Cycling in Sydney Australia
There has been a lot of discussion on there about the negative impacts the new regulations will have on cycling, but not much on the positive.
To be sure, overall this package of measures is anti-cycling, will reduce cyclists numbers, increase police harassment and make cycling more dangerous.
But has that one glimmer of positivity - the 1m passing rule - made any difference to driver behaviour that you can detect?
I think that it might have. I just sense that cars are giving me a bit more room. They seem less likely to squeeze past me when I'm going past parked vehicles, for example, instead waiting for the road to clear and for me to move over.
I have now fitted a 'passcam' to my bike - a camera angled down at the front, which takes in the wheels and the adjacent road. I then used it to measure a 1m distance from the right-most point of my handlebars - it's the yellow line in the picture, where the tape measure reaches to (the paper says '1m', but it didn't come out in the bright sun.
Since doing this, I've only had one pass that felt uncomfortably close:
There was plenty of room for the van to pull out further, and he felt much closer to me that I would like.
Overlaying the two pictures reveals this:
So it seems the van was giving me the requisite 1m. This just underlines to me how 1m is really not adequate, even at relatively low speeds.
Still, it seems on the whole motorists are being conservative, and for the most part leaving much more room than that.
Hopefully it will continue, and motorists will not become blase after a few months of no enforcement. Of course, a few high-profile blitzes would then help to reinforce the message again, but I'm not holding my breath. Much easier to ping cyclists for not having a bell...
I don't consume much media (ie I don't watch TV, commercial radio etc and even SMH gets up my nose frequently with the triviality of much coverage) so might have missed any "education" program but other than one bus stop poster in the city I have not seen any publicity at all on the 1 / 1.5m matters and much of the newspaper coverage focuses on increased fines,& ID without mention of passing distance, (other than Mr O' R's usually excellent articles)
Have I missed the advertising, where has it been?
I would be surprised if more than a small percentage of drivers were aware of it at all let alone the details
At train stations there are both 1m passing posters and increased fines posters. They seem to come in pairs.
"won't be enforcing" is not good enough, is it? That begs the question, what do we do to make you enforce?
That said, an hour ago I got past a 3 cop surveillance at the Penriff station opal barrier with no challenge, despite lack of ting-a-ling.
Given that various bogon media outlets seem to have been given the "won't be enforced" line and the good sergeant has the same I wonder if a directive to that effect has gone out (nothing in writing of course) or is the sergeant just freelancing in his opinion and choice of regulations to enforce? When will we have the first "safe passing distance" blitz?
It's not going to work is it unless we can get a few miscreants to hang from the city walls as an example to the rest of the peasants?
Although a Parisian approach, ie. random roll-and-burn, would get attention too I am sure.
This is OT, but:-
"Police will be put in an untenable position in that they are sworn to uphold the law and if they turn a blind eye they are themselves committing an offence," Police Association President Scott Weber said.
I guess some laws are more equal than others.
The NSW Police Force facebook page is littered with thousands of vitriolic bogan posts about "if cyclists paid rego" etc etc etc - And there is not one correction of incorrect facts, incorrect interpretation or challenging about safety, threats, etc etc..
The more the talk goes on uncorrected, the more talk there is and the more the bogans think is they actually know WTF they are talking about.
It's a nightmare.