MAKE ROOM: New overtaking laws will protect cyclists.
MAKE ROOM: New overtaking laws will protect cyclists. Brandon Livesay

New laws aimed at making cycling safer

CYCLIST Ricky Collard said new rights for bike riders were welcome, but roads would still be dangerous.

Under new laws put in place on January 1, cyclists no longer have to ride on the far left side of single-lane roundabouts and are not bound to cycle lanes.

Cars must give at least 1m of room when passing cyclists in 60kmh zones and 1.5m in zones over 60kmh.

Collard said cars and trucks flying past without giving cyclists any room was one of the scariest things a rider faced.

"Some people think it's a bit funny to get really close to you and I've had trucks that get real close to you," he said.

"I've had a couple of times I've been pushed off the road."

Collard said many South Burnett roads were narrow and "the bike's going to come off second best" in an accident.

"Expect the worst, it's going to happen," he said.

"You can't get off the roads, people don't really understand that and they think you are being ignorant.

"The tyres are only little and we pump them up to 110 psi (pounds per square inch) to get that good roll on... if you go off the road and hit a rock, you get a flat tyre."

Collard said to increase his safety he avoided main roads, tried to ride in groups and wore a flashing light.

"The best way to stay safe near cyclists is get the person to look me in the eyes. If they don't look me in the eye, I brake," Collard said.

The cycling laws were introduced to make it clear what cyclists could do on roads.

Cycling rules

  • Cyclists can choose whether to ride in a bicycle lane where one is provided.
  • They can ride on any part of the road on single-lane roundabouts
  • Cyclists can use zebra crossings without dismounting as long as they come to a complete stop first.
  • Cars must give at least 1m of room when passing cyclists in 60kmh zones and 1.5m in zones over 60kmh.