Calls for one-metre rule

THERE are calls for the incoming state government to introduce legislation for a minimum one-metre rule for motorists overtaking cyclists.

The former Labor government promised to trial the rule, which is heavily backed by key cycling bodies, in a bid to reduce  cyclist-motorist crashes.

Tamar Bike Users Group held an information day in Launceston's Brisbane Street Mall yesterday to raise cyclist awareness and gather signatures for a petition that Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic will hand to federal Speaker Bronwyn Bishop next month.

The petition asks that:

 Drivers allow a minimum of one metre when overtaking bicycle riders in speed zones up to 60km/h.

 Drivers allow a minimum of 1.5 metres when overtaking bicycle riders in   zones over 60km/h.

Group president Malcolm Cowan said he would like the federal government to adopt the legislation first and have all states and territories follow.

``If we can get A Metre Matters into legislation, it will increase the awareness of cyclists on the road,'' he said.

``It would be something people would have to learn as part of the licensing process and something they can be tested on.

``There is no simple solution to a complex issue.''

In 2013, 48 bicycle riders were killed in Australia - the highest number  since 1997.

Mr Cowan said the attitude of motorists needed to change as people thought of cars before they thought of alternative transport.

Mr Cowan rejected the argument that cyclists should have to register their bikes.

``Where do we stop: should we get a contribution from pedestrians for wearing down the pavement?'' he asked.

``We are trying to get people active and fit.''

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