New Bicycle Laws in Queensland
What do they mean for Gold Coast Cyclists and Motorists?
Earlier this year, the Queensland Government introduced new bicycle laws which set in place a number of rules to assist in delivering safer roads for both cyclists and motorists.
Most significantly, motorists must now give cyclists:-
- A minimum of 1 metre when passing cyclists in a 60km/h or less speed zone;
- At least 1.5 metres where the speed limit is over 60km/h.
New passing distance laws
The new minimum passing distance laws are set to be trialled for the next two years, with the hope that such laws will force drivers to exercise caution and also show greater respect for cyclists on shared roads. Reactions to the new laws to date have been mixed, with the most significant concern being whether minimum distance laws are able to be effectively policed at all.
Cyclist and truck fatality on the Gold Coast
There have regrettably been a number of cyclist deaths on our Gold Coast roads in recent times; including a preventable fatality involving a truck and a cyclist on Norwell Road, shortly after the enactment of the new minimum distance laws. This tragic accident further highlights the need for the enforcement of minimum distance laws on the Gold Coast and shows a greater need for both motorists and cyclists to make safe decisions when sharing our Gold Coast roads.
Time will tell how effective the new bicycle laws will be in keeping cyclists safe on the Gold Coast. While policing the new laws presents a vast range of issues, it will simply take a conscious effort of cyclists and motorists to ensure that harmony is maintained on our roads. The safety of all road users needs to be of primary concern, in order to keep accidents and fatalities to a minimum.
Turner Freeman Lawyers Gold Coast office
On the Gold Coast, we are fortunate enough to have access to over 800 kilometres of bikeways and, at Turner Freeman Lawyers Gold Coast office, we think it is important for our Gold Coast community to continue to keep fit, active, and healthy. Gold Coast bikeways assist in keeping cyclists protected, as they provide for the safe separation of motorists and cyclists. To find your safest on-road and off-road bicycle route, check out the Gold Coast Cycling Guide. This guide is a great resource for cyclists in planning their safest travel route, whether that involves commuting to work, to school, cycling for fitness, or riding recreationally. Motorists can also help keep cyclists safe by making room for cyclists, being patient, checking blind spots, and simply being fair in situations where our roads must be shared.
In the future, it is likely that further cycling infrastructure may be the most efficient way to avoid further fatalities and incidents in the future. In the meantime, however, motorists and cyclists need to continue to do their part to ensure our roads stay safe.
To find out what the new bicycle laws mean for you, head to the Queensland Government website.