The Queensland Police Service has developed a new program in consultation with Bicycle Queensland aimed at improving cyclist safety on Queensland roads.
An online learning tool and guidance materials will assist officers in the field to gather evidence and enforce the Safe Passing Laws effectively.
According to these laws, drivers must allow a distance of 1 metre when passing a bicycle. When the speed limit is over 60kmh the passing distance increases to 1.5 metres.
The trial program was partially launched in Bundaberg this week for Queensland Road Safety Week, with a view to rolling out in more areas statewide.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said all road users would benefit.
“Awareness and education are vital for making Queensland’s roads safer for everybody, and this program will give the QPS the capacity to enforce more effectively,” he said.
“This is part of the QPS’ commitment to improving the knowledge and skills of their officers to ensure they act professionally and fairly, improving road safety for all road users.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said bike riders were among the most vulnerable road users.
“Safe Passing Laws are in place to protect bicycle riders because, being a more vulnerable group than motorists, they are less protected in a collision or traffic incident. These can have devastating consequences,” he said.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Dale Pointon said the initiative had the potential to reduce danger for bicycle riders on Queensland roads by improving awareness and enforcement of Safe Passing Laws.
“This new officer training will raise awareness around road safety for bicycle riders, including the detection and investigation of related offences,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Pointon said.
“In 2017, eight bicycle riders died and 390 were hurt or seriously injured in crashes on Queensland roads.
“With police and the community working together, and taking on board vital safety messages, we have the ability to make our roads safer and minimise these numbers.
“We all need to be aware and considerate and share the road safely.”
Bicycle Queensland chief executive Anne Savage said hundreds of cyclists were injured on Queensland roads each year, contributing to a horror road toll and costing the economy more than $220 million annually.
“There have been 166 lives lost on Queensland roads this year – shattering the hopes and dreams of our family members and friends,” Ms Savage said.
The QPS is committed to increasing awareness and law enforcement effectiveness to encourage all Queenslanders to be safe and considerate road users.
Drivers and riders must be respectful and mindful of other road users and should always act in a manner that ensures the safety of themselves and others.
During Road Safety Week, road users are urged to consider their own behaviour and to take this opportunity to refresh their own knowledge by joining discussions and attending organised events.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey