Making Cycling Safer

A better Option

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving" Albert Einstein

Lynn introduced the WA Greens’ Road Traffic (Keeping Safe Distances from Bicycles) Amendment Bill into Parliament during Bikeweek 2014.

Safe passing distance legislation, sometimes called ‘A Metre Matters’, has been championed in Australia by the Amy Gillett Foundation. It requires drivers to give cyclists at least a one metre safe passing distance when approaching or overtaking them. In 60kmh-plus zones, the distance increases to 1.5 metres.

It’s the low-cost rule making cyclists safer that the Greens introduced successfully in SA and is also in place in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, 20 US states and many European countries.

For drivers who already drive safely near people on bikes, the rule makes no difference to their driving. But for the dangerous, but still prevalent, minority of drivers who do not ‘share the road’, the law gives a clear indication of what their obligations are.

Since it was introduced with bipartisan support as a trial in April 2015, similar legislation in Queensland has won strong support from all road users and has coincided with a reduced number of annual cyclist fatalities in that State. There have even been fines issued for non-compliance with the new law, in contradiction to a common objection that ‘A Metre Matters’ is too hard to enforce.

The main purpose of A Metre Matters is educational – to change attitudes and help people on bikes feel safer. It is not the only change the Greens WA are seeking to make cycling more accessible and safer for Western Australians. Lynn and her federal colleagues have worked with bicycle advocacy groups and peak bodies to develop a comprehensive Bike Vision 2029 Blueprint to make Perth the world's best city for cyclists.

As part of her Transport portfolio Lynn continues to advocate for increased funding for bike paths and improved cycle infrastructure from the State government. Lynn continues to liaise closely with stakeholders on other initiatives that will encourage cycling like the Greens safe cycling network proposals.

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Making Cycling Safer

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Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia