Seven cyclists were killed in Victoria during the past 12 months. There could have been another at the weekend after a 53-year-old Templestowe man in Golden Point was allegedly hit by a car, which left the scene.
Victoria still hasn’t introduced a critical one-metre passing law, unlike every other state. For that reason, you might have seen cyclists at the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships wearing pink tape.
The Amy Gillett Foundation, set up to honour the champion cyclist who was killed on the road while training in Germany, continues to push the ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign, which has helped change legislation and driver behaviour across Australia.
The foundation had set up stands near the finish lines to hand out the armbands, and a minute’s silence was held before the start of the elite men’s race to remember cyclists killed, including Jason Lowndes, who died after being hit by a car while training for the event in 2017.
In Victoria, the TAC is encouraging drivers to keep a metre distance, with a study on how a 12-month education campaign worked due for release soon.
Statistics show there has been 42 incidents involving cyclists that have required hospitalisation in Ballarat in the past 10 years.
Amy Gillett Foundation spokesman Martin Wells said an enforceable law would make a difference.
“We want to encourage everyone to take the message that passing cyclists on the road is actually really easy, giving a minimum of a metre,” he said.
“We know that everywhere else in the country has made a commitment to minimum passing distance legislation, whether that’s in trial or permanent law, but Victoria is sadly the outlier.”
Ballarat’s Christian Ashby won two bronze medals in the para-cycling – his first competition since he was hit by a car and left for dead.
He said he was “bewildered”, and could not understand why there was no law yet
“The overtaking rule needs to be enforced,” he said.
“It’s hard to police, but people know they need to give cyclists some room.”
The state government remains non-committal on introducing the law, a spokesperson noting the investment in infrastructure and the education campaign.
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