The state opposition leader has confirmed his party will support a one-metre cyclist passing law if elected in November.
The state government opted against introducing the law when brought before parliament in March 2017 despite strong support from cyclist safety groups such as the Amy Gillett Foundation. At the time the opposition supported the bill.
Less than a month ago young Ballarat cyclist Nick White was involved in a crash with a ute on the Midland Highway in Buninyong, near the Road Nationals circuit.
Speaking just days after the Road Nationals, opposition leader Matthew Guy said he believed a one-metre passing law was necessary to help improve cyclist safety.
“We’ve got quite a few bikes on the road and we’ve got to find a medium between bikes and cars,” Mr Guy said. “I think (implementing the law) is a wise thing to do.”
Ballarat cyclist safety was thrust into the spotlight in 2016 when young father Christian Ashby was horrifically injured in a hit and run around Lake Wendouree.
In May 2017 Luke Taylor was rushed to hospital after being hit by a ute at the intersection of Cuthberts and Whites roads west of Ballarat.
Another cyclist, 23-year-old Jason Lowndes, was also killed after being involved in a crash near Bendigo in December. Victoria is the only state in the country which does not have a minimum passing distance law.
Ballarat Roadies cycling group leader Matthew Kaess praised the opposition’s support for a law, saying “having a law in place is good for people's awareness and offers some sort of consequence if they don’t comply”.
“It’s not unlike J-walking,”Mr Kaess said. “People might still break it but if people are aware of the laws then they're aware of that they're meant to be doing.”
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