Legislation to ensure that motorists pass cyclists safely is before the Parliament of Western Australia or more specifically the Legislative Council in Western Australia. It needs our comments as cyclists.
State of Play with the Pass Cyclists Safely Bill in WA
The bill, Bill No. 63 Road Traffic Amendment (Keeping Safe Distances from Bicycles) Bill 2014 is a private members bill put before the Legislative Council by Greens MLC The Honourable Lynn MacLaren. This Bill follows on from the decision of the Queensland government to carry out a two-year pass cyclists safely trial. The question is can we wait the two years for this trial to end before we take action in WA? The Minister for Road Safety Liza Harvey seems to think so which begs the question, how many lives have to be lost in the meantime? Is one life saved not worth acting now?
As at the time of writing, the Bill had been put to the Legislative Council on March 20, 2014 and had been read a second a time. There has been no movement since then.
Lynn MacLaren MLC second reading speech is available for download from the Parliament of WA website for those interested.
Pass Cyclists Safely Bill
The key change embodied in the Bill as before the Parliament that is the Legislative Council, seeks to amend the Road Traffic Act 1974 by inserting a new section, section 63A.
This new section, Section 63A requires drivers of motor vehicles to keep a distance from bicycle riders: one metre on roads up to 60 km/h, and 1.5 metres on roads of speed limits above 60 km/h.
If you have views on this Bill please let your local member of parliament know and more importantly your legislative council members. If we don’t speak up we cannot expect change.