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Victoria plans ‘dangerous’ bicycle passing rule

Victoria plans ‘dangerous’ bicycle passing rule
Victoria will join other states next year with a rule requiring motorists to give cyclists room when passing, potentially putting the lives of motorcyclists in jeopardy.
In 2015, rider Maritha Keyser was left with permanent disabilities from a head-on accident with a car that legally crossed a double white line to pass a slow-moving cyclist and give them the required 1m buffer (or 1.5m in over 60km/h zones).
A year later Maritha launched a petition which has been largely ignored by politicians around the country.
The bicycle overtaking/passing law had been proposed for Victoria before, but was rejected.
Now the state will implement the rule next year with the enthusiastic backing of the historically anti-motorcyclist and pro-cyclist Royal Automobile Club of Victoria.
This is despite the fact that driving a car too close to a cyclist is already covered by dangerous driving laws which are enforceable.
The laws have been opposed in the past by a variety of motorcycle rider groups.
Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia spokesman Damien Codognotto says the proposed law may not be enforceable.
“Measuring the distance between a moving car and a bicycle is near impossible,” he says.
“Police would need a clear line of site to both the car and the bicycle and present measuring evidence reliable enough to be accepted by a court.
“This happens when a city-centric law makers make statewide decisions. “
He has called for statistics on car/bicycle crashes in states with the laws and the number fines issued.
“On roads with speeds over 60km/h the bicycle passing law generates deadly situations,” Damien says.
“To avoid fines, drivers swing wide crossing to the wrong side of the road. On the Great Ocean Road, and others like it, this law will contribute to the road toll not reduce it.”