Sheree Hughes says it’s a minority of motorists who make cycling dangerous. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Sheree Hughes says it’s a minority of motorists who make cycling dangerous. Picture: John Gass/AAP

Safe passing laws aren't being enforced, says cyclists

CYCLISTS have called on police to crack down on dodgy drivers, as new figures show less than one motorist a week is fined for breaching safe-passing laws.

The Sunday Mail can reveal only 39 motorists were slapped with fines in 2017 for coming too close to cyclists - down from 51 the previous year.

The state's peak cycling group, Bicycle Queensland, says the prevalence of side-swipe collisions needs to be urgently addressed.

Chief executive Anne Savage said a clear signal must be sent to dangerous drivers by adopting a zero-tolerance approach to those who recklessly overtook cyclists.

"The rigorous enforcement of these laws has largely been overlooked since their introduction in 2016, reflecting a serious failure by responsible authorities to make our roads safe for people who help to reduce traffic congestion and save the community costs by riding bikes," she said.

"It's simply not good enough. We need a crackdown on drivers who break safe passing laws."

In Queensland, it is illegal for motorists to come within 1m of a cyclist while passing at speeds of up to 60km/h, or within 1.5m while travelling above 60km/h.

The law was introduced as part of a trial in 2014 before being permanently implemented in 2016.

Sheree Hughes says it’s a minority of motorists who make cycling dangerous. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Sheree Hughes says it’s a minority of motorists who make cycling dangerous. Picture: John Gass/AAP

In the first six months of this year, 29 motorists were issued with the $391 fine for the offence and hit with three demerit points.

Ms Savage claimed up to 90 per cent of cyclists had recently reported feeling unsafe on the road due to cars unsafely or illegally overtaking them.

"For too long we have allowed a culture of complacency and indifference while our friends and loved ones are tragically injured and killed," she said.

A Queensland police spokeswoman said in some circumstances it was more appropriate to instigate proceedings against motorists for a more serious offence, such as dangerous operation of a motor vehicle or driving without due care.

"The onus as with any offence remains with the prosecution to prove each and every element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt," she said.

"Each and every offence needs to be considered on the evidence supporting the case."

Cyclist Sheree Hughes said it was disappointing to see motorists continue to ignore the rules and make it dangerous to ride on the road.

"For the most part, motorists are pretty good but you get those outliers that make cycling dangerous," she said.

"Just Friday, we had a close shave on Coronation Drive and had to report it to police.

"These close shaves are putting people off from cycling altogether.

"I think there needs to be more education about what drivers can and can't do."

Fines issued

2014 (Apr-Dec): 32

2015: 51

2016: 51

2017: 39

2018 (to June): 29



This Warwick resident raised a dynasty of rodeo competitors

premium_icon This Warwick resident raised a dynasty of rodeo competitors

Even failing eye sight won't keep this die-hard rodeo fan away.

'Not many people stop to look at what's around them'

premium_icon 'Not many people stop to look at what's around them'

Photographer snaps winning pic for a special Christmas card

Campdraft veterans get help from machines

premium_icon Campdraft veterans get help from machines

They don't have much grunt, but they are good for getting about.

Local Partners