Following a successful two year trial, the minimum passing distance rule will be made permanent to improve the safety of both bicycle riders and drivers on roads in NSW.
Under the rule drivers who pass bicycle riders must leave a distance of at least:
- one metre when the speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour or less
- one and a half metres where the speed limit is above 60 kilometres.
If drivers cannot pass a cyclist safely, they should slow down and wait until it is safe to do so, leaving the minimum distance.
Drivers who do not allow the minimum distance when passing a bicycle rider will receive a $330 fine and lose two demerit points.
To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules apply. This includes drivers being permitted to cross centre lines when passing a cyclist, though only if they have a clear view of any approaching traffic and it is safe to pass.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said an independent evaluation of the trial estimated a 15 per cent reduction in bicycle to vehicle casualty crashes.
“Cycling is an increasingly popular mode of transport and recreational activity, and this rule will help ensure the safety of all road users,” Mrs Pavey said.