Minimum passing distance rule for cyclists adopted following trial

Drivers can be fined $330 and lose two demerit points if they don't keep their distance. Picture: Paul Jeffers
Drivers can be fined $330 and lose two demerit points if they don't keep their distance. Picture: Paul Jeffers

The minimum passing distance rule for cyclists will become permanent following a successful two-year trial.

Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said an independent evaluation of the trial estimated a 15 per cent reduction in bicycle to vehicle casualty crashes.

Under the rule drivers who pass cyclists must leave a distance of:

  • At least one metre when the speed limit of 60km/h and below. 
  • At least 1.5 metres where the speed limit is above 60km/h.

Motorists who don’t comply can be fined $330 and lose two demerit points.

“Cycling is an increasingly popular mode of transport and recreational activity, and this rule will help ensure the safety of all road users,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Under the trial, 81 per cent of cyclists and 69 per cent of drivers supported the rule.

“This shows that minimum passing distances is helping to build respect among road users for each other’s space and safety.”

Ms Pavey said some exemptions to the road rules were in place to assist drivers comply with the Minimum Passing Distance Rule.

Drivers were permitted to cross centre lines when passing a cyclist, but only if they had a clear view of any approaching traffic and it was safe to pass.

Details: roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/go-together/index.html.