Two year trial to improve road safety
A two-year trial of new road safety laws has started in the ACT, to improve safety for cyclists and other road users. Motorists must now provide a minimum distance of one metre when overtaking a cyclist in speed zones at or below 60km/h and 1.5 metres in speed zones above 60km/h. This metre matters because it provides a practical measure for drivers when overtaking cyclists, and will help reduce collisions between cars and bike riders, by changing driving behaviour.
To enable drivers to provide the minimum overtaking distances on narrow roads or roads with narrow lanes, motorists will be allowed to cross centre lines, straddle lane-lines and drive on painted islands, provided there is a clear view of any approaching traffic and that it is safe to do so. Motorists who fail to comply with the rule may be issued a $215 fine and accrue two demerit points.
Also as part of the trial, cyclists will be able to ride slowly across signalised marked foot crossings, children’s crossings and pedestrian crossings. Cyclists must keep to the left of the crossing and give way to any pedestrians on the crossing, must slow to 10km/h on the approach to the crossing, check for any approaching traffic and be prepared to stop. Cyclists who fail to comply with the rule may be issued a traffic infringement notice for $118.
For more information on the new rules for motorists and cyclists, and how to follow these new rules effectively visit www.justice.act.gov.au