Bike Bendigo says it is disappointing that the Victorian government will not introduce mandatory bike passing laws.
Victoria is the only state in Australia that does not have a minimum passing distance law, but Minister for Road Safety Jaala Pulford said the government will not be "jumping into" changing the legislation.
Instead, it would consider the findings of a yet-to-be released TAC report evaluating the effectiveness of a 2018 public awareness campaign.
Bike Bendigo president Nicola Dunnicliff-Wells said the laws should be changed immediately.
"Bike Bendigo has always supported having mandatory passing distance laws in Victoria," she said. "The laws would set out a clear expectation for driver behaviour.
"It also provides validation for people who ride bikes. Many people who ride are not comfortable and feel vulnerable because people ride too close. It's quite unnerving."
The rule change would require motorists to leave a one metre gap when passing a cyclist at speeds up to 60 kilometres an hour and a one-and-a-half metre gap at higher speeds.
While Bendigo was becoming more accessible for bike riders, Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said mandatory passing distance laws would improve safety conditions for riders in the region.
"Bike Bendigo advocates for separate infrastructure for bike riders and we have the first test case with Ellis Street," she said. "But we're not going to to have separate infrastructure in the short term everywhere.
"Bendigo has many off-road paths but to get where you need to go, you often need to go on busy roads and mix with traffic."
Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said the state government should view the safety of bike riders as highly important.
"The Victorian government is sending a message that we don't value people riding bikes," she said.
"Bike Bendigo is not advocating for people to stop driving, just advocating for people to use a bike as part of their daily transportation.
"Mandatory passing distance laws would help validate that."
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