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They will but only when they genuinely want to increase cycling levels. That is some way off.

Did you notice that the pic with plod indicating the 1.5m clearance distance is shown as from the centre of the bike wheels rather than the right extremity of the cyclist!

Yes. If the plod is 1.8m tall then his arm span is 1.8m. Allowing 0.3m from the centre of bike to end of handlebars, then you have a 1.5m safe passing distance. Its a pretty good rule of thumb I think! And very impressed with the undercover initiative.

Just sent this off to my state MP (ALP).


We have spoken before about the poor attitude of NSW Police towards the protection of cyclists. In particular their lack of enforcement of the 1 or 1.5 metre clearance that motor vehicles are supposed to give cyclists. Of the punitive laws about cycling that Duncan Gay introduced during his backward term in office, this is the only one that actually would improve the safety of cyclists, whereas all others were been done to discourage cycling. Declining cycling numbers since their introduction have shown this to be the case.

Recent revelations of the police activities have shown substantial increases in the number and value of fines issued to cyclists, but <10 motorists have been charged for these “punishment passes” that they consider to be OK. Lazy police work and apathy within many police units is allowing this dangerous practice to continue, despite a significant increase of available video evidence from cyclists who have had their safety and lives threatened in this manner. The car is the latest terrorist weapon, and police are effectively allowing it to be used in this manner by their lack of enforcement. When asked by cyclists, the police in most cases are refusing to do anything about this, and are effectively refusing to do their duty of protecting people in our state.

Recently, London undercover police targeted motorists who pass too close to cyclists in an effort to improve cycling safety.

As I explained to you at our meeting some time ago, about 80% of bike/vehicle collisions are due to motorists – not cyclists. The myopic police attitude of fining cyclists for traffic infringements that are stupid laws that do little if anything for cycling safety and then ignore the one law that does offer some improvement in cyclist safety is reprehensible.

I would like you to ask the government

  • Why police are not instructed to address the “punishment passes” as is happening in London;
  • Why the government is continuing to fine cyclists for laws that have an insignificant effect on cycling safety, but ignore the “punishment passes”; and
  • Why is it providing inadequate funding for proper cycling infrastructure throughout the state? It can afford billions for cars, but bikes get less than 1% of roads expenditure and they have the greatest opportunity to reduce traffic and parking congestion in our towns and cities, not to mention health benefits to the community at large.

I look forward to the response.


well done

One of the NSW police excuses that I've heard for them not enforcing the metre matters rule is that they can't reliably determine the distances. Obviously the poms can. This suggests that they employ people with a higher intellect than NSW police does! Maybe that's why there are so many British TV police dramas, but there can't be too many people left in Midsomer given its 3 murders each program and the number of years it's been running. And, of course, all of these murders are solved and dealt with.

If NSW plod can't judge distances, how can they tell whether or not a cyclist has stopped at a stop sign?

Apparently the West Midlands police have studied the Killed & Seriously Injured (KSI) collision data and have found that: the majority of KSI collisions, cyclists aren’t to blame, concluding “… it would be a waste of our time, and thus public time and money to concentrate on cyclist behaviour. The figures speak for themselves... drivers don’t let your prejudices get in the way of the truth…”

And they used this to effectively argue that the police themselves should be on bikes to encourage & if need be, enforce, the required change in driver behaviour.

Have a look at their blog:

Bicycle NSW what are you doing about this? Speak up for safety.

Yeah they should definitely speak about it. Simon Castle is right that this is about public safety. London police is doing a good job.

From the data I've seen, not having a bell is 17 times more dangerous than close passes.  Why else would riding without a bell have incurred 17 times the number of fines than close passes

That is a little surprising to me. I mean... I have a bell, but I don't remember when was the last time I have used it, really. 


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