Victorian drivers must slow down and leave more space when overtaking cyclists, according to a new advertising campaign.
The Transport Accident Commission ads recommend allowing at least one metre when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 60km/hour and at least 1.5 metres at higher speeds.
The 30-second clip also provides visual cues to show a safe passing distance, with each rider spreading their arms between their bike and a passing car to indicate the room they require.
“The vast majority of drivers do willingly give space when they pass a cyclist, but people can be unsure of the guidelines on just how much distance they should leave between their vehicle and a rider,” TAC spokeswoman Samantha Cockfield said.
“It is also important that motorists slow down when passing someone on a bike, while it’s equally important that riders ensure they are highly visible, predictable and wearing good protective gear.”
TAC statistics show cyclists are 34 times more likely to be seriously injured than vehicle occupants, and 4.5 times more likely to be killed, in a crash.
Last year, eight cyclists died in crashes on Victorian roads while 421 riders were hospitalised with injuries.
The TAC campaign comes just days after a Bendigo cyclist was lucky to escape serious injury in a collision with an oncoming vehicle.
“Our bodies are simply not designed to survive the impact speeds of common crash scenarios and this is even truer for riders, who are far more vulnerable as they don’t have the benefit of a car cabin, or safety features like airbags,” Ms Cockfield said.
“No one deserves to die or be seriously injured on our roads and we all have a role to play in creating a road environment where all road users can travel safely every day.”
The education campaign was developed with input from cycling and road user groups from across Victoria including VicRoads, Amy Gillett Foundation, Bicycle Network, Cycling Victoria and RACV.
Bike Bendigo spokesman Rob Kretschmer also said this week cyclists were vulnerable on the roads.
“All road users need to think about how we can protect one another,” he said after the local hit-and-run incident.
“It’s hard to fathom how something like this could happen.”