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...
That's very sad to hear.
My experiences remain positive, so fingers crossed.
I agree with your assessment about the law and enforcement, though. It occurs to me that it's actually a way of letting motorists off lightly if they hit a cyclist, given that it has been said that is the only time the law will actually be used.
So if a motorists hit a cyclist, he now gets a small fine and two points, rather than facing prosecution for dangerous driving.
Let's hope that's not how it works out...
I tried to analyse the document the regime tabled in parliament, and could not work out how they were supposed to work.
I haven't noticed howls of complaint that the disallowance motion, if that goes through, would remove these changes.
Behaviour changes - Yes and No. Still plenty of unsafe passes, but there have been people holding back and thats encouraging. IMO those that are giving more space didn't need the law to be passed. they already had consideration for all other road users