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Queensland council spreads one metre message on cycling vest

Simon Parker's picture
Logan council's RU1M cycling safety vests. Cycle Traveller

A local council's move to sell high-visibility vests with 'RU1m' emblazoned on the back is the latest attempt at improving cycling safety, as cycling-related near misses and deaths continue to mount.

Logan City Council, situated between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, has begun selling the new vests as part of a broader campaign aimed as raising awareness of Queensland's new minimum passing distance law.

"Whether residents are riding their bikes for recreational, sporting, or work reasons, or simply to and from school, Council wants to do what it can to help ensure the rider reaches their destination safely," Deputy Mayor and Logan Road Safety Advisory Committee Chairman, Councillor Russell Lutton, (Division 2), said.

"Under new Queensland laws, motorists must maintain a one metre gap from a cyclist when passing in a 60km/hr or less zone and at least 1.5m away in areas above 60km/hr.

"The law aims to make drivers more aware of cyclists who are quite vulnerable on our busy roads."

Cr Lutton added the campaign, which has been nominated as a finalist in three categories of the Australian Road Safety Awards, was also designed to bolster cyclists' awareness of their own responsibilities whilst using the roads.

"Interestingly, since the new laws were introduced, more cyclists have been found at fault and have borne the brunt of their behaviour by being fined," he continued.

Late last month a Queensland truck driver was convicted but not fined for breaching the new law, with the cyclist having filmed the incident.

“It’s a war out there. It’s us against them,’’ the since retired truck driver, Warwick Fribanche, told the Courier Mail on October 30.

“I hate the thought of him (the complainant) sitting there sipping his latte and laughing at me.”

Logan City Council's move comes as Western Australia-based cycling advocacy group Bicycle Transport Alliance pushes its state government for more action on cycling safety.

Initiatives the group are pushing for include cycling-friendly and focused transport infrastructure, safe passing laws similar to Queensland's, the ability for cyclists to use footpaths, and driving tests that include a cycling safety component.

The organisation's calls for more action come only weeks after a well known academic, associate professor Paola Ferroni, was killed in Perth's King Park, after being hit by a car while cycling.

Her partner, associate professor Rosemary Coates, told the West Australian that she was disgusted at the behaviour of some local drivers and cyclists alike.

“I am horrified at the attitude of Perth drivers,” she told the newspaper.

“There seems to be a war between drivers and cyclists in this city.

“I am also horrified at the behaviour of many cyclists, who do not seem to respect the road rules and are careless of other cyclists and pedestrians and don’t seem to value their own life.”

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