New cycling rules cement good attitudes, says rider
BACK on his bike for the first time in two and a half years, John Osborne said Toowoomba seemed like a different city.
The cycling advocate returned to the roads after several years recovering from a crash on his bike, and experienced a marked difference in attitude from Toowoomba motorists as he rode around the city.
Mr Osborne said drivers gave him significantly more space as he was riding - consistent with the new cycling road rules rolled out in Queensland this week.
The new laws require motorists to stay a minimum of one metre away from cyclists when passing in a speed zone of 60kmh an hour or less, and 1.5 metres in zones over 60kmh.
Motorists are now also allowed to cross centre lines to pass cyclists, including double unbroken lines, where it is safe to do so.
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Ms Osborne said cyclists seemed to have gained a greater acceptance in Toowoomba as fellow road users.
"I was totally surprised - pleasantly surprised - by the additional amount of room that motorists were giving me.
"This is the first time back on the bike in two and a half years.
"I could see a distinct change in the attitude of motorists. I had a number of motorists wave or thank me at roundabouts.
"(The new rules) have evoked a lot of discussion … the very positive part that's come out of that, is the understanding that motorists have that cyclists, too, have a right on the road."
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Bikeline Toowoomba manager Justin Eastwell said the legislation would not affect the way most people drove, but would give police greater room to act in cases of malicious intent.
"If there is intent or malice in trying to run a cyclist over, there is a legal argument for it now, whereas there wasn't before.
"There are a growing number of cyclists on the road, and a growing awareness.
"I certainly hope it doesn't create more frustration or anger, that's the way it seems to be going. That's definitely not the intention of the law or the cyclists."
One metre passing distance, and 1.5m in speed zones of more than 60kmh.
Motorists can cross centre lines to pass where safe.
Cyclists breaking road rules to pay equal fines to motorists.