Cyclist petition grows

THIRTEEN thousand people have signed the A Metre Matters cycling petition, designed to change road rules to give cyclists greater clearance from motorists while on the road.

The petition was launched last year, and is planned to be presented in federal parliament towards the end of May.

It has called for the federal government to amend the Australian road rules so that drivers allow at least one metre clearance when overtaking bicycle riders in speed zones up to 60km/h, and 1.5 metres in higher speed zones.

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic, who will take the petition to Parliament, said the most common bike fatalities resulted from riders being hit from behind by a motor vehicle travelling in the same direction.

He said Queensland launched the same trial laws this month.

``We believe this should be an Australia-wide initiative following a 100 per cent increase in the number of Australian cyclists killed on Australian roads in 2013 compared to 2012,'' Mr Nikolic said.

Cycling Tasmania chief executive Collin Burns said the campaign had high profile support from cycling stars Richie Porte, Cadel Evans and Anna Meares, and political support from Premier Will Hodgman who had signed the petition.

He said a cycling safety steering committee had been formed to advise the Road Safety Advisory Committee on the proposal.

``This legislative change is very important with the large increase in cyclists on our roads,'' Mr Burns said.

``Motorists and the general public need to acknowledge that cyclists are vulnerable road users, and need that protective space on the roads.

``Thirteen thousand signatures sure sends a message that the community agrees, but we would like 50,000 to send a very loud message to Canberra.''

Petition forms can be downloaded from the Amy Gillett Foundation website: http://www.amygillett.org.au/ametrematterspetition. The forms need to be received by Mr Nikolic's office at 100 St John Street by April 30.

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