I am well aware that there is a dedicated transport thread but I think that it will be a great idea to include one here at the VIC Forum where we can post news articles that won't get lost amongst endless amounts of banter. Most times transport projects also influence developments in an area, therefore applicable to this forum. It will also be nice to stay in one Forum instead of jumping between forums for quick updates.
Fines proposal over buffer for cyclists could have motorists in a spin
Motorists who fail to leave a minimum gap of one metre when overtaking cyclists on Victoria's roads would be slapped with huge fines under a proposed new law. Any motorist caught riding within one metre of a cyclist, or 1.5 metres on a road with a speed limit above 60 km/h, would face a $1476 fine under the proposed law, which will be tabled before Parliament by Greens leader Greg Barber on Wednesday. Similar laws are already being trialled in Queensland, where motorists face $330 fines and the loss of three demerit points for passing within a metre of a bike rider. The two-year trial began in January.
Mr Barber said the most common type of collision between on-road commuter cyclists and motor vehicles was side-swiping, with disastrous consequences for riders. "This bill will help drivers and bicycle riders share the road more safely," he said. "Cycling is one of the best and fastest ways to get around the city and tour regional areas, but lazy government is holding us back. Minimum overtaking distances will protect cyclists from the catastrophic consequences of collisions, while holding drivers to account." Victoria's road rules currently recommend that a driver leave a "sufficient" distance when overtaking.
The push to enforce a minimum one-metre buffer is being driven by cycling safety group the Amy Gillett Foundation, which says most states' existing road rules do not protect bike riders when being overtaken by motorists. A one-metre passing distance "provides drivers with a clear, easily recognised measure when overtaking bicycle riders – otherwise they must slow down and wait", the foundation says. But cycling group Bicycle Network said the one-metre law was bound to fail and introducing it would be a waste of time. "It's been tried in many jurisdictions around the world and in none has it made the slightest difference to driver behaviour or cyclist trauma rates," spokesman Garry Brennan said. "It doesn't work and there is no value in pursuing it further." The best form of protection for cyclists was infrastructure such as bike lanes, Mr Brennan said.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/f...s-in-a-spin-20140611-39w6t.html#ixzz34HcJuy3z