An off-duty police officer has died after being hit by a ute while ....

Another terrible tragedy.

Pictures suggest good sightlines! 

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texting? a close pass gone wrong?

or in driver-language "he swerved in front of me"

Victoria does not have Mandatory Passing Distance Laws (MDPL). While the effectiveness of MDPL is dependent on enforcement MDPL has an effect - I haven't really had much in the way of close passes/punishment passes for a while on both sides of the ACT/NSW border. The lack of MDPL may be an issue in this case.

I really wish I could say the same. They are still a regular occurrence for me. 

Agreed. Immediately after the law came in, I noticed an improvement in driver behaviour; no doubt because it got at least some publicity.

But a year on, with no enforcement or education, things are, if anything, worse than before IMO.

If they know that the law is not being enforced, there's no incentive for them to comply. Some of the HWP that I've spoken to are as bad as the bogan tradies who think that a punishment pass is ok and richly deserved. This is an important attitude that the new police commissioner could fix that would provide an immediate improvement in cycling safety resulting in more people riding and less traffic. 

My police anecdata is on day 2 of the new laws, I'm riding along, thinking that car is awfully close (even if it was going slow), pulls up alongside and it's a general duties officer less than 30cm away from me. No idea what he was doing.

But at least we have heavier to offset that, wait what? :)

Terrible

They need the 1m / 1.5m passing law in Victoria

This is yet another tragedy. My thoughts are with the cyclists' family and friends.

I can't help wondering if this will have an effect on police attitudes to these types of crimes. I note in the report that 'Major collision investigation unit detectives are working to determine the cause of the crash.'. This is unusual in these cases; usually it seems all to often the police are ready to take the word of the driver.

I am reminded of the effect the death of a Times journalist had; she was tragically killed by a truck whilst cycling to work. That led the paper to launch an all-out campaign for better cycling infrastructure and attitudes, and was instrumental in the transformation of London to the cycling mecca is it becoming, as well as quelling the usual anti-cycling rhetoric from the press.

This incident is a tragedy. But I hope the police reflect on the loss of one of their colleagues, and realise that they have the power to prevent many future such incidents by simply changing their current attitudes.

A later report on the above link would suggest that it was a punishment pass.

"The officer and his daughter were cycling east, on the shoulder of the highway in a 100km/h zone.

The ute was also travelling east when it struck the officer, police said.

It has been reported the ute was trying to overtake the cyclists, when the side mirror of the vehicle hit Sergeant Rich"

Very much outside the spectrum of 'accident'

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