WAGGA cyclists have welcomed the government’s decision to set passing distances and increase fines.
From March 1, motorists are required to provide a metre distance when overtaking a cyclist if they are travelling at 60 kilometres an hour or less.
It increases to 1.5 metres at speeds higher than 60km/h.
Wagga cycling legend Barry O’Hagan questioned whether it was enough.
“If we’re classed as traffic, cars should go to the other side of the road like would if they’re overtaking a car,” Mr Hagan said.
“There’s not much room for mistakes.
“I’ve never seen an accident with a cyclist where the car or truck driver has been injured.”
The increases to fines for cyclists bring them into line with fines for motorists who break the same laws.
It means cyclists who speed through red lights will be charged $425.
Morgan Street Cycles owner Rob Housden said it was a levelling of the playing field.
“It’s moving forward in a positive manner … the road is there to share,” he said
“There’s no reason a cyclist should run a red light … it’s a safety issue, you’re a vehicle on the road.”
Mr Housden said as more cyclists took to the road he said drivers were becoming better at accommodating them, but many “radical drivers” were getting worse.
The fine for not wearing a helmet has increased to $319.
Wagga Cycle Centre manager Andrew Trealoar said most responsible cyclists already wore helmets.
“It’s a deterrent for junior riders and their parents, to make sure they’re wearing helmets,” he said.
Mr Treloar said creating a one metre passing distance also helped develop a culture among motorists to take a second and provide cyclists with enough space.
Adult cyclists are required to have photo identification, Mr Treloar said it was “absolutely ridiculous”.
“It’s another example of being over-governed,” he said. “One of the beauties of cycling is getting away from the phone and the wallet and enjoying some fresh air.”
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