NSW introduces mandatory distance for overtaking cyclists

The NSW government has introduced a new mandatory distance of 1m that drivers must allow when overtaking cyclists.

The 1m rule applies at speeds less than 60km/h. Above that speed the distance increases to 1.5m.

NSW is following the lead of other states in Australia – South Australia, Queensland and the ACT have already introduced the mandatory overtaking distance as part of their road rules.

A safety win for cyclists

The Amy Gillett Foundation, a safe cycling advocacy group, has been campaigning for the introduction of safer overtaking laws to be introduced across Australia.

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.

Photo-ID and fine increases for cyclists

The introduction of the mandatory overtaking distance was announced along side tough new laws for cyclists who break the road rules in NSW.

NSW Road Minister Duncan Gray announced that adult cyclists will be required to carry photo ID from March 2016, and cyclists riding without a photo ID will face a fine of $106 (the fine applies from 1 March 2017).

Also announced were fine increases for cycling infringements including not wearing a helmet ($319), running a red light ($319) and riding dangerously ($425).

Other fine increases include holding on to a moving vehicle ($319), not stopping at a children’s or pedestrian crossing ($425), and riding at night without lights: $106.

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