One-metre rule for cyclists vowed

LAUREN Perry was 500 metres from home when she was hit by a car.

It was early last month and the 17-year-old junior world cycling champion had been riding 100 kilometres in preparation for the national cycling championships in Adelaide, which were held last week.

``I was going through a roundabout and going slower than normal because it was wet,'' Perry said yesterday.

She had just turned into the roundabout when she was hit.

``I went straight into the front of the car and broke the mirror and then ran into the back door,'' Perry said.

``Luckily I got off with just a couple of scratches, a separated AC joint and did a bit of damage to my back, but it could have been a lot worse.''

That incident, the death of four cyclists on Tasmanian roads just last year and the fact that there are close calls between cyclists and motorists every day are some of the reasons the state government yesterday announced it would implement a minimum one-metre passing legislation if it was re-elected.

Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne said in conjunction with the Amy Gillett Foundation, the government would roll out the legislation as a trial - similar to the trial that is planned in Queensland - and would develop a Tasmania specific education and awareness campaign using $25,000 from the Road Safety Advisory Council levy.

``It's important that we send out a message that the roads are there to be shared and that we need to respect all road users, especially cyclists,'' Mr O'Byrne said.

``All our road upgrades as part of the Department of Infrastructure from now on will accommodate space for the cycling community, but we believe there is enough room on our existing roads that with respectful and responsible behaviour, we can get a safe outcome.''

Yesterday's announcement comes just eight months after Mr O'Byrne wrote to the Amy Gillett Foundation saying he did not endorse the minimum one-metre overtaking rule.

Perry said the new legislation would make a lot of cyclists feel safer on the roads. ``I always worry about what's behind me because you can't see it,'' she said.

``If I hear a car is coming really fast, I find myself riding in the gravel, but I'd rather do that than lose my life.''

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