Queensland will provide the safest environment for road cyclists becoming the first state to introduce a minimum distance for passing cyclists from next month.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the two-year trial of the new laws would encourage better sharing of the road between motorists and cyclists.
“Tragically 13 cyclists were killed on Queensland roads in 2013, so action was needed,” Mr Emerson said.
“The LNP Government is delivering safer roads through better planning, but we also need to improve the way that motorists and cyclists interact on our roads.
“From April 7, motorists will need to give a minimum of one metre when passing cyclists, and a minimum of a metre-and-a-half where the speed limit is over 60kph.
“The trial of the new rules will improve cyclists’ safety and ensure there is enough space between a motorist and the rider.
“The new rules will also allow motorists to cross centre lines and painted traffic islands to pass cyclists when safe to do so.”
Mr Emerson said at the same time, fines for cyclist doing the wrong thing would be increased to the same level as those imposed by motorists.
“Up until now there have been different fines for motorists and cyclists for the same offence. For example, the fine for entering a level crossing with a train approaching will increase from $110 to $330, the same as for motorists,” he said.
“No matter the number of wheels, whether two, four or more, the rules are the same and now the fines are too.”
These are the first recommendations to be actioned of the 68 recommendations made by the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee.
Other recommendations made by the Committee are still being considered by the Government.