Amended Cyclists Law in Western Australia
From 30 November 2017, our State Government introduces the new minimum passing distance, to protect cyclists. Four demerit points and $400 apply for drivers disobeying the new passing distance law.
Drivers must pass cyclists travelling in the same direction at a safe distance, being a minimum of:
- 1 metre – on roads where the speed does not exceed the limit of 60 km per hour
- 1.5 metres – on roads where the maximum allowed speed limit is above 60kmh
The new law allows drivers to cross unbroken line markings in the centre, both single and double white lines and painted median strips, to keep minimum permitted distance from the cyclist. This action can occur only when it’s safe to do so, providing that the driver of the motor vehicle has a clear view of oncoming traffic from the opposite direction.
The penalty for contravening this law is $400 and four demerit points.
The law for passing cyclists at a safe distance has previously existed in Western Australia. However, these amendments to the regulation clarify the minimum distance a driver of a motor vehicle is obliged to keep between their vehicle and a cyclist.
There is a different legislation in place that applies to cyclists obligations when using main roads, including but not limited to keeping the minimum distance, attaching themselves to a motor vehicle, leaving untended bicycle obstructing the traffic, using pedestrian crossings etc.
For more information on cyclists regulatory obligations, visit Road Safety Commission of Western Australia.
Infringements for cyclists vary from $50 to $100 in Western Australia
- Learner drivers must be aware of these amendments as they are not immune to hefty fines
- All drivers must make sure they check their blind spot before deviating if on multi-lane road
- If unsure, it’s best to slow down by keeping a safe distance behind a cyclist and proceed later
- Changing to the right lane to avoid deviating around cyclists riding in the left is a good option
- Plan well in advance, start to overtake well before you get too close behind a cyclist
- If returning to the left lane, ensure that you have clear vision of the cyclist in the mirror
- Don’t drive through cyclists designated lanes unless there is an emergency
Some argue that this 1m or 1.5 m passing distance cyclists new rules will be tough to police because of the difficulty of determining the distance while passing. More cyclists lanes would make it more clear for drivers. Some even suggest that footpath and cyclist lanes should be shared.
Feel free to contact Driving School WA for a complimentary and absolutely NO OBLIGATION consultation.