Stay wider of the rider – sign the petition

We’ve discussed in the past the potential for a rule specifying a minimum space for motorists when passing a bike rider (and all the myths surrounding such a law…). Now it looks more likely that the new Government may propose such a law and CAN, the Cycling Action Network, is seeking support for such a move. Their “Give Me Room” campaign is designed to raise awareness of the idea, as well as getting people to sign a petition for the Rule change.

For most people who bike, it doesn’t take long to come up with examples of motorists passing too closely, in some cases quite shocking examples. What is often disheartening is the response from Police who will often not take any action unless a rider has actually been hit, which seems a pretty high bar when the existing legislation in theory already prevents passing not “made safely and with due consideration of others”.

OK, that is ridiculously close (click the image for the full video)

A safe-passing rule like this is already very common in various states of Australia and the US, as well as some European countries. In NZ, we are likely to follow Australian practice, which is typically at least 1.0m gap in urban areas and 1.5m on rural roads. Already there has been NZTA research completed on the topic. To help show support for getting it in NZ, CAN is asking people to sign their petition, which asks the Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter (in charge of rules and road safety) to make it happen. The aim is to get at least 2000 signatures (over halfway there!) – more would be fantastic…

That's right, use the other lane to pass (c/ UK Road Cycling Laws)
Behaviour like this should be standard in NZ (c/ UK Road Cycling Laws)

Do you support a safe-passing rule? Sign the petition!

4 thoughts on “Stay wider of the rider – sign the petition”

  1. Yes I do support this rule of a safe passing rule in New Zealand and I would also like to know that the visitors from overseas are having this new law explained to them before they can hire a car.

  2. Interesting statement by police about that video “As I have stated repeatedly, unless you are knocked off your bicycle and therefore the victim of a true collision,this type of complaint will simply continue to be filed.” Would a 100kph vehicle head on near miss receive the same no injury no problem reply?

  3. No I don,t support cyclists being one meter from curb and cars having to cross over to other lane to pass as in your photo. I am a cyclist and have been for over 40 yrs, you should be heading to schools to teach safe riding and the ministry to teach safe driving. Instead millions is being spent on putting car against cycle. what gives.

  4. The best lesson I learned about passing bikes in the car is to treat a bike the way you would treat a tractor on the road – you wait behind it until it’s safe to pass. It’s a simple message that needs to be shared more widely. I think a lot of people are so used to being able to just pass bikes on wide urban streets that they somehow just assume they can in all situations. A simple message of “just be prepared to stop,” with a reminder that it will only take a few seconds, would be powerful. I used to get really nervous coming up behind bikes on narrow roads, because I was somehow thinking I had to pass, for some reason. Now I assume I can’t pass and slow down until I know I can and it’s much easier, and safer. A short video saying that – and another saying that bikes are going faster than you think when turning left in front of them – would go a long way toward defusing many car-bike issues.

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