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Cyclists Will Be Free of the Dreaded Helmet.

Article by WealthSafe.
Category: Other

Date Published: 29 Nov 2013

Cyclists Will Be Free To Go Bareheaded On Bike Paths And Motorists Will Have To Give Bicycles At Least 1m Clearance, Under Recommendations Made To The State Government.

However, when it comes to breaking the road rules, cyclists will be treated the same as motorists.

The Transport, Housing, and Local Government Committee will today table its 200-page report on cycling laws after a five-month inquiry.

The report includes 68 recommendations on issues from cyclists running stop signs to the disparity between penalties for cyclists and motorists.

As well as relaxing helmet laws for people aged 16 and over on bikes and footpaths, the report recommends:

  • Minimum safe passing distance of 1m on streets up to 60km/h and 1.5m on roads signed at higher speeds.
  • An equalization of penalties for cyclists and motorists.
  • Giving cyclists permission to treat stop signs as give-way signs when it is safe to do so.
  • A major public education campaign about cycling safety.

Motorists will have to give cyclists a wider berth on the roads under the proposed new laws.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson will get the final say, and yesterday he was yet to be convinced of the need to relax helmet laws.

Committee chairman Howard Hobbs said he hoped the Minister would consider all recommendations after the extensive investigation by the LNP-dominated committee.

“I expect he’ll take some time to digest the massive amount of information (in the report) and I would encourage people to look at the reasonings behind the recommendations we’ve made,” Mr Hobbs said.

“They need to look at each recommendation and why we’ve made them.”

The 1m rule for roads up to 60km/h and 1.5m for roads signed at higher speeds was sought by cycling groups.

The Courier-Mail understands there will be provision for motorists to cross double-white lines to move around cyclists in these situations.

Penalties for cyclists will be increased to match those for motorists.

Currently, cyclists are fined $110 for offenses such as running red lights and ignoring level crossing signals while motorists cop $330 fines.

However, cyclists will be given leeway to treat stop signs as give-way signs when safe.

Mr Hobbs said the committee had examined “best practices” for cyclists worldwide.

“It will basically lead the nation with new road rules which will see cyclists and motorists share our road network, rather than be out there in a confrontational way,” he said.

“That’s been the problem we’ve had in the past – the road rules haven’t been looked at seriously for the vulnerable road user.”

Warren Black: I cannot believe it … a government finally seeing sense and bringing in sensible regulation. Start of a new trend … ?

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