People who ride bicycles on ACT roads are concerned that police are not properly enforcing the minimum overtaking distance rule.
A report has shown that just two drivers have been ticketed and three drivers cautioned for breach of the law since its introduction.
But cycling advocacy organisation Pedal Power ACT has said that its members are reporting a positive change in driver behaviour since the law was introduced in November 2015.
In fact, Pedal Power ACT Executive Officer John Armstrong wants the minimum overtaking distance legislation to be made permanent when the trial ends in November.
“Making the legislation permanent is important to change the behaviour of drivers on ACT roads,” said Mr Armstrong.
“Anecdotally, we are hearing from our members that they have seen growing awareness among drivers of maintaining a safe distance from riders using on-road bike lanes since the introduction of the legislation in late 2015.”
The minimum overtaking distance law requires cars give cyclists a one metre clearance when overtaking them 60km/h and under zones. In 60km/h and over zones, drivers must give cyclists a 1.5 metre berth.
“We’ll be looking to the release of the 2016 Crash Report later this year to provide solid evidence that the minimum overtaking distance trial is having the desired effect, and reducing the risk to vulnerable roads users on ACT roads,” said Mr Armstrong.
“Legislation and enforcement are just two of the elements required to make roads safer for people who ride bikes. The ACT community needs to work together to address this problem and save lives on our roads.”
Pedal Power ACT is working with the Amy Gillett Foundation to raise awareness of the ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign, and ACT residents are invited to show their support for the minimum overtaking distance law at the Big Canberra Bike Ride, an event that celebrates safe cycling on ACT roads.
What do you think? Is riding a bike on Canberra roads safer since November 2015, or are drivers able to get away with bad behaviour around bike riders because police aren’t enforcing the law?