Artwork courtesy of Gold Coast Bulletin

On the 7th of April, new laws will come into effect requiring drivers of motor vehicles on Qld roads to keep a minimum safe distance from bicycle riders at all times. The laws make it illegal to come within 1 metre of a person riding a bicycle on any road, with this distance increasing to 1.5 metres for any road with a speed limit of more than 60km/hr. Penalties for breaching this new rule include 3 demerit points and an infringement penalty of $330, with a maximum fine of $4400.

As you can imagine, drivers are concerned about how this new law is to be applied – there is no guidance as to how this safe distance is to be measured, nor does it appear that bicycle riders are to be subject to a similar law requiring them to stay a safe distance from vehicles. This level of uncertainty is sure to be the subject of ongoing community debate.

Written by Sam Jackson, Senior Associate Lawyer, Gold Coast Traffic Lawyer / Bamberry Lawyers