Monash research underpins new road safety laws to protect cyclists

Monash University research commissioned by the Amy Gillett Foundation has contributed to the Victorian Government’s introduction of a new road rule today, requiring motorists to allow at least a one-metre gap when passing a cyclist.

 

Victoria is the final State to update this road rule after a 10-year campaign by the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF).

The Victorian Government today announcement the introduction of the A Metre Matters road rules in 2021, as well as the a $13M investment for temporary separated bike lanes.

The updated road rule will require Victorians leave a minimum of one metre distance when passing a cyclist in speed zones 60km/h or lower, and 1.5 metres when passing in speed limits over 60km/h. This update follows a two-year public education campaign in Victoria,

Dr Marilyn Johnson, AGF Research and Policy Manager and Senior Researcher at Monash University’s Institute of Transport Studies has been leader of the A Metre Matters campaign since 2009.

“It’s taken over a decade but today is a great day for road safety for both cyclists and drivers,” Dr Johnson said.

“The original road rule was vague and didn’t provide drivers with any guidance. With today’s announcement, the road rule is clear, now we know the minimum space to give when we drive passed a cyclist, it’s consistent nationally and will provide a safe space around everyone riding every kind of bike on every road.”

AGF CEO, Dan Kneipp, said the A Metre Matters road rule makes it clear to all road users how to safely share the road.

“Today’s announcement is a huge step forward for cycling in Victoria,” Mr Kneipp said.

“We’ve advocated tirelessly for A Metre Matters in Victoria and today the cycling community celebrates the hard work of all of our partners and supporters who understand this update makes it safer for both cyclists and drivers sharing the road.”

Every other State and Territory in Australia has previously updated this road rule, with Queensland first introducing a trial of A Metre Matters in 2014.

The Victorian Government also announced a $13M investment in 100km of new and improved cycling routes across key inner-Melbourne suburbs to make it easier and safer for people cycling to and from the CBD. These temporary bike lanes will help relieve congestion and provide an alternative to public transport for those living close to the CBD. Works will be delivered in the coming months and local councils and community representatives will be consulted as the pop-up cycling routes are developed, ensuring they best fit local needs.

Earlier this year, the AGF launched a national campaign calling for temporary separated bike lanes across Australia.

 

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