Has the 1m rule made motorists better behaved?

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...

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I posted in the SMH article, but should have posters here (sorry). My view:

I am beginning to think that even the distance requirements of the new laws are anti cycling too.

While I know they were never enforced, previously it was only legal before to overtake another vehicle in the same lane if they were indictating and turning right - and you were overtaking on the left where safe.

On paper, the new laws are more facilitave provisions for motorists in that they now don't have to leave the lane completely, only give 1-1.5 m, and can overtake over broken lines IF SAFE. I know I don't need to emphasise that here, but the commentariat Run scare campaign about all these head on collisions - like on assent of the laws all brake pedals were miraculously removed from all motor vehicles...

I know the previous situation was not enforced, so we viewed this as at least an education campaign to give us enough space, but the feeling on the roads over the past week has been anything but. It feels like we have regressed about 3 years of recognition gain as everyone seems up in arms about the 'new laws'. Up until recently it was progressively getting better and better - and in the main most reasonable drivers gave the space anyway. If anything this is just another common denominator law.

I thought I would be all for it, but over the past week I have visited a friend in hospital as a result of a distance accident on day 1, have gone through 3 Air Zound tanks, been punishment passed three times, called a fat c..t and a few other things. I didn't receive all that in the entire 2015 commuting year, yet I have had that in 6 1/2 days. Feels like 2012 all over again.

I hope it's a bad honeymoon blip, so will reserve judgement so far.

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


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