Trial considered for cycling one-metre rule

THE state government may trial a minimum one-metre rule for motorists when passing cyclists, following the death of a Trevallyn rider on Sunday.

Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne yesterday confirmed that the trial, which is supported by key cycling bodies, was being looked at.

``Queensland is conducting a minimum distance passing trial, and we will closely monitor the results of this work,'' he said. 

``In addition, I will be asking the Road Safety Advisory Council to develop parameters and objectives with a view to conducting a similar trial accounting for Tasmanian roads and conditions.''

The opposition also flagged possible minimum passing laws if elected. 

``This is a serious issue, and we have previously expressed an interest in the implementation of minimum one-metre passing rules and we are prepared to consider legislating for it,'' opposition infrastructure spokesman Rene Hidding said. 

``If elected in March, we will task the Road Safety Advisory Council with providing urgent advice on this issue.''

The announcements came after the death of Trevallyn's Lewis Hendey, who was hit by a utility while cycling on the West Tamar Highway between Riverside and Legana. 

Early crash investigations indicate driver inattention may be a cause, according to police.

``I cannot sympathise enough with the family and friends of the cyclist who has been killed,'' Mr O'Byrne said.

``The government supports the One Metre Matters campaign and we are in discussion with various cycling groups, including the Amy Gillett Foundation, about ways that education and awareness can be increased to maximise safety for cyclists on our roads.'' 

Amy Gillett Foundation chief executive Tracey Gaudry said 2013 was a ``black year for bike riding safety'' with close to 50 cyclist deaths on the country's roads. 

``In a shared environment the best way you can protect a bicycle rider is by recognising as a driver that they need space . . . and a metre is the clearest measure that we have in our metric system,'' she said.

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