One-metre rule for vehicles overtaking cyclists

RACV believes that all road users need to responsibly share the road, and respect the rights of other road users. This includes motorists driving with caution near riders. RACV has strongly promoted this message for a considerable time, in combination with other groups, and we also include detailed advice on our website.

RACV has concerns about the practicality of legislating to enforce a rule for a minimum one metre, or 1.5 metres, depending on speed. This is because of the practical difficulties for drivers in estimating the distance and for Police to measure the distance to achieve prosecutions, and also the variation in road and bicycle lane widths

We note that the Parliamentary Committee's report concluded that there is no conclusive evidence showing that legislating the distance will actually improve rider safety, despite numerous studies considering the issue. The report mentions that it may increase the risk to other road users, and that this matter needs further research.

RACV agrees with the committee that further information and education campaigns are essential, as well as warning signs in higher risk locations.  The recommendations regarding mandating uniform standards for bicycle and traffic lane widths are also supported.

Written by Lynette Keogh, RACV Public Affairs, on (03) 9790 2572
September 15, 2016