Drivers must give at least a metre clearance to cyclists across Victoria from April 26, bringing the state in line with the rest of the country.
The state government brought mandatory minimum passing distances into law this year, with the new rules coming into effect next week.
According to a state government media release, the updated rule makes it mandatory for motorists to give riders at least one metre clearance when overtaking on roads up to 60km/h, and 1.5 metres on roads with speed limits above 60km/h.
Under the updated rule, drivers and motorcyclists can briefly cross painted lines to give cyclists the space they need - including solid lines, double lines, painted tram lane lines and painted islands - but only when they have a clear view ahead and it's safe to do so.
Cyclists need to follow the road rules too - including riding predictably, riding in bike lanes when they are provided and using hand signals to change direction.
Consultation with motoring and bicycling bodies and other key stakeholders to ensure the rule fits into practical, everyday situations has occurred. The law will attract maximum court penalties of up to $1,652 and on the spot infringements of $330. Improper overtaking or passing offences incur two demerit points.
The new law follows tireless lobbying from organisations like the Amy Gillett Foundation, which has pushed for years to improve safety for cyclists.
IN THE NEWS
The state government noted 13 cyclists died on Victorian roads last year, three more than the five-year average.
The state government has promised more cycling infrastructure across the state - in Ballarat, this includes the shared foot and bike path on the southern side of Sturt Street's median gardens, which is almost complete.
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