New passing law gives Mackay cyclists room to move on road
MACKAY'S cyclists have welcomed new State Government laws introducing a "minimum passing limit" for motorists.
Rock N Road Cycles owner Ron Steel said the new laws, which include allowing a minimum of one metre when passing cyclists in a 60kmh or less speed zone and at least 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60kmh, would help cyclists feel safer on Mackay roads.
He said some bike riders in the region were cautious about taking to the road after near misses with cars.
"It does put a few people off," he said.
"Every cyclist has had a car come way too close to them.
Mr Steele described the controversial new laws as "pretty commonsense", saying most Mackay motorists were generally good at steering clear of bike riders when overtaking.
"They're certainly going to make it safer for cyclists," Mr Steel said.
"It might take a while for drivers to conform with the legislation though.
"Most of the time it's pretty good here but some drivers do give us a problem.
"Really these laws are just common sense though; it's an idea that's now being enforced.
"Unfortunately, I think it will take a few accidents until the laws are enforced."
A two-year trial of the laws starts on April 7.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said motorists would now be able to cross centre lines, including double, unbroken lines, as well as straddle lane lines and drive on painted islands to pass cyclists, provided it was safe to do so.
Motorists who break the rules will receive three demerit points and a $330 fine.
Drivers can receive a maximum penalty of $4400 if the matter is taken to court.
The news laws are the result of findings from a Queensland Parliamentary Committee inquiry.
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