of this cheap and effective Police action for yourself... This model is being rolled out by other Police in the UK, such as London, Hampshire and South Yorkshire... Two-thirds of the 50 American states are enforcing laws for a safe passing distance of at least 3 feet, with examples of proactive enforcement in Austin, Tampa and Memphis.

After becoming visible, following the road rules, watching out for each other and riding defensively we still depend on motorists to give us space and respect on our roads... Just like speeding, mobile phone distractions and drink driving the Police should take a proactive approach to Minimum Passing Distance (MPD). These rules can't reverse an injury or death after the fact. They need to be proactively enforced.

The safe passing distance rules require vehicles to give at least 1.0 metre of clearance to cyclists (up to speeds of 60 km/hour), and at least 1.5 metres clearance when overtaking in speed limit zones exceeding 60 km/hour. Motorists who do not comply with the law are liable for hundreds of dollars of fines and the loss of demerit points. Drivers are allowed to cross unbroken lines, and vehicles can go over flat traffic islands, in order to comply with the law.

Add your voice in support of Road Safety… Please contact davidmaywald@hotmail.com to have your organisation added to this petition.

Next steps:

  1. Share this petition with all of your friends, family and contacts... and ask for their support
  2. Write to your local MP and Ministers to push for proactive enforcement of Road Safety laws, including MPD
  3. Speak up for Road Safety, with your off-line and on-line networks...
  4. Take evidence of dangerous close passes to Police, and seek prosecution of the offending drivers (there are good resources from Bicycle NSW, Simply Cycling Training, road.cc and Bicycle Queensland to help you)

https://bicyclensw.org.au/advocacy/mpd/

http://www.simplycyclingtraining.com/category/advocacy/cyclist-rights-enforcement/

https://road.cc/content/news/237916-what-do-if-you-capture-near-miss-or-close-pass-or-worse-camera-while-cycling

https://bq.org.au/news/2018/05/new-accident-app-lifts-legal-protection-queensland-bike-riders/

#AMetreMatters #SeeThePerson #PassCyclistsSafely #StayWideroftheRider #IGiveAMetre #SlowDownPassWide #RideToSchool #OpClosePass



Today: David is counting on you

David Maywald, CFA JP (Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club) needs your help with “Protect your Family and Friends with Safe Passing Distance #AMetreMatters”. Join David and 11,874 supporters today.