On April 7, a two year trial gets underway in regard to “minimum safe passing distance” between vehicles and cyclists.
If you are not in compliance and a cyclist can prove it with witness statements or video evidence, you will face a $330 fine and 3 demerit points. What does this mean for motorists?
I have had a number of motorists call me in the last 24 hours for advice on which car dash cam would best suit their requirements because they feel they the need to have a defense if a charge is bought against them.
In the interests of road safety this idea has some merit, there could only be one thing worse that hitting someone in your car and that is being the victim of an accident so any initiative to minimise accidents of this nature are worth a try.
Bicycle Queensland chief executive Ben Wilson was quoted in yesterday’s Courier Mail when he said they had reservations about what the new rule would achieve. “We think behaviour is ok 99% of the time. We just need to chip away at that 1% of drivers who are either very in-attentive or very aggressive”.
I disagree in his assumption that only 1% of road users are aggressive or in-attentive, it is a much higher percentage that that and there is also a much higher percentage of cyclists that believe they own the road. I know many cyclists, a mate of 26 years, my brother and his partner to name a few but I have come across some shocking aggression from some cyclists over the years and any ideas put forward to keep cyclists and motorists separated are well worth exploring.
Dash cameras are a motorists best option when it comes to defending a charge as the tolerances for error are close, very close indeed. Motorists will have to give cyclists 1 metre clearance on roads signed at 60kph or less and 1.5 metres on road of higher speed. 1 metre is a very small margin of error travelling at 60kph and 1.5 metre is even less when travelling at higher speeds but it is a start so let’s get behind it and give it a try. How is the measurement applied? Is it 1m from the handle bars, 1m from the cyclist’s elbow and even with video evidence, how will it be measured and enforced?
I wonder does it work the in reverse, do the same tolerances apply to cyclists?