Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Police; Road Safety

    New safe passing distance laws now in effect

    30/11/2017 6:00 AM
    • Minimum safe passing distance changes have commenced
    • New regulations provide clear guidance for drivers
    • Penalty is $400 and four demerit points 

    New minimum safe passing rules designed to encourage the safe sharing of roads by drivers and cyclists in Western Australia, came into effect at midnight.


    The new regulations are a key election promise delivered by the McGowan Government to provide greater protection for cyclists.


    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. 

    The penalty for drivers who contravene the new law is $400 and four demerit points.


    As part of the new rules, drivers are now 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.


    The Road Safety Commission will monitor and evaluate the new rules, with a report provided to the Minister after two years.


    Comments attributed to Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:


    "Cyclists are among our most vulnerable road users, and tragically we have lost seven Western Australians in cycling crashes already this year.


    "Drivers now have clear direction about how much room you must leave to safely pass a cyclist.


    "Where there has been a clear breach of the law, police will issue the appropriate sanction but it's hoped this change will lead to a greater mutual respect between motorists and cyclists.


    "The McGowan Government is committed to making cycling safer in WA, and we are confident these new regulations will provide greater awareness and protection for cyclists."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900