The Road Ahead : February March 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 9 FEB/MAR 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD FEATURE | COMMUNITY position on the road -- they need to cause the least possible hindrance to the rest of the traffic, but also make themselves more visible and safe." David Sharp from Safe Cycling Australia, who has lobbied in support of the introduction of the minimum overtaking distance, said that he was quietly optimistic that the two-year trial would improve the safety of cyclists on our road. "I think it will make a difference. I think a lot of people may be hesitant to come on board with it, but we'll just have to see how it goes," Mr Sharp said. "Hopefully, we'll see fewer dead cyclists on the road -- that's our ultimate aim." As the Minister for Transport and Main Roads continues to consider the other recommendations, Mr Spalding said that courtesy on the roads could go a long way to ensure safety for cyclists. "A sensible sharing- the-road approach, where everyone is prepared to give and have mutual respect for each other's right to be on the road, is paramount and will make the road a safer environment for everyone," Mr Spalding said. "Promoting this approach through extensive public awareness and education campaigns is an important first step before changing laws." Mr Demack agrees that courtesy is a two-way street. "It'suptoallofusto behave responsibly on the roads and to share the space in a safe way. That's massively important for drivers of motorised vehicles and also really important for bike riders," Mr Demack said. KNOW THE RULES • Under Queensland law, a bicycle is a vehicle and subject to many of the same laws as other vehicles. There are rules that apply specifically to cyclists. • Cyclists in Queensland of any age are allowed to ride on footpaths unless prohibited by a NO BICYCLES sign. Riders must keep left, give way to pedestrians and not endanger or inconvenience other road users. • Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast on the road (more if overtaking) and must ride within 1.5 metres of the other rider. • Cyclists are entitled to take up an entire road lane and, when necessary, travel in the right hand lane. On roads that are not multi-lane, cyclists must ride as near as practicable to the left- hand side of the road. For more information on road sharing rules, visit racq.com/sharingtheroad and to view an RACQ TV video about the new minimum overtaking rule, visit youtube.com/ racqofficial. The RACQ strongly believes in motorists giving cyclists at least a metre space when overtaking, but good road rules should be practical, enforceable and improve the safety for all road users.