How to safely overtake cyclists

Cyclists aren’t just another obstacle on the road to get around – they are our brothers and sisters, children and friends, work colleagues and neighbours.

And riding a bike on our roads leaves them very vulnerable if they are hit or sideswiped by an overtaking car.

It’s with this in mind that governments around Australia have introduced a mandatory one metre distance for motorists overtaking bicycles.

A metre matters

South Australia, Queensland and the ACT have all introduced the mandatory overtaking distance as part of their road rules.

And in NSW, the RTA website recommends giving cyclists at least one metre when overtaking them in a 50 km/h zone, and more space if the speed limit is higher.

In Victoria, the Greens have flagged the reintroduction of a Bill to provide a minimum one-metre passing distance in the State.

The Amy Gillett Foundation, a safe cycling advocacy group, recommends a minimum distance of 1m for roads with speed limits of 60 km/h or less, and 1.5m for roads with higher speed limits.

All the other states recommend that motorists give bike riders a safe amount of space when overtaking them.

There are a number of reasons why introducing a similar law in NSW makes sense. First and foremost, the measure will improve cycling safety by reducing the risk of cyclists being side-swiped by cars and trucks.

The mandatory one-metre passing distance for lower speed areas is a clear rule that is easily understood and enforced.

Providing 1.5m for roads with higher speeds will help reduce the risk of tragic accidents happening on rural roads.

Is it time for the introduction of the one-metre rule in NSW?

How to safely overtake cyclists

A recent UK video posted on YouTube explains how to safely overtake cyclists. While the UK’s Highway Code is a little different to ours, the lesson in safe driving is recommended viewing for all motorists and cyclists alike.

Watch Chris Boardman and master driving instructor Blaine Walsh explain how to safely overtake cyclists.

See how we can help you

< Back to News