- Minimum safe passing distance rules to commence on November 30, 2017
- New rules helping motorists and cyclists to share the roads safely
- Laws will be monitored and assessed to determine their success in improving safety
- The rules follow the McGowan Government's record $129 million funding allocation to build 95 kilometres of new cycling paths as part of the 2017-18 State Budget
The McGowan Labor Government has delivered on its election commitment to provide greater protection for cyclists with the introduction of minimum safe passing rules.
Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts announced the new rules, which come into effect from November 30 and are designed to help motorists and cyclists share the roads together safely.
The new rules require drivers passing a cyclist travelling in the same direction on a road to do so at a minimum distance of:
- One metre on a road with a posted speed limit not more than 60kmh; or
- 1.5 metres on a road with a posted speed limit of more than 60kmh.
Minimum safe passing laws have been operating in Queensland for several years after a successful trial found the law led to safer outcomes for cyclists.
New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have also now implemented the laws.
The penalty for drivers who contravene the new law is $400 and four demerit points.
As part of the new rules, drivers are also permitted to cross centre lane markings on roads, including double white lines, to ensure the appropriate passing distance, but only if it is safe to do so, and the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic.
The minimum safe passing distance is measured from the furthest point on the left of the driver's vehicle to the furthest point to the right of the cyclist's bicycle.
The new rules will be monitored and evaluated by the Road Safety Commission, with a report provided to the Minister after two years.
Comments attributed to Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:
"Tragically, seven cyclists have been killed on our roads already this year.
"Cyclists are among our most vulnerable road users and these new rules are designed to provide greater protection and hopefully reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths.
"These new rules now provide clear guidance about how much room you must leave to safely pass a cyclist.
"It's about motorists and cyclists showing mutual respect for one another and sharing the roads together safely.
"The McGowan Government made a commitment to make cycling safer in Western Australia and we are pleased to deliver on our promise.
"A public awareness campaign will begin on TV, radio, billboards and digital platforms from next month, to ensure drivers and other road users are aware of the new laws.
"After two years, we will assess how successful the rules have been in improving safety on our roads."
Minister's office - 6552 6900