We advocate for improved transport services for all Victorians, including those who ride a bicycle. Market research shows that nearly half of RACV's Members ride, with one in five doing so at least once a week.
Advocacy for enhanced safety and improved cycling infrastructure is undertaken by representing RACV Members and working with organisations such as Bicycle Network Victoria and the Amy Gillett Foundation on specific projects to ensure the needs of bicycle riders are met.
We support bicycle riding by:
Safe passing space for riders
Across Australia, all other states and territories have introduced or are trialing minimum distances when passing a bike rider, to help ensure bicycle riders and motorists stay safe when sharing our roads.
In Victoria, there is no minimum passing distance. After a parliamentary inquiry on the issue, the Victorian Government focused on a 12-month advertising campaign to change motorists’ behaviour towards cyclists. This involved a TAC advertisement – Drivers, give the space to ride safe – to remind drivers to leave space when passing a bicycle. We support this campaign to educate drivers about what is a safe passing distance.
Despite the campaign, the number of cyclists being killed and seriously injured remains a concern, with official Transport Accident Commission (TAC) figures indicating 47 cyclists have died and more than 2,100 have been injured on Victorian roads in the five years between 2015 and 2019.
We're calling on the Victorian Government to undertake a trial of a minimum passing distance rule for motorists when overtaking cyclists to reduce an increasing number of bike rider deaths and injuries on Victorian roads.
The trial would legally require motorists to leave at least:
- 1 metre of space between themselves and cyclists when overtaking on roads less than 60km/h
- 1.5 metres when overtaking on roads with speeds over 60 km/h.
We're also encouraging the government to release the findings of the education campaign, which is expected to demonstrate that it was unsuccessful in changing driver behaviour.
Meanwhile, published data from the ‘Trial of the Minimum Passing Distance Rule for drivers passing cyclists’ in NSW showed:
- Cyclists safety was improved
- While driver response to the trial was mixed it was generally positive
- No clear evidence of any negative unintended outcomes of the trial, despite initial concerns from police and some participants
- Widespread support for retaining the rule.
We would welcome the opportunity to work with government to establish a trial which considers some of the unique issues on Victorian roads.